Delegation is a key tool in the effective management of people, time and resources. Here are a few key elements of any delegation.
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Determine what you will delegate.
You decide which task(s) you want to delegate. Keep in mind that delegating is different from simply assigning someone a task that is already a part of the normal job requirements. When you delegate, you give someone else one of your job tasks; but you maintain control and responsibility.
Select the person to whom to delegate the responsibility, taking time to think through the person capability, skill sets, and interests.
Make sure the people you delegate work to understand the expectations. At the time of delegation, ask them to “explain what it is I’ve asked you to do.” This three-minute check may save you minutes—or even hours—during the course of the project.
Provide the right tools. Provide the right tools to successfully implement your requests. These include (a) context; (b) authority; (c) resources; and (d) feedback.
Create feedback loops. Don’t just send your employees off and expect things to go exactly as you planned. Check in on a regular basis to make sure things are proceeding as planned, answer questions, and make adjustments as necessary.
Make yourself available for support or feedback. Just because you’re not micro-managing doesn’t mean you disappear completely.
Communicate clearly your expectations. Open, clear communication from the get-go is absolutely crucial to ensuring that the projects you delegate will be done well as timelines, templates, deadlines, etc.
Agree and record deadlines. Mutually agree on realistic deadlines, and document them in writing. Sending an email recap is a great way to record what you agreed upon, so you avoid finger pointing later.
Allow for creativity and variations in work style.Keep your focus on the final result/products, not on the details of how the job gets done. People work according to individual learning styles and preferences. When you let them work in their preferred ways, they feel ownership for the effort.
Thoroughly review the completed work and provide feedback, positive if it meets your needs or constructive if the results are less than you expect. This is not the time to just “let it go” and rework it yourself.
What has worked for you to delegate more effectively? Let me know by posting a comment below!