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Are You Afraid to Delegate?

Delegation is one of the most important tools you have for being positively productive and developing the skillsets of your team. Despite the benefits of delegation, many managers just don’t do it! shutterstock_133981205

Some managers are reluctant to delegate because delegation requires them to transfer authority to the person performing the task. By transferring the responsibility to someone else, they lose direct control over the outcome, but as a manager, they are still accountable for the results.

The key to success is giving the person the support, resources, and training they need to ensure a positive outcome, which leads to another objection. In my Go System workshop, managers state that they don’t delegate because it takes time to bring the employee up to speed.

Yes, it can take time, but you need to think of this time as an investment. If you are doing tasks that should be delegated, you are wasting your time. Keep in mind that after the employee gets up to speed, the task will be off your desk, leaving you with more time for the tasks that only you can do.

See my blog posts Avoid These Delegation Pitfalls and Delegate for Results for more information on how to make a delegated assignment work.


Don’t Be Afraid of Delegation!

If you regularly receive my newsletter, you know that I am an advocate of using delegation to be more positively productive. In my GO System workshops, I have found that managers are fearful of delegating important work even if it makes sense for them to do so. Here are three important best practices to help you avoid mistakes and ensure a successful delegation.Yes delegation woman binders

  • Set clear expectations. People are more successful when they understand what is expected of them and how their efforts will be evaluated. When delegating an assignment or task, meet with the employee and explain what you want them to do. Use evidence-based performance measures, such as deadlines, quality standards, and measurable improvements.
  • Focus on results, not process. Most tasks and assignments can be performed in a variety of ways unless mandated procedures must be followed. In the absence of mandates or regulations, let the person decide how they will achieve the expected outcome. Avoid the temptation to micromanage!
  • Use delegation to develop employees. As a leader and manager, it’s your job to develop your employees and provide opportunities for them to grow professionally. Look for valuable tasks you currently do that could be delegated with proper training and coaching.

Delegation is a powerful management and leadership tool. If used correctly, you can strengthen your team and motivate them to greater achievement. For more help with delegation, see my blog posts Successful Delegation and Avoid Delegation Mistakes.


Grow Your Team in 2016

One of your most important responsibilities as a manager and leader is the development of your team. When you provide career guidance, training programs, and opportunities for growth, you strengthen your team and improve their ability to be positively productive. As we move into a new year, invest some time and thought into where and how you can develop each team member.Teacher teaching

  • Identify each employee’s strongest and weakest skills. You want to enhance areas where they are proficient and strengthen areas where they need improvement.
  • Research the training resources offered by your HR department and what options you can pursue on your own., such as bringing in training yourself or starting a lunch-and-learn program.
  • Create a list of recommendations for the employee’s development in 2016. Include classroom and e-training programs, books, audios, and other types of media for professional development.
  • Meet with each employee, discuss your recommendations, and get input from them.
  • Put together a final development plan and meet with the employee one more time to motivate them and encourage them to take action on the plan.
  • Periodically review the plan with the employee and make adjustments as necessary.

Remember that delegation is one of the most powerful tools you have to develop your employees. Some managers avoid delegation because they think it takes too much time, and it’s faster if they do the task themselves. If you have avoided delegating tasks to your team, change how you think about it. The process is an investment of your time that will save time later. For more information on delegation, check out my blog post Are You Afraid to Delegate?


Delegation Works!

As you may know from my monthly newsletter and blog posts, I’m a strong advocate of using delegation to make you more positively productive and to develop your employees. Despite the proven benefits of delegation, some managers are afraid of it, either because they haven’t tried it, or they have been unsuccessful. Here are five tips to make delegation easier and ensure success.

  1. Match each task to the person’s skill set while giving them an opportunity to stretch and grow. Review career goals and performance plans to tie delegation to their career path.
  2. Clearly describe your expectations about deliverables and explain any metrics you will use to evaluate results.
  3. Give the person the authority they need to succeed and make sure that others understand.
  4. Allow them to handle the task in their own way and avoid micromanaging.
  5. Be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and coach the person, as needed.

Delegation gives you time to focus on the tasks that only you can do. An effective delegation takes preparation and planning. For more information, see my blog posts Why Delegation Doesn’t Work and Delegate to Be More Positively Productive.