Have you perfected the art of delegating at work? (And trust me, it is indeed an art!) If not, this can be the year you make it happen!
If you’ve been spending time with me on the blog this month, you might already know March is all about happiness and wellbeing. What better way to bring balance to your work life than learning to collaborate with your coworkers in this beautifully harmonious way?
Plus, when you don’t delegate and simply tackle everything yourself, you’re inviting a lot of extra stress into your workplace. Extra hours. Burnout. Even resentment of your colleagues – the ones you refuse to delegate to in the first place!
Why not break out of this cycle and free up your time to dedicate yourself to more strategic tasks?
Get started with these four tips:
- Keep an eye out for your top performers – and delegate to them!
You won’t be able to keep your top performers around for very long if you don’t give them the opportunity to contribute and grow. Get in the habit of frequently asking yourself: “Who else could do this well?” In fact, it’s time to question every task on your plate, especially the ones you’ve be doing for years.
By involving them, you’ll develop your top players’ capabilities and make their jobs more challenging and enjoyable.
- Match delegation opportunities with your employees’ skills.
When done correctly, delegation is a chance for learning opportunities – for you and for the employee. Make it a priority to place people in situations where their best can be applied. If you’re not quite sure where to start, ask people what they want to contribute. Then, allow them to do it!
Each time you delegate tasks to your employees, you’re building a culture of trust within your team. When you give them important tasks, you’re relying on them to take these tasks and complete them. This is powerful for the team’s working culture and for the self-esteem of the employees.
Another approach is to regularly move tasks around between different team members. The flexibility of your team will grow as a whole, and everyone will improve their skills – a huge win for your organization!
- Have honest, intentional conversations around responsibilities, duties, and cross-functional activities.
Whenever possible, the first meeting with an employee to delegate a task should happen in a voice-to-voice interaction. It makes it clear this discussion is important!
You’ll want to explain exactly why you chose this person for the assignment. Then, make it clear what results need to be achieved with the task. True delegation is handing off the responsibility not only for performing tasks but for producing results. Bring anyone else who needs to know that you’ve delegated this responsibility into the loop – this helps to set your employee up for success.
All throughout this discussion, encourage him or her to ask plenty of questions. Be sure you’re on the same page about timing as you confirm the employee’s understanding and commitment.
- Don’t forget to follow up!
Be there for any necessary coaching or guidance. You’ll need to be available for questions and to help head off any resistance from others.
As tempting as it is sometimes, resist the urge to look over the shoulders of those to whom you have delegated tasks. Instead, frame critiques as feedback and reinforce what’s going well.
Mark the calendar for checkpoint dates and updates on progress and stick to them!
Delegation is an essential skill for any great leader.
Why not begin today? The next time you find yourself feeling bogged down with your to-do list, ask yourself with each and every item, “What’s the best use of my time? And who else could do a wonderful job with this?”
And when you find yourself hesitating or struggling with delegating tasks, ask yourself if you’d be where you are today if someone hadn’t delegated learning opportunities to you.
Then, go get started!