Delegation is critical to running a successful operation, whether you run a small business or manage a large one. Many managers are under the impression that completing as many tasks as possible from the time they walk in the door until the time they leave is the mark of a good manager, but the opposite is often true. In fact, a good manager can walk away from the operation and still see it run just as smoothly.
Delegation can be tricky, however. The following are a few tips that can help to improve how tasks are delegated within your company.
Pick the Right Person for Each Task
Certain tasks can be done by most anyone, while others require specialized skills. When delegating, make sure that you are assigning the specialized tasks to those with the right qualifications, but also make sure that you aren’t wasting the time of highly skilled employees by assigning them mundane tasks. Take the time to identify the right person for each task before delegating.
Have Patience and Realistic Expectations
The first time that you assign something to an employee, you are likely going to lose productivity as they learn how to perform the task. This lag shouldn’t be permanent, but be patient and understanding while the employees learn how to perform. While you may be able to perform tasks faster, your rewards will be great when employees become proficient at a multitude of tasks that you have been doing yourself.
Provide Plenty of Feedback
Since employees are just learning how to perform new tasks, they will have no idea whether they are doing a good job or not. Be sure to provide plenty of feedback that lets employees know exactly what they are doing right and what could be done better. Feedback should be given continuously as employees improve on their tasks or make changes to their approach.
Empower Instead of Micromanaging
Micromanagement can be discouraging and nerve wracking when you are learning a new task. Giving employees the freedom to do things both wrong and right will help them to better learn how to perform the tasks on their own so that they will become proficient faster. Employees will also likely feel more trusted and valued when you allow them to complete tasks without looking over their shoulders.
Be Appreciative and Give Recognition
After an employee performs a task that you have delegated, be genuinely appreciative for the time that he or she has saved you. If they have performed well, recognize them in front of peers or even provide some sort of incentive as a token of your gratitude. Sometimes just a thank you and a word of praise can go a long way in boosting an employee’s confidence and motivation.
Delegation can help to save managers’ and employers’ time and brainpower for more important tasks while extracting the greatest value from labor hours. Delegation may also assist with cross training and employee development. Use these tips to improve the way that your organization handles delegation.