Have you had frustrating experiences when you've delegated tasks to staff?
Has the work not been completed on time, or even at all, or been sub-standard?
The reason why businesses and teams exist is to do jobs that are too large, too complex or too challenging for any one individual to do on his or her own.
So why do so many managers still try to do everything themselves?
Assigning work to others is an integral part of getting things done efficiently, however many people feel uncomfortable with delegating.
Do you find yourself saying things like these to yourself?
“It’s just quicker to do it myself.”
“They won’t do as good a job as I can.”
“He won’t want to do this job.”
The next time you want to delegate a task, take a few minutes to plan who you will delegate to and how you will communicate your requirements.
We’ve been teaching this 9 step process to managers for many years now with great success.
The 9 step process of delegation:
1. STOP! Think before you act – “Should I be doing this task/job myself?”
- Ask yourself “Is this the best use of my time? If not, then delegate.
2. Identify the right person – consider availability, competence, skills etc.
- Select the person who has the skills and attitude to do the task.
- Will they be able to take on the task and run with it? Or do they need support/training?
3. Plan before you delegate – standards, timelines, resources etc.
- Clarify job purpose
- Identify key result areas
- List tasks and activities
4. Decide on responsibility / authority / accountability.
- Establish levels of responsibility and authority based on the person’s abilities, skill levels, competence. How far can they go without your input?
- Gain commitment that they will accept responsibility. Then don’t allow them to shirk the agreed responsibility.
5. Briefing and clarification – communicate clearly the ‘why/what/how/when’.
- Why does it need to be done
- What is needed? Resources, support etc. What to do if things go wrong.
- How is it to be done?
- When to start, when is it due?
- Ask enough questions to assess understanding, observe their body language.
6. Set progress reviews – monitor progress, deadline, standards.
- Be clear about specific results/standards and how they will be measured.
- Establish clear progress reviews with dates/times agreed up front.
7. Delegate in full – allow people to do the job.
- If you have communicated clearly, hand the job over and don’t interfere.
8. Completion – evaluate the process, provide feedback, build goodwill.
- Be prepared that the person may approach the task in a different way and complete it differently to what you would do.
- Say “Thank you” for a job well done or effort made. It builds goodwill for the future.
9. Have a backup plan if job/project is significant – what to do if things go wrong.
- It’s always wise to have a backup plan.
We’ve been teaching time management for many, many years now, so if you’d like to have more in-depth training, we have a Time Management – Essential skills for Leaders & Managers course that we run several times a year.
On this course you learn how to stay focused under pressure, improve productivity, reduce precious management time on ‘fire fighting’, analyse current work practices and generate options for managing your workload effectively.