“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” While this idiom is certainly popular, it simply isn’t feasible in today’s work environment. Managers need to strategize their time effectively, and therefore need to be able to delegate. Here are our top tips to aid you when allocating work:
Determine what to delegate
Make a note of how much time you spend doing various tasks throughout the day. It might surprise you that activities that are of relatively lower importance are ones that you spend a disproportionate amount of time on. This sort of work is ripe for delegation. Other types of work you should consider delegating include tasks you have to continuously repeat, assignments with a relaxed deadline and any work that an employee has expressed an interest in.
Your employees should be made explicitly aware of the kind of results you expect, any methods you want them to follow and all pertinent deadlines. If there are any particular parameters you will be using to judge the quality of the finished work, be sure to let them know beforehand. A vague, “Do what you can with this and get it back to me sometime next week,” will help neither you nor them. Articulate your needs with specificity.
Connect the dots
Your delegates should know the overall purpose of the assigned task, so that they can best shape their work to suit it. When possible, try and allocate whole tasks for them to complete. However, if this is not feasible, make sure they can get in contact with the other workers contributing to the same goal. Those in leadership positions may not realize the communication gaps that exist at lower levels across different facets of the organization. Make sure that this does not interfere with the work by maintaining open channels of communication and encouraging a collaborative attitude.
The delegation process does not end once you hand the work off. It is important to check in periodically with your employees to ensure that they are on the right track and to answer any queries they may have. Once the assignment has been handed in to you, review it thoroughly and provide feedback on performance. This way, standards are maintained and your employee is aware of any adjustments he or she should make next time.
Reward good work
It can be as simple as a ‘thank you’ note or as impressive as a bonus, but make sure that you show your appreciation for all their hard work!
Delegation doesn’t just free up time for managers, it empowers employees. Do you have an experience with delegation you would like to share? Let us know in the comments!