You reached your management position because you demonstrated skills in your field and your management capabilities. However, you likely want to find ways to better manage your team so you can produce better results and reach new goals for the company. Whether you are an experienced management professional looking to improve your project management abilities or you are a new manager looking to excel in your position, understanding effective delegation can help you better manage your team members and accomplish more as a group.
We will explore the importance of delegating to your co-workers and subordinates and how it can help you become an effective leader. Let's explore what makes this process important and how to do it well.
The Importance of Delegating Tasks
A good leader understands that delegated work can help build the skills and experience of your team, improve your time management, and use the skills of your team members as effectively as possible.
It is common for leaders to wonder about the effectiveness of delegating responsibilities. They often raise objections, such as:
- By the time they explain the task to someone else, they would have done it themselves
- They are the only ones who can do the tasks precisely as it should be done
- They wonder if they might become nonessential to their teams if they let other people handle tasks
In reality, delegating tasks can help managers develop their team members, hand off lower-level, more tedious tasks so they can focus their energy on more skilled tasks, and create a more productive and efficient team. In fact, as a CEO, those who learn to delegate tasks effectively can produce as much as 33% more revenue than those who do not.
Learning to delegate responsibility can make it easier to meet time-sensitive deadlines and reach your organizational goals. As a delegator, however, it is important to understand the process of handing off responsibilities, including which ones to hand off and when it is most appropriate. Let's explore the steps involved in the proper delegation process.
Steps to Incorporating Effective Delegation
Your delegation skills will develop as you become more accustomed to the process. However, as you work through the steps of delegating work, you will quickly learn which parts of your workflow can be more easily handed off to others.
As you just get started with your first few delegating tasks, you want to walk through a step-by-step process to make sure your efforts work effectively. We will walk you through the considerations you'll want to have in mind as you discover the advantages you can experience.
Decide What to Delegate
The first step in learning to delegate tasks requires you to carefully consider what part of your work processes will work best when handed off. Of course, there are a few tasks that you cannot hand off. For example, performance reviews cannot be handed off to a subordinate.
The best tasks to hand off are those that you know other team members have the skills to manage. This can include jobs like:
- Performing initial research for upcoming tasks
- Registering for events
- Organizing meetings
Remember events that might have competing priorities with other tasks, particularly if some of the tasks are time-sensitive. If you have several deadlines staring you in the face, then it is time to give a few of them to others on your team that you know could handle them.
Finally, consider important tasks that would give your team members learning and growing opportunities. If you know a particular project would provide members of your team with an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and otherwise develop themselves professionally, then it will benefit your overall team to give them that chance.
Know Your Team Members' Strengths
Once you start to develop lists of tasks to delegate, your next step is aligning them with members of your team that should handle them. Matching people with the right tasks requires a keen understanding of their skill set, including their strengths and weaknesses.
Consider both the technical and the soft skills your team members bring to the table. For example, you might have certain members who excel in organizational tasks and can help you with jobs that will keep your team organized and moving forward. Others might have the technical skills to help you manage more complex tasks. Another might do well with research and compiling reports. Knowing where your team members perform to the best of their ability will help you see opportunities to leverage their strengths.
Let Your Subordinate Know What You Want to Accomplish
Your next step, of course, is to delegate the work to the team member. As you let them know about the task you want them to accomplish, focus on communicating and clearly defining your desired results. Provide precise instructions so they understand the value and scope of the project, as well as the desired outcome. It will help them form their own course of action and feel confident in their skills.
Give the Team Member the Authority to Get the Job Done
Once you hand off the task, your next big obstacle to overcome is micromanaging. It can be tempting to stand over the shoulder of the team member managing the task to make sure that they do it exactly "right" (specifically, the way you would do it). Letting go can present a tremendous challenge, particularly for people delegating responsibilities for the first time.
However, you want to give this other professional the authority they need to get the job done. There is nothing wrong with asking them to check in periodically, particularly when they hit big milestones in a larger project, so that you can see how the job is going. However, otherwise, you want to let them know that you trust them to get the work done. Provide them with unlimited access to the resources they need, make sure they understand the proper boundaries, and then see what they are capable of accomplishing.
Offer Clear Feedback to Help Team Members Continue to Improve
Finally, business owners or managers will want to follow up with their team leaders and the rest of the team after the delegated tasks are complete. This provides an opportunity for open discussion about others' perceptions of your delegation. If you think that your team member accomplished your desired results, then you will want to let them know that you saw this as a successful delegation. At the same time, you'll also want to encourage them to continue to improve in their work abilities. Therefore, offering some constructive criticism can be helpful. Let them know if there were particular areas you thought they could improve, such as their time management or organizational skills.
At the same time, ask this professional what they thought of the process. You can start the conversation with questions like:
- How did you think this task went?
- Did you feel like you had clear instructions that outlined understandable expectations?
- Were there any parts of the project that were particularly challenging to you or that you thought you needed more support to accomplish?
- Is there anything that I (as the manager) can do the next time I designate a task to help the process go more smoothly?
- Do you feel like you gained valuable experience from handling this responsibility?
Discussing the questions relevant to the task that you delegated can help you build a better relationship with your team members and manage the delegation process better moving forward.
Skynova Can Help You Manage Your Growing Business
As you work to grow and manage your business, one of the most important tasks you will face will be your accounting. Properly managing your accounting ensures that you know how your cash flow proceeds through the company. As you begin to delegate tasks, you want to make sure that it increases your ROI and helps you find more time to focus on important, higher-level tasks. Tracking your income versus your expenses can help you see the impact of your delegation and your efforts to give more responsibilities to your team members.
With Skynova, you get small business accounting software designed for business owners just like you. With a simple layout and straightforward systems, you can store your receipts, track expenses, and see how much you bring into the business quickly and easily. Skynova also offers a wealth of helpful resources, such as free templates and a learning library so you can learn more about small business management and accounting to support you as you grow your business.
See how Skynova can benefit your business today.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is meant to be used as general guidelines regarding business delegation and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant to ensure that you're meeting accounting standards.