How to Make Delegation More Successful

January 14, 2020

Delegating tasks is a great way to effectively manage a team. No manager or leader can do everything on their own. Successful delegation utilizes individual talent to make workflow smoother, manage time effectively, and yield great results. 

Delegation is similar to passing a baton in a track relay competition. Even though it looks easy, it requires communication, coordination, and trust. Here are some ways to more effectively delegate tasks.

Delegate Tasks Based on Skill 

Once the tasks that need to be transferred have been identified, it is important to find the right people for the job. Making sure that people have the required skills for a task is imperative. If the task requires collaboration, assigning it to someone that enjoys working in teams rather than someone that thrives working alone is wise. In order to build trust and foster engagement, it is also important to allow people to choose subtasks; a task may have multiple aspects to it—allow flexibility in how the work is divided.

Provide Direction and Context

Giving guidance on what needs to be done and why it is being done is an essential component of successful delegation. Revealing the bigger picture and talking about the usefulness of the results that will be produced gives people a sense of their mission. It helps to let people know if there is a specific direction they need to go for the project or if they can be creative with it. Additionally, it’s good to tell them why they were chosen for a specific task and highlight the skills they can showcase. 

Establish Standards and Provide Support

Be straightforward about expectations and deadlines. Communicate clearly about the standards you use to measure success and avoid changing them midway through the project. That being said, acting as a resource throughout the process is also an important part of delegation. This includes making sure the person has the resources and tools required to be successful. Keep them accountable and make sure to establish checkpoints where people can ask questions and report their success so far. 

Give Feedback and Express Gratitude

After the task is done, giving and receiving feedback is a good practice. It is a good way for the team members to know what they have done well and what they can improve so that they can take those suggestions and apply them to future projects. If there is a  criticism, converting it into a positive attribute for the future is important. Finally, appreciate the person or people for all the hard work they have put in and remind them about the larger-scale impact of their contribution.