Some of these people just get it completely wrong and end up delegating a task to the wrong person, which compromises the success of their project. Others may simply not feel confident about doing so or know exactly how to do it efficiently, therefore they keep burdening themselves with too much work that is beyond their current skill set.
For a workplace to run smoothly, however, there needs to be delegation. This is even more important for business owners who feel overwhelmed by all the work they need to do each day and could do with a little help by delegating some of their tasks to more qualified people.
However, if you really want to boost workplace productivity, you can't just delegate to anyone – delegating effectively means delegating tasks to the right people at the right time. If you struggle with this area of your work or need some tips on how to delegate tasks more effectively, read on and find out what our top nine tips would be.
1. Identify your weaknessesThe first and most important step towards effective delegation is identifying your weaknesses. There are no doubt tasks that you don’t feel comfortable with or ones that are simply outside of your area of expertise. Perhaps you are a business owner and you don’t know how to write content. Instead of slaving away with this task, feeling stressed and overwhelmed by it, find someone in your organisation who can do this for you.
2. Pick the right personNow you know what your weaknesses are, it’s time to delegate those tasks to the right people. Look for people who have the necessary skills for each particular task. If content writing and creation is your weakness, for example, then you’ll need to outsource this task to people more qualified. If necessary, you may need to hire additional employees for certain tasks. If you already work within a business then find staff that fit the skill requirements you are looking for.
3. Explain the requirementsOnce you’ve picked a qualified team member to delegate to, you need to make sure to explain clearly what is expected of them. It’s startling how many employees don’t know exactly what is expected of them with their roles. So make sure you explain to them what you expect them to do each week and even each day. It may be a good idea to write this down so that they have a checklist they can refer to throughout the day.
4. Create a follow-up and feedback systemCreating a follow-up and feedback system is crucial to effective delegation and making sure that your employees are successfully following the tasks that you have given to them. Always check back in with them either during the day or at the end of the day to make sure they are on track with what they are doing. Give them necessary feedback to make sure that the project gets completed in time and in a way you wanted it to be done.
5. Trust your employeesWhen you delegate a task, you need to try and have some faith in the employee to get the job done. This means showing your trust in them and giving them some room to come up with their own ideas. This way, you’ll find that they’ll end up being more creative and more valuable to the team in general.
6. Set deadlinesDeadlines are a great way to make sure that you keep your staff on track with their delegated task. When setting deadlines for a particular task or sub-task, make sure to set it within a reasonable time-frame and follow instructions from the five points above regarding giving clear instructions.
7. Create a reward systemAs a manager or business owner, it’s important to recognise hard work. Always show your employees that you appreciate their effort even if it’s in the form of a compliment. It can make a massive difference to employee morale and it will increase their productivity at the same time. Positive reinforcement is vital for employee performance.
8. Take care of unexpected problemsYou may delegate a task and the responsibility that comes with it. However, sometimes when an unexpected problem occurs, your employee may not know how to deal with it. It may be a problem outside of their expertise and experience level to handle adequately. If this occurs then it’s up to you to step in as, take charge and fix it.
9. Be careful with reverse delegationSome employees you delegate tasks to will try to delegate certain aspects of the task back to you. As long as you know they indeed do have the skill set to handle the task then you must learn to say no. This is about encouraging them to be responsible and developing their leadership skills.
Delegating tasks isn’t always an easy process but it’s one that is crucial to the overall productivity of a workplace or a business. Follow the 9 steps above and you’ll have a much easier time delegating tasks effectively in the future.
Do you have any other tips you would add to the list? Let us know!