To Delegate or Not To Delegate? The Ultimate Guide To Work Distribution
A friendly reminder to all leaders out there: You cannot and should not do everything.
We often discuss all the responsibilities leaders have: Be it team performance, implementing various types of leadership approaches, communication, project management, you name it, and probably a leader you know is already trying to carry a lot of fruits in one basket.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with engaging with many tasks and duties — as a matter of fact, most leaders view this as the only logical turn of events whenever they get promoted. But in reality, there’s another side to being a leader — along with the many responsibilities, people risk burning out in a split second.
Since no one actually wants to experience burnout in its might and glory, it’s wise to think about ways to prevent it instead of trying to figure out how to deal with it once it happens.
Delegating work is a wise choice so today we’ll discuss exactly that: what is delegating, why should a leader do it, and what are some useful tips on how to delegate tasks and duties successfully and thoughtfully. Stay tuned, as these pieces of advice could be beneficial not to leaders only, but to anyone who decides to work smart.
So what is delegating in business?
Delegating work simply means assigning certain tasks to other team members.
At first, it may seem that a leader should delegate whenever they feel time’s up and getting closer to the deadlines. As a matter of fact, there is yet another important reason: Sometimes there are people more capable and suitable for a certain duty.
In a broader sense of things, delegating can be considered the ultimate example of teamwork. Whenever a leader delegates a job to someone else, they prove their trust — essentially, this leads to elevated team spirit and optimized work processes.
Sadly, though, there are still managers and leaders who find it incredibly difficult to delegate work. Usually, the reasons behind those actions lay in their disability to trust people or simply avoid letting go of full control over things. Whatever it is, it’s the leader’s job to figure it out and solve the issue because the total lack of work delegation would quickly lead to burnout, as well as ruin the overall team performance and trust.
Here are some very good reasons why should leaders delegate work
- It allows them to focus on other duties that are entirely up to them. Being a leader is not an easy job — usually, managers are loaded with responsibilities in their day-to-day. For example, if a leader has to meet with a client and discuss the work project when at the same time they need to proofread the next company’s email marketing campaign, it’s smart to delegate the latter to someone who is “on good terms” with online marketing. Then they can review what’s been already proofread, minimizing the time and effort needed for the task. This would give them plenty of time and resources to focus on project management — a task that certainly cannot be easily delegated.
- Delegating ensures every member of the team has an assigned task. Oftentimes there are team members who have already completed their duties while others, including the leader, find it hard to finish everything on time. In instances like these, work delegation seems like a proper thing to do. It’s a smart way to balance the workload.
- It’s incredibly bonding. As I’ve stated above, whenever a leader chooses to delegate a certain task to a team member, they showcase their trust in the member’s capabilities. We all know that employees tend to show better work results whenever they feel appreciated, respected, and trusted, even if that means sometimes carrying a heavier workload. If a leader notices that the team needs bonding, work delegation between members can be a great way to achieve the goal. Besides, employees can also team up with one another in order to complete a task better and faster.
- Delegating work allows the leader to better understand and investigate their employees’ strengths. It’s through delegation that managers can quickly learn who is the best at what.
- It also helps team members further improve their skills. Sometimes a leader can delegate a task that the employee knows nothing about. It’s a great way for managers to stimulate their employees in terms of professional growth and adding more skills to their lists.
Even though it appears there are plenty of advantages to work delegation, it needs to be done smartly. Every leader should carefully create a list and decide what task to delegate to each individual. This proper planning is crucial for the next stages of work delegation.
How to delegate like a pro? Let’s discuss 6 useful tips
Once we’ve covered the basics of delegation, it’s time we get practical. Perhaps many leaders realize the importance of work delegation, but experience difficulties when it comes to actually doing the work. So without any further ado, let’s discuss 6 useful strategies in terms of delegating.
- Create a list. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s so important that it needs repetition. Before a leader delegates anything, they first need to sit down and reflect on everything that needs work.
- Sort out the small tasks. They are usually the first in line when it comes to delegation since they often take up a lot of time that can be used by the leader to deal with specialized tasks that need their undivided attention.
- Choose wisely when picking who shall take on a certain task. When the leader finally comes up with what tasks they can delegate, they need to choose the best and most suitable employees for the job. At this stage, this is crucial since the incorrect distribution of tasks may lead to complications, delays, or even more time.
- Always check the employees’ availability. Work delegation should always be a two-way street — a leader should avoid delegating tasks without first checking the employees’ wishes and availability. This also strengthens the team bond and allows the leader to make even better and wiser decisions.
- Be specific with thorough guidelines. When delegating, a leader should not expect their employees to be capable of doing anything right from scratch without additional and thorough instructions. Delegate the task, then provide some extra information and be always there for additional advice and know-how.
- Appreciate the help. A leader should see delegation as it is — help from their employees at the right moment, thanks to their capabilities and skills. Essentially, this should result in positive feedback, making room for future raises and promotions.
I hope this article has managed to provide some useful insights on delegation and why it’s incredibly important both for the leader as well as the team.
Working together is by far the best practice when it comes to team performance — along with team building activities, any leader should turn to task delegation to further strengthen the bond between themselves and the team members.