Effective delegation is much more than just giving work to people. It is an opportunity to maximise the team’s potential and proactive engagement alongside. And, all senior executives must master the art of effective delegation to have more time to do the things that only they can do. So, here is an article providing valuable tips on how to delegate work to the team more efficiently and effectively.
Guidelines for effective delegation
Listed below are the golden principles and strategies of effective delegation at the workplace.
Feel free to share them with all your colleagues and team to maximize your organization’s overall efficiency.
Ensure that delegation is your most appropriate choice.
In other words, assess that delegation is the most suitable choice in the given circumstances.
You must not select the wrong task to delegate.
Here are some points I suggest you keep in mind to avoid mistakes when you delegate tasks-
- Delegate meaningful work only. Never delegate any task that is unpleasant or demeaning, that you wouldn’t want to do yourself.
- Do not delegate if the task has not been thought through, or if you yourself are not thoroughly familiar with the task.
In any case, do not delegate risky or confidential work, and when you are the best person for the job.
- Ensure that your reasons and the motivation to delegate the task is fair and worthy.
Pick the right person to delegate work
Identify the most appropriate team member to delegate the task.
Here, I would like to highlight that you must match the work requirement with the candidate’s skill sets appropriately.
Choosing the right person for the right job is said to be one of the most important things to do in an effective delegation. Therefore, remember the following points when selecting the right person to delegate the task-
- Do not delegate a task to a person if it brings a bad effect on the team in the long term in any way.
- Assign the task to those who are most likely to excel and produce remarkable results. For example, delegate duties to the team members who are closest to the work or who already have a basic understanding of the work. Consequently, you will prepare them for the positions the organisation needs or will need to fill in the future.
- Ensure that you use a fair selection method.
Get your message across efficiently
Poor communication is often the biggest roadblock to effective delegation process. It’s not enough to simply tell people what to do. So, communicate efficiently to delegate the work successfully.
Make sure that you brief your team member(s) appropriately so that everyone understands and no one is frustrated due to the communication barriers in the delegation process.
Ask them the additional assistance they need
Let them tell you what they need. Encourage them and let them know that you have full confidence in them.
Verify the interest level.
Confirm that the person is interested and confident in handling the delegated work. This can be done by asking questions such as ‘Do you want to do this work?’ ‘How comfortable are you with the task to be delegated?’ etc.
Keep all the stakeholders informed
Inform the new role to the concerned stakeholders so that everyone knows who to contact. Do this once the team member to whom you are delegating the work has completely understood and nodded yes to the assignment.
10 Communication tips to delegate work successfully
The best way to get your message across efficiently for a successful delegation process is to abide by the tips mentioned below-
1. Specify what needs to be done.
Clearly define the desired outcomes and communicate your expectations.
At this point, focus only on what to do, rather than elaborating how to do. Do not overload the other person with unnecessary details. Use plain, simple words that they understand.
Furthermore, avoid jargons or at least define them appropriately as they may confuse the other person.
2. Provide the context and background to the work.
Give a clear picture of your reasons for delegating the work.
3. Highlight the benefits and significance of accomplishing the work.
Share why he or she was chosen for the work and explain why it is important for him or her to take on the work.
4. Ask questions to check their understanding of the task, and what is expected of them.
Ensure that what you said and what the other person heard means exactly what you want to get across.
5. Provide all the information and resources.
Give all the necessary information required to complete the work. And encourage the other person to stop you and ask questions if anything is not clear.
Ensure that they have access to the equipment and means to achieve the desired results and objectives.
6. Establish clarity on authority levels and boundaries for effective delegation of work.
Describe the authority you are conferring. Explain the person the scenarios when they should refer back to you or others for decision making at a higher level.
Be more mindful and maintain a human touch.
7. Discuss the timelines and deadlines involved.
Don’t command a timeline. Rather ask when they think they can have the work done. Then fix a realistic deadline that’s agreeable and workable for both of you. Also, give reasons for the expected time-frame.
Determine the schedule for checking-in with progress updates. Also agree upon the format and frequency for progress reviews. For example, intermittent face to face reviews with telephone updates, if you are managing an individual remotely.
Communicate compassionately so the other person becomes more receptive to working with you.
8. Understand how they intend to apply their skills and knowledge to fulfil the work responsibilities.
Team members often do not ask questions for fear of being perceived as stupid. So, ask them how they will approach this task. Don’t assume that they know how to do what you are asking them to do.
Pitch in and help, if required. Bridge the knowledge gap, and provide all the support they need from you to successfully achieve the task. Be encouraging and instil confidence.
Let’s wrap up our understanding of how to delegate work to the team members at the workplace.
Delegation is helpful only when it is done appropriately. To delegate effectively, you must choose the right tasks to delegate, identify the right people to delegate to, and delegate in the right way.
You must communicate efficiently and effectively, clarify the authority level and boundaries, provide enough support and resources to ensure successful accomplishment of the delegated work.
Of course, effective delegation is a process that requires some thought and preparation. And delegation skills eventually improve with practice.