To steal a line from the old 80’s TV show record breakers:-
“If you want to be the best and you want to beat the rest delegation is what you need”. Well they sang dedication and you need that too but you really need to learn how to trust others to do their jobs. The amount of times I have seen businesses employ good people and pay them good money only to them micromanage everything they do staggers belief.
Now it sounds like just good sense to trust someone to do the job you are paying them for but for a variety of reasons this sometimes just doesn’t happen, people will come up with all kinds of excuses or to be polite reasons why it’s not the right task or the right time to delegate, there are of course some things you should do yourself but if it’s a task you are paying someone else to do then it’s just insane to not delegate.
Some of the possible reasons for failing to delegate could be:-
Sometimes people can have the perception that they simply do not have the time to adequately explain the task or teach someone how to do the job, there is also the fact that at that current point in time it may well be quicker for the task to be completed by the person who should be delegating it, but where does that leave them the next time the same task comes up, this can be a never ending cycle and strangely enough delegating this the first time will eventually save a lot of time.
People can often feel as though they are giving up control when the need to delegate arises and this can be a little worrying for some people. You are in fact asking someone to complete a task for which you are ultimately responsible however checking in frequently with the progress can help to decrease this fear.
However daft this sounds some leader genuinely feel that if they do not personally complete the task that they will not get the credit, forgetting that the better their team looks and performs the better they look.
Sometimes it’s the simple fact that the person who should be delegating the task actually enjoys doing it the role of a leader is to lead not to be bogged down in completing recurring tasks.
If you want a job doing right, do it yourself this is surprisingly common it’s much better to coach someone else to do it as well as you can.
So if you delegate to someone who does the job as well as you can and as quickly as you can why would they need you? Well if you are that good at coaching people and that good at leading someone will have promoted you or you will have been head hunted.
Some leaders resist delegation because they just don’t have faith in their team members to do the job properly. Leaders need to learn to see the potential in their teams and make sure that they have adequately prepared their team members for the tasks they assign.
So if all this is true what are the steps to successful delegation?
Define the task
What is the task and who should be completing it.
Select who this should be delegated to
Why you are choosing this person or this team, what are they going to get out of it as well as what you will get out of it?
Asses the Abilities and any training needs of those selected.
Is the person or team capable, what training/coaching will you need in place in order to ensure success?
Explain the task and the reasons for delegating it
You must explain why the job or responsibility is being delegated and why to that person or people? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things?
Explain the expected outcome and results
What must be achieved? Clarify understanding by getting feedback from the people or team selected. How will the task be measured? Make sure they know how the key indicators of success.
What resources are required?
Agree what is needed to get the job done. Think about people, location, premises, equipment, money, materials, other related activities and services.
When must this task be completed or when will it be reviewed? What reports are due and when, also consider what priorities may come into play.
Support the people you are delegating to and communicate with them, think about who else needs to know what’s going on and make sure they are informed, involve your delegates in this but do not leave them alone to inform others, make sure you have considered and matters of politics within your workplace.
It is essential to let the person know how they are doing in the task you have set them and whether or not they have achieved the aims, if not you will need to review with them why things did not go to plan and deal with any problems that have arisen, you need to absorb the consequences of failure and pass on credit for any success.
Delegation isn’t just a matter of telling someone else what to do. There is a wide range of varying freedom that you can confer on the other person. The more critical the task then the more cautious you need to be about how much freedom you extend, especially if your job or reputation depends on getting a good result.
Be creative in choosing how you set the levels of delegated responsibility, and always check with the other person that they are comfortable with the responsibility you are placing on them. People are generally capable of doing far more than you and sometimes they imagine.
The rate and extent of responsibility and freedom delegated to people is a fundamental driver of organisational growth and effectiveness, the growth and well-being of your people, and of your own development and advancement so when faced with a barrier to delegating overcome it will save you time and help your business grow in the long term.