By Esmée Hardwick-Slack
“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”
There are only so many hours in the day and only so much that you can do on your own, which is why delegation is a key still of any manager or leader. Understanding how and when to delegate responsibility to others is an essential skill to maintaining a high level of productivity, both on a personal and organizational level.
Effective delegation promotes productivity and motivation within a team by drawing on their existing skill set. When you’re willing to delegate, you promote an atmosphere of confidence and trust, resulting in you becoming a more likeable and efficient leader who respects the skills and needs of your team.
Although delegation is important, many people still use the “it’s quicker and easier if I just do it myself” excuse. There are many reasons why managers are not willing to delegate, including:
- Resenting the idea that someone else may get credit
- Being afraid their team can’t handle the responsibility
- Suspecting staff are already overworked
- Not wanting to let go of tasks they enjoy doing
- The fear their own managers will think they can’t handle their own workload
Whatever the reason, failing to delegate can promote a feeling of mistrust in your employees, but can also lead you down a road of menial tasks that take up more time than you realise.
Another thing to consider is the difference between delegation and allocation. When you allocate a task to a member of your team, you are asking them to carry out a specific instruction. You tell them what to do, and they do it – simple. Delegating a task involves transferring you work to another person. You aren’t just telling them what to do, you’re also putting them in a position that requires them to make decisions that they are accountable for.
When delegating you are entrusting another person, usually someone in a less senior position than yourself. This is why it requires you to have trust and faith in that person. When deciding whether or not to delegate a task, it is import to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have to be in charge of this task or is someone else capable?
- Does it require your attention to be completed successfully?
- Will this work help other employees develop their skills?
- Do you have time to teach someone how to perform this task?
- Will similar tasks need to be completed in the future?
Recognition is also an important part of delegation. When checking in on a project that you have delegated, be sure to recognize any wins or progress that have been made. Recognising the accomplishments of your employees will help them understand the quality of work that is expected and make them more likely to take up the jobs you delegate to them.
To sum up, delegating is a great way to enable you to streamline your tasks and drive productivity in your team. Successful delegation lightens your workload while building a well-rounded, well-utilised team. It may seem daunting at first, but eventually you’ll reap the benefits of sharing the workload!
Do you find it difficult to delegate? Let us know how you distribute your workload amongst employees in the comments, or join the conversation on our Twitter.