Delegating – When, How & to Whom

Sometimes people who are perfectionists have a hard time delegating tasks to others. Also, the ones that started their companies as a one-man-show can’t easily let go certain tasks to others once their company starts growing. In order to focus better on more important job tasks, you need to learn to delegate the less important ones or the ones that are not of your interest to others.

Quite frequently even the managers who delegate tasks and responsibilities to their employees do it the wrong way and end up doing even more than they did at the beginning or they end up with partially done tasks. So in order for everything to run smoothly, you need to know how to properly delegate tasks, when and to whom.

Select the proper tasks to delegate. Keep the ones of your interest for yourself as well as the ones that are important for your company. Out of the ones you are left with, try to find the ones that you could delegate to certain employees with the right skill set.

Don’t wait for volunteers. Even though some employees would perhaps volunteer for certain tasks, this does not mean they have the right skill set for such tasks. Always try to pick the right employees with the right skills but at the same time be fair and try not to delegate everything to the same employees.

Learn to trust your employees. Assuming that you selected your employees with the best skills while hiring, then learn to trust them. Start by delegating tasks of less significance if you have a hard time trusting others and then slowly re-assign those of higher importance.

Focus on the goal and not on the procedure. If you are delegating tasks to your employee, then let him complete them in his own way. You do not necessarily want to force your methods of work to everyone. The important thing is to get the final result. If you believe your method is the most efficient one, try suggesting it politely, but let your employees explore their own ways and routines as well.

Delegate resources and tools for task completion. Also, be prepared to train some employees for certain tasks. Although this may mean that you will spend more time on training them, it will result with less obligations on your plate in the long run. When delegating tasks, remember that your employees will need certain tools and resources to complete them, so always ask yourself they have an access to all resources they might need to complete that job successfully.

Set the deadline. While bearing in mind that your employees have limitations as well, delegating tasks without specific deadlines may cause a lot of work to stay partially finished with new tasks coming along every day. The best idea is to set a reasonable deadline and ask all your employees to stick to it.

Share responsibilities, but share credits as well. When delegating certain tasks to employees, make sure to delegate responsibilities for that specific work as well. Besides responsibilities, recognize your employee and give them a credit when they complete some job successfully. Do not hesitate to do that in public or by emailing your staff with a public credit for certain tasks of higher importance.

Be prepared for some difficulties. Employees without much experience may frequently get stuck with certain tasks without knowing how to proceed. Be prepared to help them with some advice or information. Do not jump in taking over that task or re-delegating it to others immediately. Try to help your employee resolve some obstacles and let him learn because you might need him in the future for similar work.

Learn to say “Thank you, good job!” to your employees when they deserve it. You need to show them you are grateful for the work they do; otherwise, after some time, they might start feeling unappreciated. Although you are the boss, you certainly want to keep your employees happy and your working environment positive.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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