Do you feel the need to do everything yourself? Do you worry that if you delegate a task to a team member, it may not be completed to the standard you expect? Do you feel inadequate in giving work to others and think that it’s better to take on everything yourself to prove your worth?
You are not alone. Many new managers feel that they need to do everything themselves to ensure that it’s done right. This approach leads to burnout and a lack of trust in the team.
As a leadership coach for new managers, I often see managers struggle with delegating tasks effectively. If you are a new manager and just transitioning from an individual role, it can seem daunting to hand over work/responsibility to your team members. Don’t worry. Delegation is an important skill that you can learn over time. Knowing when and how to delegate responsibility to team members is a great way to become an effective leader. In this blog post, I share some tips and best practices for delegating tasks effectively as a manager.
What is Delegation?
Delegation is the act of assigning tasks and responsibilities to team members. Effective delegation allows managers to free up time to focus on high-priority tasks and strategic planning, while also empowering their team to take ownership and develop new skills. By delegating tasks, managers can grow their people, build trust with their team and foster a culture of collaboration and accountability.
If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.
– John Maxwell
How to overcome the challenges of Delegation?
Delegation is challenging, especially if you are a new manager.
One of the biggest challenges new managers face when delegating tasks is the fear that the task won’t be completed to their standards. To overcome this challenge, it’s important to build trust with your team. You can do this by setting clear expectations, providing support and feedback, and acknowledging the efforts and accomplishments of your team members.
Another challenge is knowing which tasks to delegate and to whom. To be able to delegate effectively, it’s important for you to match tasks to team members’ strengths and skills. This not only ensures that the task is completed effectively but also provides you with opportunities to develop new skills in your people.
A challenge for new managers is letting go of their egos and holding onto important or visible tasks. Depriving your team member of opportunities to develop new skills, limits the potential of your team. To overcome this, you should focus on high-impact work and delegate tactical tasks to your team members.
A star wants to see himself rise to the top. A leader wants to see those around him rise to the top.
– Simon Sinek
What are some factors to consider when deciding whether to Delegate?
Before delegating tasks, ask yourself these questions:
- Is the task appropriate to delegate, or is it a high-impact or business-critical task that requires your personal attention?
- Are you willing to delegate the task and let go of control, or do you have any concerns or reservations about doing so?
- Who is the most appropriate team member to delegate the task to? What skills, experience, workload, and development needs do they have?
- Can your team member benefit from the opportunity to learn and grow by taking on this task?
- Does your team member have the information, context, and resources necessary to complete the task successfully?
- Does your team member have the necessary authority to complete the task, or will they require additional support or approval?
- Is there sufficient time for you to delegate the task effectively, including training, answering questions, and reviewing work?
- Will you need to check in with your team member regularly to ensure the task is on track?
- Will failure to complete the task successfully have a significant impact on the project or the team’s goals?
- Will the task recur in the future, and can you trust your team member to complete it successfully again?
What are some strategies or techniques for delegating tasks effectively?
Learning how to delegate tasks effectively not only makes you a better manager but also empowers your team members to learn new skills and participate in interesting projects. Here are some best practices to follow in order to delegate tasks effectively.
- Create a prioritization system for your tasks and projects. Check out my blog post to learn more about the Prioritization Frameworks that I use frequently.
- Provide clear instructions and expectations for the task, including the goal, necessary resources, and deadline for completion.
- Clearly define how you will measure success. Your team members will work more efficiently when they have clear expectations and flexibility.
- Set milestones and check-ins to ensure that the task stays on track. Offer support and feedback when necessary.
- Match tasks to team members’ strengths and skills to ensure that the task is completed effectively and efficiently.
- Empower team members to make decisions and take ownership of the task, while also being available to provide support and guidance.
- Give your team the space to complete their work independently, demonstrating your confidence in their abilities and expertise.
The really expert riders of horses let the horse know immediately who is in control, but then guide the horse with loose reins and seldom use the spurs.
– Sandra Day O’Connor
Delegating tasks effectively is a crucial skill for new managers to develop. By delegating tasks, you can free up time to focus on high-priority tasks, while also empowering your team and building trust. To delegate tasks effectively, it’s important to build trust with your team, match tasks to team members’ strengths, and follow strategies such as providing clear instructions and setting milestones. By practicing effective delegation, you can increase employee engagement, improve team performance and build a strong, successful team.