As the calm of the summer break becomes a distant memory, I’ve already started to find myself going ‘I wish I had someone else who could pick up some of this work’.
Delegation can sometimes seem like the easy solution, but I’m sure many of us have cleared their to-do lists by handing it to someone else, just to find it back on there with even greater urgency when that person hasn’t had the time, skill or guidance to do it the way that’s needed.
Delegation if done right can be a great development and learning opportunity for other people, but done wrong it can be demotivating and leave everyone in a difficult position. Delegation is more than giving someone else a task and leaving them to it.
What can you delegate?
Tasks where you add little or no value/low yield
Tasks which other people can do better/faster etc
Tasks which will help others develop themselves
What shouldn’t you delegate?
Tasks you just don’t like doing (maybe they’re boring)
Staff/management issues e.g. lateness, underperformance
Complex, demanding tasks that only you can do really well
When do you delegate?
When you want to develop someone
When that person has the knowledge/skills required
When you want to test a person’s potential
When you have the time to delegate effectively
How to delegate?
Give the person adequate support
Empower – don’t micro-manage
Ensure you have delegation not abdication
Put in place checks and monitoring systems
Schedule review and feedback/lessons learnt
Give the person credit for their contribution
The delegation conversation
Discuss the idea with them and how they feel about taking on other tasks?