For some, delegating comes easily, maybe way too easy.

For the rest of us letting go of tasks, even unimportant tasks it is difficult.

Statistics show that less than 30-40 percent of managers think they can delegate well, and out of those, only a third are considered good delegators by their team members.

Shortly this means only around one manager in ten knows how to delegate and empower others.

Let’s start with “Why” don’t we delegate enough?

There are various reasons behind this however there seems to be 3 key elements:

  1. Time. When we start delegating initially it will take at least twice as long to delegate the task than it will take for us to do it. Frustrating right? Let’s remember however that once we delegate something successfully, it is out of our plate for good, the only thing we have to do is properly monitor.
  2. Fear. Effective delegation makes us replaceable, which is a bit scary to begin with. On the long run, it allows us to spend time growing—rather than simply maintaining our business.
  3. Trust. We don’t know if we can trust others to do the job or we think we cannot or should not.

What ingredients we need to start delegating properly?

  1. We need to choose carefully what tasks we are willing to delegate and what not. Let’s keep the most critical tasks for the business with us, and the tasks that only we can do. Let’s delegate the rest.
  2. TRUST. Not easy for the manager, however for the employees with most potential, trust is by far the highest form of motivation. It increases speed and decreases cost. How trust works? It has 2 dimensions: first there is the character of the person and then there is the competence. Choose the employee who ticks both the boxes for the job in hand.
  3. Give clear assignments and instructions. Find the right balance between over – explaining and providing the team with enough information for them to successfully complete the task.
  4. Allow the ones we delegate the job, to have it done their way. One can reach from A to B in different ways… who knows maybe the team can find a better way than ours. Always remember if we hired smart people in our team to tell them step by step what to do then we are wasting our time or money…or maybe even both.
  5. Monitor progress and provide feedback When we delegate tasks that take more than one or two days, it is essential to monitor the progress and provide feedback. Ideally, we should identify project milestones to ensure the project stays on track when initially discussing the plan.
  6. Have a clear deadline in place If we need something in 3 days there is no point of getting it after one week. At the same time it is not correct to expect the job to be done in 3 days if we did not mention this initially as the timeline.
  7. Evaluate performance and acknowledge your team this will provide satisfaction for work done, and learnings for elements missed.
  8. Avoid reverse delegation. Once we delegate a task we need to try and refrain from taking it back. It can demotivate the person it was handed over to and also … in the long run, every team member needs to learn or move on to something he/she is more talented at.

Author: Adriana Usvat

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