Effective delegation is an important tool for any manager and some may argue more of an art over science. But research shows us that some managers hesitate to delegate at all perhaps out of inexperience with delegation or reluctance to give projects away to others for many reasons – Perhaps an enjoyment on working on those tasks or a lack of confidence that the task will get done to satisfaction. You know the saying “if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself” .
Either way, to move to the next level in management, you must master both the science and the art of delegation. Here are some basic guidelines to get you started.
1. Determine exactly what you want to delegate. Think about the staff you have to delegate to and build a strategy that you feel can be accomplished with little input from you and for the employee you want to grow, think about delegating tasks that can be somewhat challenging and require them to think out of the box.
2. Determine the role and the responsibilities of the employee you want to delegate too. Are they handling a project from start to finish, are they handling a specific task within a bigger project? What is the level of responsibility you are handing over? Be clear in your instruction and ensure the employee understands what they are expected to do.
3. Communicate the results you want. If this is part of a bigger project, share what you are trying to achieve and be crystal clear on what the overall results are and what the results you want from this person. By sharing your overall vision, you open up opportunities for your teammate to use their own ideas to help you achieve your result.
4. Determine the authority the employee has over the delegated task. Define what decisions the employee is able to make and when they need to escalate to you. Be specific. If you leave this ambiguous, you leave much up for interpretation and could backfire with other team members and company policies.
5. Establish the schedule. This is the timeframe for the tasks to be complete and the schedule for checking in. Remember a successful manager always inspects what they expect from their staff and an established timeline helps guides the employee in prioritizing their activities and tasks.