Effective task delegation is a beautiful yet complex process. It requires careful and tedious consideration way before you delegate a task to an employee. And even then, you need to be consistently present but not overbearing to the point of micromanaging. You need to be able to show support, guidance, and training while also keeping your employee at the forefront.
While some leaders struggle to adopt a laissez-faire leadership style, others simply fear the consequences of putting their employees at the wheel. That is why it is important to sharpen your delegation skills and learn how to delegate effectively from the start. To help you with this, here is a comprehensive guide on delegative leadership and effective task delegation.
Steps To Effective Task Delegation
Understand Why You’re Delegating
The concept of effective task delegation is not on every leader’s radar. While it’s common for leaders and managers to allocate tasks to their employees, delegation provides them with the authority, autonomy, and responsibility to carry out their assigned tasks based on their own volition.
This means that they can create changes and make decisions however they see fit. Taking this into consideration, the first step in effectively delegating tasks to your employees is to understand the circumstances of why you need to delegate.
There are several reasons why a leader should consider delegating tasks to employees. One of the primary reasons is that they have a significantly heavy workload that hinders their ability to perform other tasks and responsibilities. Not only will delegating tasks lighten their workload, but it will also save them time and allow them to focus on more tedious and technical projects.
Another reason why leaders choose to delegate is to encourage their employees’ development and growth. Effective delegation allows team members to take sole responsibility for a task or project.
Under this circumstance, they would be pushed to the best of their abilities and are even motivated to learn new skills. With delegation, leaders allow employees to shine and unlock their hidden potential.
Lastly, leaders tend to start delegating tasks to strengthen employee relationships. Trust is a crucial element in effective delegative leadership. Leaders must trust their employees to do the job right, and it’s also important for employees to believe in their leader’s given trust and confidence.
To start delegating tasks, leaders need to understand the purpose or goal of their decision. Whether it’s to lighten their workload, encourage employee growth, or strengthen the bond between them and their team members.
Know What To Delegate
Moving on to the actual delegation process, leaders need to learn what tasks should and should not be delegated. Some managers often struggle to identify what tasks are suitable for delegation. Some may feel that they are burdening their employees with too much work or simply allocating tasks of their own.
To start delegating effectively, leaders should be aware of the types of jobs that can be delegated to employees. To give you a better idea, here are some of the tasks that leaders should consider delegating.
Time-consuming tasks and repetitive work
One of the main reasons why leaders delegate is to reduce their workload and save time. Thus, one of the most common tasks delegated to employees includes those that are time-consuming or repetitive.
Projects beyond your expertise
While leaders can be the jack of all trades, it is highly unlikely that they aren’t experts in all of them. Leaders and managers often handle a wide array of departments with differing skills and specializations.
Taking this into account, it is only ideal for leaders to delegate projects that are beyond their scope of expertise. If a job requires skills that an employee is significantly better at, don’t be afraid to pass them over to them. Their knowledge and training will often allow them to do a better job than you.
Tasks that are not covered in your job description
While leaders have an overarching responsibility and obligation to fulfill, they also have a defined job description that lists the scope of their duties and responsibilities. At times, some jobs fall out of this scope. Under this circumstance, it is best to delegate to employees to which this project fits their job description.
Work that opens opportunities for growth and training
Delegating tasks provides the employees the stage to showcase their skills. At the same time, it also allows leaders to find the perfect opportunity to train their employees, develop their skills, and encourage career growth.
Taking this into consideration, leaders should consider delegating tasks that are well within their expertise and allow their employees to take the stage. With this, leaders can unlock their potential and provide the guidance and training they need to grow.
Not To Delegate
While knowing what tasks to delegate can help leaders decide what to give out, it is equally important for them to know which ones should never be delegated to employees. Here are some tasks leaders should avoid when delegating.
- New initiatives
- Confidential projects
- Sensitive and personal jobs
- Projects with legal restrictions
- Team and crisis management
- Tasks that are too technical to explain
Find And Prepare The Person To Delegate To
Once you have a task in mind to delegate, the next step is to find the person perfect for the job. In this step, it is crucial that you know who you’re employees are exactly. This includes their interests, background, experience, expertise, characteristics, and personality.
Since you would be giving them a huge load of authority and responsibility, you must be well aware of what they are capable of and their growth potential. Ask yourself if they are capable, interested, committed, or coachable. Without these, they may not be the right person for the job despite their skills or experience.
Explain The Task To Be Delegated
However, effective task delegation doesn’t stop once you have a task and a suitable person in mind. The next thing you need to do is to explain what exactly needs to be done. In some circumstances, employees may not be easily convinced to take on a specialized task or such a heavy responsibility.
Taking this into consideration, it is your job as a leader to practically sell your proposal and encourage them to take the job. A part of this is explaining the specifics of the task, its goals and objectives, as well as the consequences it holds. Good leaders should be able to bring out the courage and confidence in their employees successfully.
Don’t Rid Yourself Of Responsibility
While delegating tasks should save you time and lighten your load, that doesn’t mean that you are no longer responsible for the process, progress, and outcome of your employee’s work. Even if you assign responsibility and delegate work to your employees, you are still accountable for what they do.
Taking this into consideration, it is important for leaders to still be present. While micromanaging your employees is not part of a proper delegative leadership style, you can still offer feedback, guidance, and training whenever asked or needed.
Aside from this, you should also be available to provide whatever kind of support they would need to achieve their goals. Whether it’s human resources, financial resources, informational resources, and even practical and physical support. It is important that employees feel that they are not alone to keep them focused and motivated.
Most importantly, leaders should be able to give praise and show their appreciation. As your employee, encouragement coming from their leader and mentor can highly motivate them to continue working at their best.
Delegating tasks to team members can bring wonders to your business or organization. Once you learn how to delegate tasks, you can effectively assign tasks and responsibilities to select employees you feel capable on their own.
With task delegation, employees can develop their skills, expand their knowledge, and boost their careers. Leaders can also enjoy a lighter workload and spend more time on executive and technical tasks.
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