Most people have a love-hate relationship with delegating tasks, preferring to juggle a long to-do list rather than focus on one thing at a time. On one hand, you want to be in control of the final product and, as a result, you prefer to tackle the task yourself. On the other hand, you could always use the extra time to complete something else on your to-do list (or give yourself more time to focus on what you truly love) — and that’s where delegation comes in.
There’s no doubt that effectively delegating tasks is an art. If mastered, the result is increased efficiency and productivity not just for yourself, but for your business or company, too. To help you more effectively incorporate delegation into your daily routine, try these 4 tips.
Hire the right people. This seems like a no-brainer, but if you don’t have talented, resourceful people to whom you can delegate tasks, you’re missing a key piece of the puzzle. Instead of waiting for a looming project deadline, take a moment to assess your staffing needs now. And look at your own task list, too. What are some of the things you don’t particularly like doing or are out of your area of expertise? Use that as a frame of reference to help you make a hiring decision, then you’ll be ready to hit the ground running once your new staff member starts. And another note? Take time to hire employees in whom you’re confident. If you trust the ability of those who are working for you, delegating to them becomes substantially easier.
Know your employees. Just as you know your own strengths and weaknesses, know that information about your employees, too. Maybe one person is particularly good at organizational and administrative tasks, while another is an expert at client relations and interaction. Knowing (and using) your employees’ strengths will make task delegation a more natural process, leaving you free to focus on your professional strengths.
Be clear. When you do delegate a task, make sure your instructions are clear and concise. That will not only help your employee more fully understand what’s needed, but you’re more likely to get the results you want, too. It’s natural for employees to request additional clarification, especially if they’re doing something new. Yet making a point to give them the information and resources they need up front will make the entire process more effective.
Communicate. Once you’ve entrusted a task to someone else, make sure to ask for periodic updates regarding the project status. Sure, there’s a fine line between micromanaging and occasionally checking in — yet you also want to make sure you’re in the loop regarding project progress and any other pertinent details. Not only will it help give you peace of mind, but you’ll have a chance to help with any obstacles that may arise, too.
As you begin to delegate more tasks and projects, it can be tough to give up control. Understand that you’re not only helping yourself be more efficient, you’re also giving someone else a chance to excel at something they may truly love. You’re helping the company be more efficient, too, which we like to call a win-win situation!
Do you have trouble delegating tasks? Or have you learned to successfully delegate work to your colleagues? We’d love to learn from your experience and hear your tips!