As a member of management, it is important to learn how to delegate tasks in the workplace. This helps you grow the skills and aptitudes of the workers and allows you to ensure that work is completed.
This also helps to save you the stress that occurs when you do not have enough time to complete all the tasks that need to be completed.
By learning how to better delegate in the workplace, you can ensure that tasks are completed correctly and in a timely manner. Therefore, it is important to learn how to choose the correct worker for the task at hand as well as the importance of strong communication, the power of patience, when to give credit or constructive criticism and how to use feedback to improve your delegation skills.
Determining What Tasks Should be Delegated
The first part of delegation is determining what tasks should and should not be delegated. When determining whether or not a task can be delegated effectively, it is important to decide whether or not the task is urgent. For example, if there is a deadline for a task that is fast approaching, it may be wiser to handle the task yourself in order to avoid mistakes and ensure that a task is completed in the timely manner that is required.
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When choosing what tasks you should delegate, it is important to avoid delegating tasks that are directly related to your central role within the workplace. Furthermore, try to avoid delegating tasks that you would not otherwise do yourself. If you are not willing to complete the tasks that you delegate to workers, the workers may not hold you in high regard. It is also strongly recommended that you avoid consistent delegation of unpleasant tasks and roles. By routinely keeping the more desirable tasks to yourself, you may decrease job satisfaction in the workplace, which can in turn reduce the amount of quality work that your peers are willing to put out.
Choosing the Right Workers for the Task
To delegate effectively in the workplace, you will need to choose the person who is most suitable for the task at hand, especially if the task is a more difficult one or one that carries some urgency. Get to know your team and learn each member’s strengths and weaknesses. No one is great at everything, not even you. It is important to keep strengths and weaknesses in mind when selecting a worker for a task. By doing so, you will find delegation an effective tool in the workplace.
In addition to considering the strengths and weaknesses of your peers, it is important to learn about a team member’s current range of skills and the potential to hone new ones. In some cases, delegating a task can also be used to teach new skills and provide a learning experience.
Establishing a Strong Communication
Whenever delegating a task, especially if a worker is new to this type of task, it is important that you establish a clear and strong line of communication. Be up front about the expectations that you have about the task and provide relative instructions for performing the task at hand. If the project must be handed by a certain time, include this information in your expectation. The more direction that is given, the greater the likelihood that you will receive the results that you are looking for. Therefore, it is important that you provide instruction, even if the task process seems obvious to you. Encourage your team member to ask questions if he or she has any. Your team members will likely appreciate the communication that you establish.
Be Patient and Understanding When Delegating — Everyone Makes Mistakes
As mentioned previously, it is important that you establish open communication when delegating any task. Therefore, it is important that you are patient as your team members may have a variety of questions, especially if he or she will be taking on a task that they have not completed before.
It is also important to prepare for mistakes. While effective delegation can overall reduce your workload, there may be some hiccups in the beginning. Mistakes can and will arise, but mistakes also offer the opportunity to learn how to do things differently next time. This way of thinking can be applied to both your teammates and yourself. If a team member makes a mistake, it is important to provide further instruction in the future and let them know if the completed task did not meet expectations. If you misjudged a worker’s experience or aptitude, this can also provide you with a better understanding of the skills that your peers possess.
Teach New Skills and Develop Worker Aptitudes
Most skills can be learned and while some workers may have an aptitude towards certain tasks, do not be afraid to teach a new worker or one that lacks an aptitude how to complete a task. By developing and strengthening the skills of your workers, you will undoubtedly make delegation easier in the future as you will have more employees that are able to complete the task at hand. If a worker needs additional assistance when developing new skills and learning how to complete a task successfully, consider pairing the individual with another employee that has already excelled in a certain task.
Trust, but Check in When Delegating
After delegating a task to an employee, it is important to allow trust while still checking in periodically in order to make sure that everything is on the right track. This is an important line to balance as employees may not respond to you as well if you seem too overbearing. However, periodically checking in on a project will allow you to answer any additional questions that employees may have as well as ensure that the task is being completed correctly. This can also ensure that there is not a break in the communication that you established early on.
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
It is important that, throughout the delegation process, you give credit where credit is due. Recognize and thank anyone that assists you on a task and, in maintaining clear communication, let your employee know when they have done a great job. By doing so, you will encourage your employees to take charge of the work that they are assigned to and provide an overall higher quality output. By sharing the responsibility (and rewards) of a project, you will create a sense of community and shared responsibility that can only help you and your team.
If a team member has fallen short of your expectations on a task that you delegated to them, be sure to provide constructive criticism. Answer any additional questions that they may have to further the communication between you and your employee and present them the opportunity to learn from this mistake and do better in the future.
Use Feedback to Improve Future Delegations
Another important tool that you can use to improve your delegation skills is feedback from your team members. It can take time to delegate effectively and by inviting your employees to share their opinions on how well you are delegating the tasks at hand can really help you to improve this process. Furthermore, you can learn more about your employee’s aptitudes, strengths, weaknesses and how to better motivate your team. While the delegation process can never be “perfect”, there is always room for improvement. The more you hone your skills in delegation, the easier the entire process will become.
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