The art of delegation

Learning to delegate as a manager can be a hard skill to perfect – let’s be honest, it’s often easier to do it all yourself. Management can go hand-in-hand with being a workaholic, where guilt arises if you aren’t doing work that needs to get done. However, doing doesn’t necessarily mean you’re accomplishing anything, especially if you are taking on menial tasks when you should be dealing with larger decisions. What can you do to master the art of delegation and make your office a more productive workplace?

Play to your team’s strengths

Remember that you hired your staff for their skills and expertise in the first place. Put these attributes to use by identifying what each employee is good at and what their career plans are, before assigning them duties and tasks that exploit these factors. Realising your team’s capabilities is a great way to enhance their development, but just make sure you don’t assign them tasks that are only going to set them up for failure.

Frequent, manageable goals are key

Provide your staff with milestones that work towards a bigger picture. Having little markers of progress that lead to a larger reward will keep your team motivated and on-track. This successful implementation of delegation not only boosts the prospect of work actually being completed, but it also enhances employee responsibility and frees up your schedule to focus on bigger and better tasks. When you find the perfect balance of delegation, it can be empowering for both you and your workplace.

Trust your team

Embrace humility and acknowledge that you just can’t do it all (no one can!). Placing trust in your team to undertake tasks on your behalf will boost their feeling of responsibility and contribution, and you’ll find that more is accomplished in a group than individually. It is also an opportunity for team members to prove their mettle by taking on more leadership and expanding their skill base.

Filter before you delegate

Take the time to assess which tasks aren’t worthy of your time, and the ones that definitely need to stay in your hands. Set up a system or roster where certain staff members take responsibility for tasks previously completed by you, and hand over full control once they’ve proven their capability.

Perfect opportunity to train your team

Instead of completing tasks yourself and leaving little time to mentor your team, why not teach a staff member how to do it? You can develop your teaching skills while they get some valuable on-the-job training. Your team was collated on the basis of their abilities, so utilise and develop them through delegation rather than taking tasks back when a mistake is made.

Shift in mindset

Make your role less about doing and more about leading. Take your focus away from daily tasks and look towards the important duties that are vital to the company. If an entire process can’t be delegated, hand off as much of it as you can before taking on the most significant parts.

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