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How To Delegate To Your Team

As outlined in recent news posts, there are four essential habits of effective managers which save businesses time and money, build excellent relationships in the workplace, and improve team effectiveness. The most effective managers:

1. Know their people exceptionally well,
2. Constantly talk to them about their performance,
3. Continually ask for more performance, and
4. Delegate exceptionally well.

Click on the above links to review the first 3 habits. Today we’ll outline Habit #4: How to Effectively Delegate To Your Team.

Effective managers do things that maximize their strengths, and delegate tasks that can be done more effectively by others. When considering delegation, ask yourself:

  1. Am I allowing my team to make mistakes?
  2. Do I spend reasonable hours at work and not have to take work home?
  3. Does my team function smoothly when I’m absent?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions you are not delegating effectively!

Even the most effective business leaders have both strengths and weaknesses. It’s not essential to be well-rounded to be an effective manager, however it is essential to have a well-rounded team of people supporting you.

Why delegate?

Delegation benefits you, your business, and your team.

Delegation allows you to spend time in your strength zone, doing core work you are good at and genuinely enjoy. It improves the strength of your business by maximizing the effectiveness of each member of the team, and it helps employees reach their potential, creating future managers in your business.

How to delegate effectively

1.         Analyse your strengths

Consider your own strengths. What are you good at? What do you enjoy?

2.         Analyse your role

What are the core aspects of your role that you need to do? What are you doing that can be done by others? Also consider the value of your time. For instance, your hourly rate is higher than that of your administration team. Are you doing any $20 an hour tasks that could be delegated, freeing up your time to get more business through the door?

3.         Select the person to delegate to

If you are conducting effective one-on-one meetings (Habit of Effective Managers #1) you will know the strengths and interests of your team members. Are they the right person to take this on?

Once you’ve decided what to delegate and who to delegate to, here’s how to do it:

1. Talk to your employee about what you’d like them to do.
2. Tell them why you’d like their help.
3. Ask if they are interested.
4. Outline what’s involved.

Here’s an example:

“Bob, I need your help. You’re a talented writer. Would be you willing to write a monthly e-newsletter for our business? Here’s what’s involved. Each month you will write an article about what the business is doing, and a success story about how we’ve helped one of our clients.”

In your one-on-one meetings, you will reinforce any deadlines and quality standards:

“Bob, this e-newsletter should go out to all our contacts the first Monday of each month. It will need to be on our e-newsletter template, and reflect our company image and goals.”

In these weekly meetings you would also check on the employee’s progress:

“Bob, please update me. How are you going with the next edition of our e-newsletter?”

Mistakes to avoid

Don’t delegate tasks, delegate responsibility.

Saying “I need you to do something for me” implies that the responsibility of the task still lies with you. The idea is to let the employee be responsible for this new area of the business.

Don’t abdicate!

Delegation is not relinquishing all involvement. As a manager, you must still take ownershipfor your team and their work. This does not mean, however, that you retain accountability for what you’ve delegated.

Using our previous example, if Bob did not publish the e-newsletter by the agreed deadline, it would be a mistake as his manager to do it for him. As Bob is now responsible for the e-newsletter, it is essential to hold him accountable for getting it done to agreed standards and deadlines. It would be essential to give Bob feedback on his performance using the feedback model (see Habits of Effective Managers #2).

Don’t micro-manage!

Managers who find delegation challenging tend to be perfectionists who like things done their own way. High standards are great, but it’s important to realize that there are many different ways to achieve the same goal. Focus on results rather than methods.

The Four Habits of Effective Managers is just part of our Leadership and Management Training Program, which can be tailored to suit the needs of your business. To find out more, please call Julianne on 02 4933 6622 or use our contact form.

Posted by julianne, 13/8/13