As the manager of a growing business, you might quickly find yourself with a dozen more tasks to complete in a day, a handful of new hires you have no time to train, and overall, less time on your hands. So, what do you do? You provide responsible delegation of tasks to your team.
However, most new managers and inexperienced business owners struggle with delegation. It’s much easier said than done, and the risks of trusting core business processes to other people can be chilling.
Fortunately, there are simple steps to delegation that help ensure the job gets done right, and with minimal risk. The trick is to pass along responsibility while maintaining accountability—two concepts we’ll dive into in this article.
If you want to set your delegation programme up for success, this guide will tell you all the ins and outs.
The Core of Responsible Delegation
Delegation is the process of transferring the responsibility of completing specific tasks or objectives from one person to another. Those responsible for delegating are ultimately accountable for an objective’s success or failure. Delegators must also ensure that those responsible for new tasks are equipped and supported.
There are three primary aspects of responsible delegation. These include:
When managers are not responsible, teams can become discontent, unproductive, frustrated, and unable to resolve conflict. Management figures have to develop trust with associates to fulfil tasks effectively.
In a business context, authority is a manager’s right to allocate their resources and use them to direct employees. Managers should always know the scope of their authority. How much responsibility do you have? What tasks are within your right to delegate?
With authority comes the responsibility of assessing employees’ skills to determine what tasks they can effectively complete. Sometimes, employees may require additional training to perform a specific task.
Finally, leaders should not use this authority to micromanage.
Unlike responsibility, you cannot delegate accountability. Instead, you must be fully aware of the direction you provide when delegating tasks. Remember, how employees perform is only as good as how well you equip them.
Focus on being clear and concise. Do not overload them with information. If necessary, provide the appropriate tools, such as software, to streamline the process and make tasks more manageable.
How Responsible Delegation Efforts Fail
Without these three pillars, delegation efforts become prone to failure. If your delegation process isn’t driving the results you want, below are a few reasons why that might be the case.
You Are Unclear About Your Expectations
When delegating work, you must clearly define the project’s scope. Outline your goals and what it will take to achieve them.
In the same thread, define what “success” looks like to your business. Is it a specific number of sales within a given period? Is it higher engagement on your social media platforms? Keep these goals actionable and measurable.
You Assume Your Employees Will Figure it Out for Themselves
You cannot assess an employee’s skill level without first getting to know them. If you assume your employees can figure things out on the fly, you risk assigning the task to someone poorly equipped.
You Don’t Provide the Appropriate Training
Even the most hardworking employees will fail to complete a task if they are not equipped to do so. Always take time to adequately train your employees or provide additional assistance at the beginning of a job.
There is a Lack of Interest in the Work
Employees are more productive when they are interested in the task they need to perform. However, not every task will be palatable, so it’s up to managers to find ways to motivate employees.
Provide hands-on demonstrations and foolproof strategies that encourage employees to complete tasks quickly and effectively.
You Were Too Controlling
Micromanagement is the bane of any leader’s existence! Remember, there is a stark difference between allocation and delegation. When you delegate a task, you entrust employees to determine the best possible strategy for completing it. Stay close enough to a task to ensure it’s on track, but leave room for employees to determine what works best.
You Didn’t Set Deadlines
You can’t blame an employee for completing a task late if you never set a deadline in the first place. If you can’t designate a specific date for completion, give your employees a ballpark figure. Doing so will empower them to allocate time within their day and manage it well.
You Don’t Have Your Employees’ Respect
Contrary to popular belief, leaders have to earn their employees’ respect as much as employees have to earn theirs. Employees won’t want to do the work if you disrespect others, don’t give credit where it is due, or tend to burn bridges with your team.
How to Set Your Delegation Up for Success
Just because your employees are adequately trained does not mean there is no room for improvement. Delegation is an ongoing learning process, so you will always discover better ways to set your teams up for success.
Keep your delegation process smooth-sailing with the following tips.
Master Core Delegation Skills First
Responsible delegation entails core skills like communication and scheduling. Mastering these skills will help you set clear expectations, address potential issues effectively, and provide support where it is needed.
Accept That Some People Do it Better
Being in a leadership position doesn’t automatically make you the right person for a specific project. After all, leadership itself entails developing teams and empowering them to hone personal skills and talents.
Tapping into employees’ unique skill sets and personalities will encourage them to excel and enjoy their work.
When it comes to effective delegation, you want to teach, not tell. After all, you can’t assume that your employees know how to complete a task just because you do. The more time you spend going through the ropes with them, the more they can take on tedious tasks later.
The Bottom Line
Responsible delegation isn’t easy, but it is essential for productivity. As a leader, taking on as much responsibility as possible can be tempting—but you’ll have to remind yourself that your team exists for a reason!
If you’re learning to delegate and want to make the process more efficient, Vidstep makes it easier to create video instructions and demonstrations. Incorporating Vidstep into your training process can provide visual learners with the appropriate information for developing specific skills. You can give your team the instructions they need when they need them most.