Delegation Training Key Concept: The 4 Steps of Effectively Delegating Tasks

Being in a leadership role involves a variety of tasks that, simply put, cannot all be completed by one person. Sometimes leaders feel they must do all of these tasks themselves to ensure they are done properly. On the contrary, it’s beneficial for the organization as a whole, when a manager delegates some of these tasks to employees. Delegating empowers others in the organization, and helps optimize the performance of the group. When more members are included in the ownership of projects, the more efficient your organization will become.

Don’t know where to begin? Delegating can be difficult to do for many people, but luckily this delegating template helps you simplify the process. We’ll walk you through the 4 steps of delegating tasks so you can begin reaping the benefits of effective delegation!


Delegation Step 1: List Your Responsibilities

First things first. Think about all the tasks and job responsibilities you have to complete on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. What are your responsibilities as a leader? What long-term projects and goals do you have?

Start at a high level with a list of monthly or quarterly goals that you want to accomplish. Then, break those larger goals down into smaller steps, listing the daily and weekly tasks needed to achieve the bigger objectives.

Next, list the tasks you do frequently, on a daily or weekly basis. This might include pulling reports, scheduling, answering emails, or conducting staff meetings and conference calls. Completing this exercise alone can be quite helpful, as it gives you a general sense of how your job requirements translate into daily activities.

This is the first step toward effective delegation. Once you have a comprehensive running list of all your tasks and responsibilities, it’s easier to determine what can and should be delegated.


Delegation Step 2: Choosing Delegation Authority

Once you have a full list of all your tasks and responsibilities, you will assign a level of delegation authority to each one. All team leader tasks fall along a scale of “1” to “5” representing the ability for that task to be delegated out to others.

Delegation Levels of Authority.png

Below is a brief description of what each level of the delegation authority scale means:

  • Level “1” is a task that team leaders must complete on their own. (For example, team leaders should never delegate team member evaluations, salary discussions, rewards, discipline, and terminations.)
  • Level “2” is a task that team leaders should do but that team members could assist them in doing if needed.
  • Level “3” is a task that team leaders can do, but other team members can do as well if given the opportunity.
  • Level “4” is a task that team members should do (i.e. – should be delegated to them) but team leaders can help them in an emergency.
  • Level “5” is a task that team members must do.

Go through your list of tasks and assign each task a delegation level from “1” to “5.” Next, you’ll be able to determine what to delegate.


Delegation Step 3: Determining What to Delegate

Based on the “Level of Authority for Delegation” rating you gave each responsibility, organize your tasks and responsibilities into the appropriate category below. Divide tasks into those tasks a team member should complete (“4” or “5”), tasks you could have a team member complete with help (“3”), and tasks you might delegate to a team member as a growth opportunity, which may require your assistance (“2”).

Determining What to Delegate.png 

After determining what you should and could be delegating, the next step involves deciding which team member you should assign the responsibility.


Delegation Step 4: Deciding to Whom to Delegate

Not all team members are the right person for certain tasks. How do you know who you should delegate certain tasks to? It’s important to consider the following factors when deciding to whom to delegate:

  • Delegate to team members who have the experience to do the job, as well as team members who have potential to learn to do the job.
  • Other factors can also play in to who might be the best fit. Sometimes attitude, personality and aptitude need to be taken into consideration.
  • Consider each team member’s workload, and who has time to take on extra responsibilities.
  • Always delegating to the most capable or the same person on a team can create a lopsided workload. Those who need the experience may not get it, and you can penalize your best workers by consistently giving them more assignments.

The questions below can be used as a guide to help you determine who might be the best fit to complete each responsibility:

  • Who can do the task better than I can?
  • Who can do the task instead of me, even though it may take him/her longer to get it done?
  • Who can do the task with less expense than I can?
  • Who can do it with better timing than I can, even though he/she might handle it differently than I would?

Once you’ve figured out what to delegate and to whom to delegate, you’re ready to have delegation discussions with your team members. The discussion kick starts the ongoing delegating relationship between you and your team member. (This topic is explored in further depth in Vital Learning’s Delegation training course.) 


Enjoy the Benefits of Delegation

Delegating isn’t always easy, but following the template above will help you effectively get more done! Delegating not only frees up your time, but demonstrates that you trust your team members, while empowering them and encouraging the development of their skills.

In addition, it helps your team members believe that their jobs are important, meaningful and critical to the success of the team and organization. Most importantly, you are guiding your team members into becoming future leaders themselves!


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