Some consider it to be a dirty word in the workplace. If you’re a member of the “I know how I want it done so I’ll just do it myself” tribe like me, you probably cringe at the very idea of handing over your tasks for someone else to complete. But the reality is that this mindset can be more hurtful than helpful, and your ultimate goal should be to work smarter, not harder. Despite your reservations, delegation can serve a great purpose in the workplace. To help you take the plunge, let’s debunk the myths as we discuss the benefits of sharing the work:
- A reduction in your workload. Get more done faster by utilizing your resources … i.e. your team. They’re there to help you get the job done. Let them.
- Improve your performance and increase your productivity levels. Do away with your role of Octo-Boss, and cut down on the counterproductive multi-tasking. Removing the extraneous duties from your load allows you to focus on the more pressing matters on your lengthy “Things to Do” list, give them the undivided attention they each deserve and get them done faster (and move on to the next pressing item).
- Positive effects on employee motivation. Show your faith in your team and their abilities, empower them and allow them to rise to the challenge. When your employees feel and know that you trust them enough to take the reins for you, this can serve as a much-needed office morale booster.
Now, that we’ve demystified the whole delegation thing, let’s discuss how to do it effectively. I mean, you can’t just hand out assignments all willy-nilly. You need to put a plan in place, and that plan should involve:
- Creating a list of every task waiting to be completed.
- Writing down your name by the tasks that you and only you are responsible for.
- Writing down the name of the employee or person who you feel would be able to complete each of the remaining tasks (right next to the task).
- When assigning duties, don’t set your people up for failure. Make sure the person you choose to delegate to actually has the ability to perform the task at hand and the time to get it done.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate! Make your expectations (i.e. mode of communication, updates, time lines, etc.) crystal clear from that start to avoid any confusion.
- Follow up (but don’t micromanage) as needed to ensure that things are moving along with the task.
Sounds simple enough, right? The truth is that it can be. It’s our resistance to the process can sometimes make things harder than they need to be. When done correctly, delegation can be a true life saver and can help you reach your bottom line faster. On the flip side, when done haphazardly, you end up creating more problems and more work for yourself, and thus, completely negate the whole purpose of delegating in the first place. Ok … time to get into gear. Put your plan together, delegate to your heart’s content and see the difference it makes in your overall productivity. How has delegation saved your life in the workplace? I’d love to hear your story in the comments below.