Table of contents:

How to properly delegate work tasks
How to properly delegate work tasks

Categorical orders, inattention to the interests of employees and lack of gratitude are not the most effective approach to the distribution of tasks in the team.

How to properly delegate work tasks
How to properly delegate work tasks

A good leader is not one who shoulders everything on his own shoulders, but one who is able to assemble a strong effective team and competently distribute responsibilities, including unplanned ones.

Delegation, that is, delegating tasks from one employee to another, helps to increase the level of engagement in the team, and managers who succeed in this, on average, bring their companies 33% more revenue than others.

But just saying “do this” is wrong. An orderly tone, a poorly scheduled task, a lack of explanation - all this can cause rejection and, as a result, end up with not the best result.

Harvard Business School expert Lauren Landry spoke about the rules that will help delegate effectively and improve performance.

1. Assess the capabilities of employees

There are tasks that cannot be delegated. For example, they are an integral part of your responsibilities. Or another employee does not have the knowledge and qualifications to perform such tasks. Or, conversely, they are much simpler than those that he usually does. For example, asking a sales manager or auditor to find a master to repair an office coffee machine would be, to put it mildly, inappropriate.

In general, before you entrust something to someone, you should ask yourself:

  • Will a person cope with this task? Does he have enough time or will it interfere with his other responsibilities?
  • Will the employee have enough knowledge and skills? Or do you have to bring him up to date for so long that it's easier to do it yourself or find another specialist? Let's say you need to draw up a report on the team's work on a project, but the colleague to whom you want to entrust this has never done this at all, which means that the business will move slowly, with a creak, and you may have to redo everything.
  • Will this task help the employee improve some skills, gain experience? This is optional, but it would be nice.
  • Is there an employee who can handle it better?

2. Try to accommodate everyone's interests and needs

For example, you need to organize team building for the whole team, but there is no special employee for this. But there is a person who is strong in communication and would like to gain experience in organizing events, training and personnel management. You can offer this task to him.

Or the company is temporarily left without an SMM specialist, but there is someone who is well versed in the algorithms of social networks and would not mind trying his hand at marketing.

Of course, this is not always possible. There are boring tasks that nobody likes. Still, it will not be superfluous to critically evaluate the team and think about who the new assignment could benefit.

3. Set the task correctly

When addressing an employee, explain why you want to entrust the task to him, how it can be useful for the company and for him personally. Be sure to praise and list his strengths that influenced your choice. Be polite.

Tell us about the assignment in detail. Have a clear goal and timeline. Provide all required documents and other information. It will be very good if all the necessary materials are clear and structured, so that the employee does not have to spend many hours figuring out what's what.

4. Provide normal communication and a comfortable atmosphere

Let the person know that you are always there to help, suggest, answer questions. Warn that if for some reason he does not cope or misses the deadline, he will be able to talk to you, and together you will come up with something.

Ask what he needs to complete the task. You may need to provide him with additional information or, for example, release him from current affairs.

That being said, it is important to remain friendly so that the employee really does not hesitate to contact you if something goes wrong.

5. Be on the safe side

When you complete a task on your own, you are in complete control of the situation. If someone else takes on the job, there can be a million problems that may result in poor results or missed deadlines.

Think in advance what you will do in case of an unfavorable development of events. Be prepared to take on the task yourself or quickly outsource it to someone else.

Try to treat these situations not as a failure, but as an experience that will help you better understand your team, its capabilities and the level of organization.

6. Be patient

Yes, there are things that are faster to do on your own than to entrust someone, and then spend time answering questions and monitoring the result.

It is important to remember that you are not a human orchestra, and for effective work you need to develop your team, give employees the opportunity to do something new, become more competent, learn, including from your mistakes.

This means that you have to be patient if someone asks too many questions or copes with an assignment slower than you expected.

7. Give and ask for feedback

When the assignment is completed, be sure to tell the employee how you evaluate his work: what you liked and what you are ready to praise him for, what points could be improved, what should be done for this and what to look for in the future.

Be correct. Do not swear, do not raise your voice, do not devalue or criticize for no reason. Be sure to start with praise, and then gently talk about what needs to be worked on.

If the task for the person was new and difficult, ask him how he worked on it. What was easy and what was not, what was interesting and what did not like at all, how he assesses the result himself, what he would like to improve and how he plans to do it.

8. Don't forget to say thank you

And not only one-on-one, but also publicly, especially if the task was not easy. Praise the person in front of the whole team, give him an extra day off, mark as the best employee, if the company practices this.

Also, you should not appropriate the fruits of someone else's labor. Instead of saying “I organized the team building” or “I prepared the report,” it is better to emphasize that you prepared everything together and your colleague helped a lot. People appreciate being recognized for their merits, making them more involved and loyal to the company.