As a manager myself, it can be very hard to delegate work and responsibilities to other employees. I think all of us want to make sure the job is done accurately and according to our, often unrealistic, standards. There is also the other side: “I will do this because explaining to someone how to do this will take longer and it needs to be done now” If you are anything like me you will know the struggles of delegating work, therefore I created some points here to convince you (and myself) that delegating is much better than doing it yourself.
So how do you start delegating successfully?
Don’t look for perfection
The main objective of any job is to get it done. Trying to create a masterpiece is not what you want to achieve for every task. Manage expectations for any job by establishing a standard of quality and providing a fair time frame to reach such standards. Once you have done this, let the people who are going to do the job decide how to carry out the project.
Complete job instructions are key
In order for any job to be completed successfully it is important that the people who will be completing the job has all the information. This might sound very obvious, but keep in mind that other people can’t read your mind and the only way they are going to achieve the expected results is if you give them all the instructions. When giving someone a task to do make sure they know ALL the requirements, let them confirm it by giving you a brief overview and make sure they accept the requirements. Also note that people are forgetful, make sure that you have the requirements in writing for them, and you, to go back to at later intervals.
You have a team for a reason
Everyone is different and everyone has their own way of doing things. Just because an employee takes a different approach to solving a problem than you, doesn’t mean the problem is not solved. If the expectations, goals and standards are clearly set, how the goal is reached does not matter. Delegating tasks to other employees will empower them to perform tasks and reach goals and improve their skill set. Also, the employee and you have different tasks to complete and if you do the work they should be doing you will burn out and they will feel under appreciated and have nothing to do and wont be able to grow.
Developing skills should be the focus
To delegate doesn’t mean you give other the jobs you don’t want to do. Delegating empowers employees to stretch their skills and learn better judgement. If you delegate to someone you must keep in mind that they may make mistakes and you should not punish them for making it, but rather teach them how not to make such mistakes again.
“How are you doing?”
It is important to make sure the employee is doing the work and to make sure you they know you are there to help them. Check in with them periodically and ask them “how are you doing?” but never make them feel that you are looking over their shoulder and watching their every move. If the employee is stuck, help them to carry on, but remember not to do the work for them, but rather lead them into the right direction to solve the problem.
Give credit where credit is due
When you are leading a team it is very important to let all of them know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated. Extending a gesture of appreciation goes a long way and your employees will ever be grateful.