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Delegating Responsibility Effectively in the Workplace

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One of the key components to becoming a successful manager is understanding the importance of delegation. No one manager can do everything, you need a strong team around you who can fill holes in your knowledge and complete tasks that you otherwise wouldn’t have the time to do.

Delegation allows you to move from what you can do personally to what you can manage. Without delegation it is impossible for you to advance to a higher level of management and improve the fortunes of your company.

Understanding the importance of delegation

Part of your role as a manager is to develop your employees. The first step to achieving this is perfecting your delegation skills. You need to understand exactly what needs to be done for certain tasks and identify whether or not the task should be delegated to your subordinates.

Usually there is one of two reasons why a manager may be poor at delegation, firstly, they don’t want to overwhelm their staff with work and are reluctant to give them tasks and on the other end of the spectrum you have the power hungry manager who is wary of seeing their subordinates show too much value.

You need to find the happy medium and set performance standards for your staff so that you can identify whether or not they have carried out a task to the appropriate standard.

Realistically you can’t do everything and when you put your mind to it there are countless tasks that you can delegate. For example you can keep your company information secure by delegating the storage of company assets either to a subordinate or an external company if you require expert help.

Not sure whether or not your delegation skills are up to scratch? Take this delegation test and find out.

How to delegate the right tasks to the right people

Now that you understand the importance of delegation, the next stage is getting to grips with delegating the right tasks to the right people. Its all well and good delegating a task, but you need to make sure that you delegate it to a subordinate with the appropriate skill-set to complete it to a required standard.

There are six essential components for the effective management of delegation and you need to follow each of them to become a strong delegator.

  1. Choose the right person to delegate to. Choosing a person without the appropriate skills is a major reason for failure and you’ll waste countless hours redoing their work.
  2. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of all of your subordinates. You’ll then be able to match the requirements of specific tasks to the abilities of individuals and therefore the person you choose should be capable of completing the task at hand.
  3. Delegate smaller, less important tasks to newer/junior staff. This will help to build their confidence and give them a stronger understanding of your company and the way you operate.
  4. Increased responsibility motivates staff, as they will have a greater sense of ownership and an invested interest in the company’s success. A motivated workforce is a happier and far more efficient one, so this can only help to increase the quality of output you receive.
  5. Be clear in what you expect and give your subordinates clear desired outcomes so that the success of a task can be evaluated.
  6. Invite discussions and questions. You want to ensure that there is no confusion or miscommunication and that people walk away feeling as if this is their job and that they own it.

When you think back to who are the best managers that you have worked under you can guarantee that they will have been excellent delegators. It’s all about surrounding yourself with the appropriate people to compliment your skillset and fill any holes in your knowledge.

Let’s ditch the ideology of “if you want something don right you have to do it yourself.”

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