In today’s day and age, entrepreneurs put a prime on increasing the productivity and efficiency of their businesses. They adopt a wide range of strategies, such as outsourcing, automation, and the like with the goal of getting more things done in a shorter amount of time.

But aside from outsourcing and automation, another increasingly popular strategy is delegating tasks to employees. In this framework, business owners or team leaders assign responsibilities to their team members and provide them with the autonomy and authority to do their jobs as they please. 

In theory, task delegation should provide employees with the opportunity to showcase their skills as well as give them the motivation needed to perform at their best. However, many people in a leadership role still don’t completely understand how proper and effective task delegation works.

To help with this, here is a quick overview of the concept of task delegation as well as a comprehensive guide on the whole delegation process. 


Why You Should Start Delegating Tasks

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Before we talk about the details of effective delegation, it is important to understand what task delegation is, how it works, and why it benefits businesses and organizations. 

Task delegation is a management strategy that involves team leaders redirecting and assigning tasks to their team members with the primary goal of increasing productivity. By distributing tasks to more people, tasks are completed in a significantly shorter period. 

However, effective task delegation is more than just reassigning tasks to employees. Instead, a key element of delegating tasks properly and effectively revolves around the concepts of autonomy, authority, and accountability. 

Delegation emphasizes the need to provide employees with freedom and flexibility to work under conditions that are conducive to them. It also encourages employees to do their tasks with little to no supervision and to make adjustments, changes, and decisions as they see fit.

Effective task delegation aims to eliminate a leader’s tendency to micromanage. Instead, it encourages employees to step up, showcase their talents, and sharpen their skills. This ultimately encourages personal and professional development, which can contribute to the organization’s growth and success.

Aside from that, effective task delegation also helps in strengthening relationships within the workplace. As part of the delegation process, leaders need to know their team members on a deeper level. They should be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses to determine if they are capable of handling assigned tasks. 

Furthermore, it is also important that leaders and members mutually trust each other. Leaders trust their employees to accomplish their tasks with minimal guidance and supervision. At the same time, employees should trust that their leaders made the right decision in giving them heavier responsibilities. 


Understanding When Not To Delegate

Aside from knowing when to delegate, it is also critical for leaders to know when not to delegate tasks to their team members.


Tasks Involving Sensitive or Confidential Information

One of the primary circumstances when team leaders should not delegate is if the task involves details or information that is considered sensitive or confidential. 

There are certain business matters that leaders need to handle with more care and consideration. This includes financial records, safety and security strategies, trade secrets, and the like that aren’t typically shared with just anyone in the organization. 

It is the leader’s responsibility to protect the organization and its reputation by ensuring that confidential and sensitive information remains safe and secure in the hands of the most trusted people in the business. Thus, tasks related to such should never be delegated to a subordinate.


Tasks Outside of the Employee’s Expertise

A key concept in effective delegation revolves around leveraging the employees’ skills, experience, and knowledge to maximize the productivity, efficiency, and quality of outputs. With this in mind, one of the key considerations when delegating tasks is determining the right tasks to assign to the right person.

When met with a task requiring specialized skills or knowledge, the leader must identify the person who holds the credentials to do so. Otherwise, delegating important tasks to someone who is not up to the task can do more harm than good.


Tasks That are Urgent and Important

Task delegation aims to improve productivity and boost efficiency. But one of the few things to consider when delegating is the amount of time available to accomplish them. 

There may be circumstances when a leader is dealing with a multitude of responsibilities, and there is a task that requires immediate action and attention. In this case, it is not ideal to delegate the task just so it can be done. 

Delegating tasks to employees at the last minute can be counterproductive. Therefore, it is the leader’s responsibility to stay on top of projects and ensure that no tasks are left hanging until it is too late.

When delegating a task, leaders must pay attention to the time available for the employee to accomplish a task or project. It is also important to consider that assigned employees would need time to adjust and gather their bearings before performing at their most productive and efficient selves.


Guide To Effective Delegation Process

Having an idea of what task delegation is one thing, but how do leaders effectively apply the concept of delegation in their organizations? Here is a quick guide as well as some tips on how to put the delegative strategy into practice.


Do: Learn Who Your Team Members Are

Knowing the people you are working with is a key factor in effective task delegation. A part of the proper delegation process involves determining who the most suitable person is for a specific job. 

To do so, team leaders need to have a good understanding of their team members, starting from their skills, background, and experience and down to their personal circumstances, beliefs, character, and personality. 

The purpose of such extensive characterization is to ensure that team leaders only assign responsibility to individuals who are well capable of doing their jobs, particularly with little to no help, guidance, or supervision. Otherwise, leaders would still have to hold their employees’ hands, rendering the delegation useless. 


Don’t: Micromanage Your Employees

One of the most notable aspects of task delegation is that it aims to lighten people’s workload and provide employees with autonomy and flexibility over their jobs. Under a delegative system, leaders take a step back and allow their members to take the lead in their projects, even giving them the power to make decisions without having to need their approval.

Considering this, a part of effective delegative leadership is that team leaders need to learn how to step away from their supervisory tasks and avoid micromanaging their employees. To do this, team leaders must put their full trust and confidence that their chosen employees are capable of doing a quality job, even without their help. 


Do: Provide Necessary Guidance and Resources

One of the goals of task delegation is gearing employees up for success. So, while the concept of delegation aims to avoid micromanagement, it is still essential for team leaders to prepare their members to take on their assigned tasks well. 

Considering this, good leaders can use the adjustment period to train their employees and guide them in the right direction. But aside from that, it is also critical that team leaders provide the right set of tools, equipment, and resources to do their jobs effectively by themselves.


Don’t: Punish Mistakes and Failures

Those unfamiliar with the process of proper task delegation often worry about one thing: who is responsible for mistakes and bad results? Concerns about accountability typically plague attempts to delegate tasks. This is because employees are not particularly excited to take on added responsibilities and bear all the responsibility when something goes wrong.

However, effective task delegation does not work that way. The leader is responsible and accountable for poor results from a delegated task. With that in mind, leaders must explain this to their employees. More importantly, they must follow this rule and not punish mistakes or failures. Doing so only puts unnecessary stress and pressure on the employees.


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