Leaders, Let's Delegate More in 2024!
Delegating can be a struggle for some leaders at all levels, as they sometimes take on too much, potentially compromising their work quality, contributing to burnout, and preventing skill development.
Whether you are a front-line supervisor, middle manager, or senior executive, you will deal with employee performance issues, discipline problems, workplace conflict, finding good hires, time management and putting out fires and in addition, having to watch for the legal risks lurking in nearly every corner of your jobs.
The art of delegating starts with intentional direction, making sure others understand what needs to happen, why it is crucial, and how it fits with what others are doing.
Delegating has many benefits, including freeing time, prioritizing work, developing staff, upskilling your team, motivating employees, and helping with succession planning.
This article will present some ideas on delegating effectively for the road ahead.
Delegating can work best when the person taking on the task at hand fully understands what is required and is enthusiastic and willing to do it. As leaders, we must open the lines of communication with the team throughout the process to help them feel more engaged and motivated.
Choosing who takes on what tasks can be another conundrum for leaders, as you must match the task's demands with your team members' current skills, experience, and workload. It is a balance of risk and reward. One may be more suited to complete a task based on one's current skills and interests. On the other hand, selecting someone who does not have the required skills will present an opportunity to upskill them.
Here are some steps we can follow to communicate efficiently when delegating:
Please explain why you chose them; it can be to develop or practice specific skills.
Explain the task and ensure they understand what they need to achieve, why and in what time frame. Using the SMART method can be helpful: give them Specific, Measurable, and Achievable objectives with a Relevant and Timed deadline.
Ensure that they understand what's required by taking some time to explain and that there is an understanding of their part. This allows for clarification if needed.
Ensure they have the necessary tools and resources to accomplish the tasks. This includes tangible (finance, people, log-in details, facilities) and intangible (skills, support, context) resources.
Keep an open line of communication and check in on progress, but be careful not to micromanage. Touchpoints can give a chance to recognize team members' efforts. Colleagues want to feel they're taking responsibility, having an impact, and supporting the organization's broader business goals.
Be sure to provide feedback because it's great for motivation and development. It is always a good idea to identify how the team members like to receive recognition and feedback and address it accordingly.
Another great tool that has proven successful as part of delegating is the RACI Matrix, which sets out who is Responsible for carrying out each task or phase of a project, who is Accountable, who needs to be Consulted at each stage of the process and who should be Informed about what's happening.
Delegating tasks can be a strategy that develops employees' skills and promotes their growth, ultimately increasing productivity and efficiency. Leaders can optimize productivity and better utilize time, inspiring, enabling and empowering their teams to do their absolute best together to realize a meaningful and rewarding shared purpose through effective delegating for the road ahead.