Don’t tell me to delegate…It doesn’t work! – Part 2
At first, delegation can feel like its more trouble than it’s worth so in Part 1 we looked at the Why and the What of delegation. The bottom line is that by delegating effectively you can massively increase the amount of work you deliver.
Once you commit to delegation and are clear on what kinds of tasks are suitable to delegate, you need to select the right people, and delegate the right way.
How to choose the right person?
It’s useful to make a list of all the tasks that you are currently undertaking that it makes sense to delegate. Before putting a name alongside the task, you need to consider:
- The level of experience, knowledge and skill the person has in relation to this specific task.
- The existing knowledge, skills and experience they can bring from other areas of their work.
- The need for any learning and development and whether that’s feasible.
- The person’s goals, interests and attitude and whether these align with the task to be delegated
- Whether they have the capacity to take this on with their current workload. Does other work need re-assigning?
Once you have identified the task and the right person to carry it out, you must ensure that you set it, and them, up for success. It means investing the time early on in order to reap the rewards in the longer term.
How to delegate effectively
- Delegate meaningful projects that stretch people so they rise to the challenge. Giving away mundane jobs only de-motivates people.
- Be clear about expectations, deadlines, standards and all the non negotiables. Ask the person to summarize back to you what they think the task and outcomes are. Don’t assume they’ve understood anything until they say it back to you.
- Ensure people have enough skills and resources to complete the job: Don’t delegate too much too soon.
- Agree how you want to work together (progress reports) Coach them on how they will go about undertaking the task. Discuss any concerns either of you have.
- Be available to help, but resist interfering. When the person asks for help, again coach them to find their own solutions so that they always learn.
- Ensure stakeholders know that you’ve delegated the task and the authority to carry it out, to this person, so they know who to go to.
- Show faith and trust in the person: praise successes, and don’t undermine them.
What have been your experiences of effective and ineffective delegation?