Do you know how to delegate effectively? Turns out; most people don't. It's easy to think. Delegating simply means delegating tasks to other people, doesn't it? Well, that's not entirely true. To effectively assign responsibilities, you need to see task delegation from start to finish.
Bad delegation leads to loss of employeesAutonomy, which is a key factor in your happiness and satisfaction. In this article, we discuss the five steps to effective delegation. We also explain why this process is essential for employee autonomy and therefore overall satisfaction.
What is delegation at work?
To learn how to delegate like a leader, it's important to understand exactly what delegation is. The process of delegation is not simply handing your tasks over to someone else. On the contrary, effective delegation at work means empowering employees to do whatever is necessary to achieve the desired outcome.
For example, telling an employee to perform a specific task is not proper or effective delegation. Instead, you should be communicating with them directly, preferably face-to-face and without interruption. During this conversation, you need to make it clear to the employee that he is responsible for achieving the desired results. Explain to them why they were chosen for this particular task and what results need to be achieved. We'll get into that later.
Learning to delegate as a leader is critical not only to a functional workplace, but also to the overall happiness of your employees. Can you think of some reasons why proper delegation is essential when working in business? If you bet on happiness, growth and effective leadership, you're right! Check out the three main benefits of delegation below:
- Builds autonomy in workersAutonomy is the opposite of micromanagement. It's the freedom to make your own decisions, and autonomy has been proven to help you become a better, happier worker.
- Help your team growBy working alone on these tasks, your team's skills and knowledge will increase. When more people can accomplish more tasks, the workplace becomes much more efficient.
- Builds respect for your leadershipIf you want to be a good and fair manager who is respected by your employees, effective delegation is the answer. Your employees will also feel more confident in their abilities.
The reasons people don't delegate at work
There are many reasons why people don't delegate their tasks. However, the three most common are the need for control, greater effort required, and self-actualization. Do you fit into any of these categories?
The place of control is not in your hands
It is not easy for people to cede control to others, which is often the case for managers and their employees. It may be that you feel you can do the job better on your own. This is usually due to a lack of trust in others or because it's easier to trust yourself to do the work. You may feel that your team lacks the right motivation or commitment to get the job done. If you think so, it's important to ask yourself: how do you know you can't trust your employees if you never delegate? When you start looking for ways to trust your employees, you'll find them.
More initial effort required
Another reason people don't delegate is simply because it takes too much upfront. When you feel like you already know everything about the task and the desired outcome, trying to explain everything to someone else can seem like a waste of time. However, there is something to note here; If it's more upfront effort, does that mean there's less effort on the backend? The time you save by delegating implementation to the backend is far greater than what you invest upfront. Try to keep this in mind.
The last most common reason people don't delegate is that they like to do the work themselves. This can be finding joy in the actual process itself or enjoying satisfaction during the outcome. If this sounds like you, it might be important to ask yourself why become a manager if you love doing the work? A manager manages the team's workload through delegation.
Using Effective Delegation for Autonomy and How it Leads to Happiness
There are two different types of delegation. One is called the Gofer delegation, the other the Stewardship delegation. Gofer delegation occurs when a manager focuses on delegating tasks without further direction or discussion. It basically means, "Do this task and come back to me when you're done." It's a form of micromanagement.
In practice, this drives employees to act rather than listen. Delegating management, on the other hand, communicates the goal or end result to the employee and lets him or her go on their way to achieving it. That kind of delegation builds real autonomy and makes people do their best because they have real autonomy.
These two different styles were addressedThe 7 Habits of Highly Effective Peopleby Stephen Covey. In the book, Covey provides an example of how these two types of delegation work in his own life. Covey wanted his son to water the lawn and pick up the trash. In the Gofer delegation, he simply told him to do these tasks. However, he took a managerial delegation approach, telling his son that it was his responsibility to keep the farm "green and clean".
He communicated the desired outcome rather than just overloading him with tasks. The son, in turn, makes it his mission and keeps the garden green by watering it and clean by picking up the garbage. As a result, Covey no longer has to manage or delegate anything. He gave his son the responsibility of being the turf manager.
