Delegation at work

It’s a skill that’s essential to all managers and employers, but one that’s not very well understood by a lot of them. Many make the mistake that delegating is all about being able to give orders, but it’s so much more than that.

It’s a workload management tool made to ensure you get the best use of the resources around you while fostering a more cooperative environment. Let’s go into how it involves much more than telling someone to do more work.

Know your No-Gos

One of the most common problems with delegation is when a manager or employer starts delegating things they really shouldn’t. Everyone is going to have their own boundaries as to wherever they think their core responsibilities lie.

Wherever yours is, make sure those core functions of your position aren’t delegated. For instance, tasks you don’t delegate include choosing who to hire and why, coming up with new company strategies, giving praise or criticism to other employees and so on.

Similarly, don’t delegate work just because it would be a hassle for you. That’s only likely to stir up discontent amongst the team.

Maintaining the Balance

You might think ‘they’re my employees, I can ask them to work how I please’. The fact is that no, you can’t. Delegation has to be agreed to if it goes outside the regular bounds of their position. You want them to be on board.

One way to ensure they are is to get an awareness of how much work they have on their plate as well. Don’t delegate to those who are already having trouble multitasking and managing their workload.

Internal or External?

You don’t have to delegate directly to the members of your team, either. In many cases, that simply isn’t sensible. For instance, if you need a new corporate website or computer consulting for businesses, you have to look at outsourcing as well.

The members of your own team might very well not have the expertise needed to carry out the task at hand, or it might be much more cost-effective to go external.

Make it a collaboration, not a dictatorship

If you want something done right, then keeping employees motivated to delegate is crucial. For instance, make sure the person is matched to the task. Offer them guidelines if it’s a new task for them, and provide what resources you can on the methods involved.

However, once you pass the project off to someone else, be aware that it’s no longer your primary concern. Let them be creative and find their own ways to engage the work, even if it’s not the direction you would normally take.

Delegation can be internal or external, it can be considerate of the employees’ needs, and it can be a collaborative workplace experience. It’s a tool to strengthen the business at the end of the day, not just a method to make your day easier.

How do you delegate tasks at your workplace?

*This is a collaborative post.