How many times have you felt stressed out and overwhelmed because you have so much to accomplish before an event at your venue? Worse yet, you know you need help but you do not know how to delegate the tasks at hand.
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Derived from Latin, delegate means, “to send from.” When delegating you are sending the work “from” you “to” someone else. Effective delegation Skills will not only give you more time to work on your important opportunities but you will also help others on your team learn new skills.
Criteria for Success
The first step to becoming a successful delegator is to let go.
Here are some tips that will help you improve your delegation skills:
An Effective Delegation Acronym: SMARTER
Delegated tasks must be:
Reasons to Delegate
Benefits to the employee
- Provides professional growth opportunities.
- Develops their professional knowledge and skills.
- Members become more involved and committed.
- Increased opportunities for members to develop leadership skills.
- Chance to fill leadership roles with qualified, experienced people.
- Enhances their confidence and value to the organisation.
- Brings them personal satisfaction and a sense of achievement .
- Gives them opportunities to be involved with decision making which in turn leads to more commitment and increased morale.
- Elevates their self-image and ultimately self-esteem. Read > Happiness at work
Benefits for the organisation
- The organisation operates more effectively.
- More projects and activities are undertaken.
- Saves money.
- Brings about professionalism.
- Increases productivity and efficiency.
- A greater chance that projects will be completed.
- Makes your job easy and exciting.
- Reduce stress and makes you look good.
- Develops trust and rapport with your employees.
- Not being spread too thin and therefore is less likely to burn out.
- Gaining satisfaction from seeing members grow and develop.
- Acquiring more experience in executive and administrative functions.
Delegation is not task assignment.
Task assignment is simply assigning work to an individual within the duties and responsibilities of his position. Delegation, on the other hand, involves the manager giving someone the responsibility and authority to do something that is normally part of the manager’s job.
Don’t delegate something that is mission critical. Delegate something small (initially) and work your way up to delegating larger, more important tasks.
It’s not easy to let go sometimes because your employees may not do things the way you would. But that’s okay. And that’s why it’s important to be specific about the outcome you expect. You and your employees will feel more comfortable as you repeat the delegation process.
Delegation is a skill of which we have all heard – but which few understand. It can be used either as an excuse for dumping failure onto the shoulders of subordinates, or as a dynamic tool for motivating and training your team to realise their full potential.
Pick the best people.
The true key to effective delegation begins before you actually do any delegating at all; rather, it starts in the hiring office. Choosing the best people for your team or business is the most paramount part of effective delegation. Everything rests on having people that can successfully carry out the responsibilities you delegate just as well as could do yourself. Pick people who are creative and self-motivated enough to work without you constantly looking over their shoulder and giving instruction.
Establish a Communication Rhythm
Constant interruptions with questions throughout your day have a huge negative impact on productivity. Conversely, never knowing the status of projects can leave you on edge. From the beginning, set expectations for when you both should communicate with each other.
Determine what you are going to delegate.
Then take the time to plan how you are going to present the assignment, including your requirements, parameters, authority level, checkpoints and expectations. It is a good idea to write down these items and give a copy to your delegate in order to minimize miscommunication.
The surest way for an executive to kill himself is to refuse to learn how, and when, and to whom to delegate work.
Define clearly the responsibilities.
Sometimes we expect people to read our mind.
Define clearly the responsibilities being delegated to each person. Explain what is expected of them and what the bounds of authority are. Be sure an agreement is reached on areas where the person can function freely. The end result is important, not the various steps. Everyone accomplishes tasks differently.
Give a clear description of the task. This includes:
- What you want done (requirements)
- When you want it done (deadline)
- Assignment parameters (scope of authority)
- Why you want it done (purpose and how it fits into overall goals or objectives)
- Available tools and resources
- Possible challenges or obstacles to consider
Give an overview of the assignment
Including the importance of the assignment and why you have chosen the employee for the job.
State measurable results.
Define how all the tasks fit into the bigger picture. Be clear about the results you want achieved. It is very important that there are measurable results recorded for every task delegated. This way hopefully no one will feel overwhelmed and everyone can track their accomplishments.
Give employees a chance to learn from their mistakes.
Sometimes it’s helpful to let an employee make a mistake. Mistakes are important learning experiences. It’s important for employees to know that you will tolerate human imperfection. Encourage employees to be open when a mistake has been made.
Provide the right tools.
Remember, too, that you need to give those you delegate to the tools and resources to accomplish their tasks.
Track progress, give feedback, and help people solve problems.
Check in periodically and ask your team about their progress. Are they on schedule? Do they have the resources they need? Have they run up against any unforeseen obstacles? Do they still understand the requirements? Monitor the work and give feedback in a positive, helpful way.
You need to trust those people you delegate to; otherwise you’ll worry too much, micro-manage and generally make a nuisance of yourself.
Let Them Do It Their Way.
You do things your way, and everyone else has to do it exactly the same way or else. Right? Wrong. Let people do things their way (remember the trust?) More importantly, provide enough flexibility that they can add their own flavor to the mix. Let them create. Let them add unique touches to what they’re doing.
The best executive is one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it. President Roosevelt
The secret of success is not in doing your own work, but in recognizing the right person to do it.
How about you? Do you delegate? What tips do you have for delegating success? What strategies have allowed you to work effectively with a new hire?
What recommendations would you offer to someone who’s hoping to delegate work to others? Share your ideas and experiences below, or submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org