Effective Delegation

Some key considerations and actions when delegating

1. It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you can do the job quicker and better than others (and you may think you should as a manager or leader). Actually, to delegate effectively, you need to let go and allow others to learn and show you what they can do. Without this we often show a lack of trust of the people you work with.

2. Plan your delegation. The delegation matrix shows your team members, the main tasks that need to be accomplished, where their skills lay, how they might benefit from the development and how you can develop them to get the work done. How much direction is given depends on the current ability of the individual but clarity of expectation is critical.

3. Delegation can be a two-way thing. Good delegation should be about your own development as well as the development of the people you work with. Consider what you are delegating and why you are delegating it. Are you delegating to build people, get rid of work you don't like to do or to develop someone?

4. Define the tasks. Check the task is suitable to for delegation. There are going to be some things you have to do and others that could be done by someone else.

5. Who should do it? What are the the sound reasons for delegating the task to that person? What will they gain from this?

6. Can they do the task now or will they require some additional support and training? When discussing the delegated task it is useful to ask their own view on this. We run the risks of making assumptions when delegating. The level of importance of the task may need to be defined. Check to see they:

  • Understand what needs to be done.

  • Have the resources.

  • Have the support.

7. Clarify the reason for the task or work that must be done. Discuss why the job is being delegated and how it fits into the organisational aims and goals. Allow the other person to offer some negotiation.

8. Discuss and recognise the required outcomes and results. Be available to offer support around questions and be clear on what the success criteria is.

9. Discuss the required resources. It is tempting to back away from the delegation if the person is making requests regarding resources and support. Remember this is more than just getting the task done.

10. Agree on timeline and deadlines and methods of reporting as well as frequency.

11. Keep people informed. Do not leave it up to the individual or team to explain their roles. They may feedback and update to others but the responsibility to clear issues or blockages may still sit with you.

12. Provide and get feedback for the teams and individuals. Remember, if they are successful - they get credit. If it is unsuccessful, you are responsible.

The video below is from our 'Managers Tips' series.

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