The 7 steps highly successful people user for delegation

Despite hiring bright minds and deft hands, leaders often find themselves overburdened or overloaded with tasks. The key here is to delegate efficiently. Having said that, delegation is a tricky task and full of potential pitfalls. In order to be able to allow your employees to develop and grow, it is important to embrace delegation in the most efficient fashion.

Here are eight crucial principles you need to remember when delegating tasks to your employees in order to maximize “meaningful activity” and give your practice a much-needed chance to run on autopilot!

1. First, make clear the task to be delegated and all the details!

Before everything else, you need to be clear on the crucial details of this task.

  • What does this task involve?
  • What exactly must be done?
  • Who should do this task?
  • When should he/she start?
  • When should he/she complete the task?
  • What does a successful implementation look like and what exactly is the desired result?
  • How can you check the result?
  • How does your employee know that they did it right?

These are questions that should be crystal clear even before the task is allotted to someone.

2. Delegate to the right person!

Now, who’s the right person? The right person is one who is ideally skilled at solving the assigned task. Don’t waste your time looking for superstars in your area, instead, look for employees who present the right attitude and who want to consistently learn and develop. Select someone who is not afraid to make mistakes, but has incredible problem-solving competence.

In order to select the right candidate for the job, you must be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of all your employees. This way, you can make the most out of your employee’s skills. Also, make sure to assign the task to a single person. More is not better here!

3. Always give a deadline!

This might be the simplest rule yet. First, be clear about the real scope of the task (Rule 1) and then give a challenging deadline. It should be realistically achievable, but not easy. Keep the deadlines firmly tight to keep the tension up. This helps increase self-esteem and the employee’s own reward system.

So, if the task is easy to accomplish in 5 days, give a deadline of 4 days. Giving a strict deadline will certainly encourage self-responsibility in your employees. However, also don’t be ruthless!

4. Give the order and get started!

Don’t wait any longer and think endlessly back and forth. If you know that you have a responsibility to delegate in order to distribute the work better and to finally get it done to optimal satisfaction, just do it. Prepare yourself for mistakes, misunderstandings, and lots of questions. Delegating is a technique that requires practice and training, so celebrate your team’s small successes instead of expecting perfection right the next day!

5. After the plan and the start of the task comes: check and act!

Here, the principle of PDCA or Plan-Do-Check-Act comes to play. In order to ensure that the task is carried out correctly and within the given timeframe, implement the culture of receiving interim reports on a regular basis. While the frequency of these reports depends on the complexity of the particular task, encourage your employees to submit their Progress Reports in writing, on a maximum of one A4 page.

In this way, you will be able to comprehend what has been achieved and what still needs to be done. Lead your employees back on the right path, but refrain from intervening too quickly and intensively. Avoid intemperance of authority at all times. In other words, don’t be a “helicopter parent”!

6. Delegate not only tasks but also responsibilities and decisions!

Often, leaders deploy explicit tasks to their employees but do not practice the same leniency when it comes to responsibilities and decisions. Do you assign a certain task but then are faced with making ongoing decisions by yourself? Learn to let go. Trust your employees and transfer full responsibility for their tasks onto their shoulders.

But first, you must learn to communicate and be clear about the problem at hand and their assigned task (again, Rule 1). By doing so, it will make your employees become more independent and save you a lot of time and effort of going back and forth.

7. Give feedback and praise at the end of the project!

The objective of giving positive feedback is to strengthen desired measures and desired behavior positively through praise. This helps build and strengthen trust, dedication, and commitment to the job, also allowing them an opportunity to grow.

While you let your employees flourish and become self-confident, you can concentrate on tasks that you know you’re good at or which you particularly enjoy.

8. Detach yourself from the details and concentrate on the result!

This correlates to the point about not being a “helicopter parent”. As difficult as it is to detach yourself from the details and desires of this project, you have to stop being too involved in the process. Micromanaging your employees’ projects rarely does any good for the development and for the (positive) outcomes. Give your team the space to grow and develop.

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