Delegation is a process that adds value at all levels – it is all about doing more by doing less! Don’t wait and abrogate when tasks become super urgent and deadlines critical – it is incredibly counter productive.
In our “Delegate For Success” blog post we considered why we should delegate and looked at some of the excuses for not doing so.
The biggest block to effective delegation is less about the “how to” and more about the belief in the power of delegation.
In order to become an advocate of delegation – to be a skill builder – you must firstly let go of the mindset that:
- You don’t have enough time;
- You don’t have the energy or patience for it;
- You can do it faster and better yourself; or
- You could be delegation yourself out of a job.
How do we successfully delegate tasks?
Here are our seven steps to delegating tasks to achieve success. These tips can be used not only in your business for more success, but in every aspect of your life to accomplish more.
1. Understand the Task – Make sure you understand the task yourself so that you can clearly communicate the process, the resources, the authority levels and the time frames to the person you are delegating to. Understand the risk if the task is not completed adequately and manage any risk appropriately.
2. Find the Right Person – Find the person who is motivated to take on the task and to learn new skills. You cannot give responsibility, someone must take it.
3. Communicate the Task – Take the time to clearly and concisely communicate the task. This includes the process and the expected outcome. Make sure they understand how this particular task fits into the overall picture. Create SMART tasks (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound).
4. Provide Resources to do the Job – Whether it is the time, people, or technology, it is your responsibility to ensure that the resources are available. Communicate the parameters around time and dollars to be invested.
5. Agree on timelines – Communicate when the job must be finished, at what stage you want to review progress, when reports are due, when you need feedback and then set priorities. Let them know that you have an open door should they have any questions concerning the task.
6. Confirm Understanding – Make sure that the person understands exactly what is expected. As the question… “In your own words, talk through your understanding of what is expected”.
7. Encourage, Support, Feedback – Let the person delegated the task know that you have confidence in them to successfully complete the task. Explain that you’re there to support them. On completion of the task, perform a review and feedback on the results. Say thank you!
Delegation, done well, is one of the best forms of on the job training. We are often super keen to delegate just before we go on annual leave – all of a sudden there are team members who are capable of being delegated to. Unfortunately, in the mad rush to get away these seven critical steps are not always followed.
Delegation is best done before the job becomes urgent… don’t sit on a task until it is both urgent and important before delegating. The ultimate responsibility for ineffective delegation is with you.
The art of delegation, or doing more by doing less, can be mastered and adds value to you, your team and your business.