The importance of autonomy at work
In the scenario above, Covey relinquishes his autonomy. He is no longer micromanaged and given only meaningless tasks. He now has a mission that he feels responsible for and cares about. People must be autonomous; no one likes to be micromanaged. So effective delegation not only helps your productivity, but also makes the people you work with happier. also the youngestgenerations at workidentified autonomy as an obligation for them because they want the freedom to do things their own way.
5 steps to effective delegation
Now that you understand more about the obstacles to delegating at work and how delegating in the workplace contributes to autonomy, here are five steps to delegating effectively:
- Choose the right person for the job.
Does the person have the necessary skills? Do they have enough time to work on the task and monitor the outcome? Is the task worth your time? Will the task help them grow by providing a satisfying challenge?
- Communicate the end goal.Communication is the key to effective delegation. It's imperative that you clearly explain your desired outcome to the person so they know what you're working on. Encourage them to ask questions and make sure they fully understand the end goal.
- Make sure they have the proper resources and training.
If you already have a person in mind or are looking for the right person, it is important that they have all the necessary resources and training. Ask them what they need to reach the end goal and help them find a way to access those resources. Resources can range from guidance to physical work tools to new software.
- Empower them.
Make sure the person you choose has authority over their duties. Make sure they know they have that authority. Let other employees know that you might be working with them so they know they can come to you. By giving your employees the right authority to get the job done, roadblocks are removed and you end up saving time.
- Offer constructivelyFeedforward.
Feedback shows what the person did wrong afterwards. You can't go back in time and change what you did wrong. offer insteadFeedforwardthat shows the person what he can do better in the future. Guide them with advice on how to make their work better and better. Pay no attention to the things you did wrong; focus intensely on what they can do better in the future.
The power of effective delegation at work
The power of delegation at work is immeasurable. Effective delegation is essential to being a good and respected leader. Once you get over the initial hurdles, you'll find that the benefits are numerous for you and your employees. One of the key benefits of proper delegation, such as stewardship delegation, is empowering employees at work.
When you empower others to do good work, they reward you with great work and are happier in general. This will also free you up for other, more important work, as your subordinates will act as the "managers" of your tasks. Giving your employees the opportunity to be successful and taking responsibility for their work will lead to great rewards.
- Create a list of all your responsibilities. ...
- Develop written descriptions of the task requirements. ...
- Hold everyone accountable to the same deadlines you had. ...
- Encourage clarifying questions. ...
- Provide a level of authority. ...
- Give proper recognition.
Some examples of delegation in the workplace with varying levels of trust and autonomy include: Giving directions to a subordinate and telling them exactly what to do. Assigning someone to compile research, gather feedback, and report back to you so you can make informed decisions.What is delegation short answer? ›
Delegation is the assignment of authority to another person (normally from a manager to a subordinate) to carry out specific activities. It is the process of distributing and entrusting work to another person, and therefore one of the core concepts of management leadership.What is effective delegation of workplace? ›
The hallmark of good management is effective delegation. Delegation is when managers or supervisors give responsibility and authority to subordinates to complete a task, and let the subordinates figure out how the task can be accomplished.What is the first step of effective delegation? ›
Step 1 – Identify the task
Clarify what tasks should be delegated.
- Right Task. ...
- Right Circumstances. ...
- Right Person. ...
- Right Direction/Communication. ...
- Right Supervision/Evaluation.
The delegated powers include the power to coin money, to regulate commerce, to declare war, to raise and maintain armed forces, and to establish a Post Office.How do you improve delegation in the workplace? ›
- Get used to the idea of delegating your tasks. ...
- Establish a task hierarchy system. ...
- Delegate according to your team members' strengths. ...
- Instruct your team members on how to perform the task. ...
- Teach your team members new skills. ...
- Balance trusting your employees with checking their work.
- Increases and improves reputation as an employer of choice.
- Increases productivity.
- Ensures continuity through smoother succession planning.
- General or Specific Delegation. It is based on the job assigned.
- Formal or Informal Delegation. It is based on the process of giving authority.
- Top to bottom or bottom to top Delegation. It is based on the hierarchy.
- Lateral Delegation. It requires a group or team to work in parallel.
Elements of Delegation – Sizing up the Work, Assignment of Duties to Subordinates, Granting of Authority to Perform Duty and Creation of Obligation.What are the 7 levels of delegation? ›
Understanding delegation is not black and white, the seven levels of delegation: Tell, Sell, Consult, Agree, Advice, Inquire, Delegate.