New managers often struggle to delegate tasks that they can complete with their eyes shut. But getting others to do what you did so well is key to being a good manager.
You’ve finally reached the dizzy heights of management and are now responsible for other people’s work as well as your own. You’d better give them something to do – but how? Delegating is notoriously tricky. If you’ve ever said ‘it’ll never be as good if I give it to someone else’ or ‘if I want something done quickly, I just do it myself’, the following guide is just for you. However if you really want to develop your managers to delegate effectively then consider our In House 1 day Delegation Skills Training Course which will also provide your managers with vital coaching tools and techniques that are fundamental to delegating effectively.
- Think ahead. Work out exactly what you can delegate. Ask yourself what can only be done by me? If you are honest with yourself you will be surprised by the results.
- Tailor work to the individual. It should be challenging and make use of specific skills that you may not have. People generally respond well to opportunities to learn that will also challenge them.
- Delegate outcomes not tasks. Simply saying ‘do this, do that’ is not true delegation. True delegation is giving people responsibility for an outcome or result. It is much more satisfying to have ownership of a complete outcome than simply picking up bits and pieces of work.
- Be positive. Don’t start by saying ‘I know you’re really busy and don’t have time for this but…..’ Ask for help, explain why the job is important and why you’ve chosen the individual.
- Set clear parameters. Specify what results are needed, the deadline and how often the employee should update you. ‘The delegator must have a clear definition of what needs to be done but should have room to use their own initiative.
- Let go. Don’t check up on them obsessively. Make yourself available to answer questions but allow them space to work on their own.
- Get on with your work. Ultimately you have responsibility for maximising the performance of your team. Think about how you can achieve this, what is it you need to do?
- Hold them to account. While you must not check up on them obsessively you must hold them to account for the delivery of their results. Make sure you regularly review performance and progress with them. Recognise their efforts when appropriate, give them feedback that helps them improve as well as take consequential actions if they continually fail to deliver.
Delegation is notoriously tricky, especially if you believe that ‘I am the only person who can do this well’. Hopefully the above will guide you to delegate more effectively and get the most from your own as well as your team’s performance.