Delegating tasks in the workplace brings tremendous value to managers and leaders and should not be underestimated in the suite of managerial skills set. Understanding how to maximize delegation without hindering overall performance is vital to the success of an organization.
When done correctly, the benefits that delegation brings include building trust amongst a team and increasing total productivity.
More specifically, effectively breaking up and delegating pieces of work:
- Helps team members develop new skills,
- Allows upper management to focus on more critical tasks, and
- Boost a workplace's general effectiveness
Delegating is no simplistic task without the right process. Managers at all levels have at some point faced the same few issues with delegating. Which tasks should I delegate? Who can I delegate to? and When should I lean on team members?
These are all valid questions every successful manager has asked themselves. Aren’t sure where to start? Feel free to download our delegating template resource for further guidance on developing delegatable tasks:
Being strategic about what you can/cannot delegate can help optimize and increase the overall productivity of the organization.
A common challenge that many leaders face is determining who to delegate tasks to.
In this blog, we’ll go over some tips to help you do just that:
4 tips to help identify who you can delegate tasks to:
Once you have tasks to delegate, you might have many options in regards to who you’re going to delegate to. Here are some helpful steps to assist in that process:
1. Identify enthusiastic and capable employees
Recognize the employees that already enjoy doing a task at hand. You want to ensure that the task doesn’t fall into the responsibility of a team member that isn’t eager to complete it.
If a team member assigned to a task couldn’t care less about the delegated responsibilities, they're likely to not deliver the desired results. Make sure to pay attention to what your team members enjoy doing, and this step will come naturally.
For example: if the tasks at hand require close attention to detail, make sure the chosen employee is someone who is driven by being meticulous in their work.
2. Rate the capabilities of team member for certain tasks
An easy way to determine who to assign tasks to is by rating team members on their capabilities in relation to different areas of the work you’d like to delegate. This reduces the time spent deciding when it's appropriate to lean on each team member’s shoulders.
First, pick out a particular task at hand that you wish to delegate.
Then, identify the characteristics of team members who:
- Are fully capable of completing this task on their own,
- Would require some assistance from managers
- Are not capable at all, and should strictly be conducted by managers
Rating team members can easily help determine who is most capable of certain tasks and saves future headaches down the road.
3. Recognize your own and your team members’ strengths and weaknesses
Simply, if a team member isn’t particularly amazing at one specific task, in no way does that mean they have no beneficial strengths for the organization. A crucial skill is being able to figure out what strengths and weaknesses your team possesses and how to take advantage of what everyone brings to the table.
Mentally note what certain members of your team are fantastic at doing and highlight those strengths. Assure them that their work has a positive impact on the overall success of the organization.
With that said, also identify areas of improvement for members of your team. Offer ways to help bridge the gap between where they’re at, and where they could be. This type of support from management oftentimes boosts overall team morale and productivity.
Communicate with your team, either on an individual or group basis about the type of work they excel at. Bringing confidence and boosting your team’s personal work ethics will also bring upward success to the organization as a whole.
Understand your own personal strengths and weaknesses
Build your managerial strengths by providing opportunities to as many team members as possible. As managers, we can often look over team members who may not initially seem to be the right fit, yet may bring a unique perspective to the tasks or projects being delegated, which improves the outcomes.
Throughout this blog, we’ve recommended the steps to evaluate WHICH, WHO, and WHEN, to delegate effectively, however, it’s important to ensure equitable opportunities are presented for all team members. It is a real opportunity to develop your team as well, not just focusing on improving manager time spent on less than strategic tasks.
The 80/20 rule is very applicable to managerial delegation as it is to the many aspects of our world.
- Simply put, the 80/20 Pareto rule states how “80% of the tasks managers complete, only 20% of them produce positive results.” The pareto rule can be applied to everything from company sales to personal relationships
Effective managers who think with the 80/20 rule in mind are experts in prioritizing and delegating certain tasks. Identify what 20% of tasks require your focus, and determine what to do with the rest.
4. Establish trust and build confidence in your team members
Building confidence within your team can improve workplace culture, and establish trust among a team
Reach out to those team members that previously accomplished a delegated task that required little-to-no help. Discuss the amount of trust upper management has with that team member and reassure them the value that the company sees in them. This can present an opportunity for an open-dialogue with the team member to discuss what sort of needs they require to be successful.
Avoid micromanaging your team members by embedding this sense of trust within your team. Crafting trust within your team members allows them some more individualized freedom, continuing to build their independence and confidence to complete their delegated tasks.
It is incredibly crucial for managers to understand their delegation skills for the efficiency of their organization. Entrusting your team members builds confidence, allows team members to gain new beneficial skills, and increases overall productivity.
A crucial component to delegating is to consistently communicate with your team members. Outlined in our “How to Improve Workplace Communication Skills: A Guide for Managers” blog, ensuring that everyone in your organization understands effective communication can improve the overall productivity of a workplace.
Delegation is a key component in leadership skills and has a multitude of benefits. Whether you’re delegating low-priority tasks or complex challenging assignments, take a deliberate and thoughtful approach to delegation to propel your team & organization to the next level.