How to Delegate Tasks Effectively

How to Delegate Tasks EffectivelyDo you know how to delegate tasks to your employees? Are you doing it right? Or do you prefer to do everything yourself?

Delegation is a complex process. For you, we have prepared a small list of recommendations for the effective delegation of work tasks to staff. But remember that theory is weak without practice.

Recommendations for leaders

1. Clearly formulate the goal (task) and the results that should be obtained by the employee. There is nothing worse than setting “blurred” tasks in the style of “go who knows where, find who knows what”! Fuzzy (without an accurate formulation of the goal and result) tasks, firstly, are simply not performed, secondly, they are performed “wrongly”, and thirdly, they provoke the employees to experience severe stress.

2. Specify how the responsibility for the assigned task is distributed. There are three categories of tasks here:

A – the task is performed by the employee until the final result is obtained independently (full transfer of responsibility);
B – the task is performed independently, but there are intermediate points of control. If necessary, the manager, based on the information received at the control point, can cancel (or reassign) the delegated task, provide the necessary assistance, etc. (partial transfer of responsibility);
B – the task is carried out in close consultative contact with the manager (sharing of responsibility).
3. Explain the reason why this task is important to complete. At the same time, it is not always necessary to tell the employee about the benefits of his work to the organization as a whole. We are talking about a statement of a subjectively significant reason for the employee why he was entrusted with the implementation of this task. Remember that delegation is an assignment to an employee of an optional (from the standpoint of his functional duties) task. That is why the explanation of a weighty reason plays an important motivating role for the employee.

4. Explain to the employee the technology and algorithm for completing the task. Provide appropriate instruction and training as needed. Usually this rule scares off managers. It seems to them that they “instructed and forgot”, but here, it turns out, they need to expend some effort on instruction and training! Indeed, at the very beginning of using delegation, it may require additional time costs, but this in no way turns delegation into a “time thief”. Believe me, the time invested in training employees to perform delegated tasks will then pay off handsomely!

And yet, if the delegated task is perceived by the employee as extremely difficult, it is better not to waste time on training, but to delegate this task to someone more competent.

5. Set clear and realistic deadlines for completing the assignment. It is undesirable to delegate urgent and important tasks. In any case, even when delegating non-urgent tasks, it is necessary to set a specific date (hour) for the employee to complete the task and monitor its compliance.

If an employee is new to solving delegated tasks, then the manager needs to determine the deadline for completing each task with a certain margin, so that in case of difficulties there is a reserve of time to finalize the task.

6. Put the main points of the delegated task in writing (or ask the employee to write down the assignment).

7. Check the understanding of the task and the motivation of the employee. Once again, we recall that delegation is an assignment to an employee of an “optional” task. That is why in this situation it is especially important to get feedback from the employee (immediately at the time of delegation) on how well he understood the assigned task and how interested he is in its implementation. If necessary, you should additionally motivate the employee and explain the delegated task to him in more detail.

8. Provide the employee with spare resources and channels of help. In some cases, even if the task is formulated quite clearly and even if the necessary training has been carried out (paragraph 4), when performing the delegated task, the employee may still encounter some unforeseen difficulties. Sometimes it happens that under the influence of these difficulties, the employee falls into a panic and is quite capable of breaking firewood, trying to solve the problem in ways available to him, but ineffective, and failing to complete the task.

To ensure that an employee does not fail when unexpected difficulties arise, when delegating, it is necessary to provide him with spare resources (a kind of strategic reserve that can only be used in extraordinary circumstances), as well as channels of assistance, that is, competent employees who can be asked to come to the emergency in case of emergency. help. Of course, employees who act as channels of assistance must be warned in advance of the possibility of such treatment.

9. Be clear about feedback and controls.

10. Inform everyone you interact with.