Delegation is defined as giving control, authority, or responsibility to another person. For leaders today, delegation is an essential skill necessary to make the best use of time and resources. It also provides others to which tasks are delegated to an opportunity to develop and grow. For example, entrepreneurs, business owners, and those at various levels of leadership commonly delegate tasks to contractors or employees so they can focus on more important, non-routine or time-consuming tasks.
Importance of Delegating Tasks
As mentioned, one of the most important skills of a leader is delegation. Many may think that leaders delegate simply because they do not want to perform certain tasks. This is not true! A leader cannot and should not do all tasks. Learning the skill of delegation empowers your team; it helps build trust and allows you to develop others. As a leader, delegation helps you identify individual strengths and build trust within your team. Taking on more responsibility as a leader is impossible without effective delegation.
Developing your Delegation Skills
It is not only important for you to be productive and valuable; it is also essential for your employees to be productive and valuable. A successful leader develops others and strives to help them reach their full potential. Currently, most people work at 50 percent of their capacity. Tapping into that unused 50-percent potential through effective delegation can significantly increase productivity.
Three Steps of Delegation
- Delegation begins with thinking through the task that needs to be done. Clearly define your objectives. What is your desired outcome?
- Setting performance standards is the second step in delegation. In what ways will you measure the quality of the work?
- In the third step, you should set a deadline and a timeline for getting the work done.
Elements of Effective Delegation
Managing and delegating effectively requires six essential elements:
- Choose the right person. The wrong person being selected for a key task is one of the main reasons for delegation failure.
- Find the perfect match.A good match between the job’s requirements and a person’s abilities is imperative. If you’re assigning someone a task, make sure they are qualified to do the job.
- Give them confidence Develop the confidence and competence of newer staff by delegating smaller tasks first and easing into larger, more complex tasks.
- Clarify the Goals. Be crystal clear of the expected outcome. Set clear and realistic expectations. If possible, provide examples or any processes that must be followed. Explain what you need, identify available resources and all provide relevant information. Setting clear, realistic, and measurable goals is an important element of delegation.
- Empower the Delegate. Optimal results will not be achieved if the appropriate authority is not given to the person assigned to complete the delegated task.
- Give Credit. Recognize those that completed the delegated task. Providing credit will create a more engaged team and fuel the team’s potential to rise to greater levels of success.
Ensure that the appropriate resources are available. To those completing delegated tasks, it is important that available time and money be identified, and the person they should turn to for questions or assistance.
By including these elements into your delegation process, you can develop your team to take on larger and more complex tasks with great success.