Delegating: “It only gets done right if I do it myself.”
Don’t fall into the trap of clinging onto your tasks because you are scared to let go. If you fail to let go, you run the risk of carrying a heavy workload without any assistance. You won’t have time for new ideas and projects.
What you delegate and to whom you delegate are key issues
The investment you make in crafting a delegation strategy will be repaid over and over as your employees grow in competence. You will begin to feel more relaxed about the delegation process.
Step 1: What are you willing to delegate?
You need to determine which tasks you are prepared to delegate and which tasks you want to keep for yourself. The tasks you may not be inclined to delegate might include those that you enjoy; those that need your specialized knowledge; those that are creative and open-ended.
Step 2: Take a long, hard look at your team
These are the people to whom you will be delegating. Once you know what you’re prepared to delegate and to whom, the next step is to answer the following questions.
Step 3: Answer the following questions
Q) What do I want the individual to do?
People need to know precisely what you want. They will need to know why you want them to do it.
Q) To what standards do I want the the individual to perform?
The standards you set can relate to time, quality, cost, security or confidentiality. Standards provide clear guidelines for people and give them confidence.
Q) When do I want it done by?
Discuss the deadline to set right expectations. Is there important information I need to share to help this person to the right job?
Q) Will the individual need additional resources?
Remember authority a resource. It is important to make sure that whoever is doing the job won’t be tied up with red tape are subjected to delay caused by the coworkers who aren’t aware that this person has taken additional responsibility.
Q) Step 4: Once you have a strategy in place, arrange a meeting
Water cooler is not a good place to meet for the purpose of delegating. Go through everything in detail and make sure that the other person understands what is required. Set a date for a review meeting.
Step 5: After delegating the tasks, monitor progress
Of course you need to monitor progress, but not every minute of every day. At your initial meeting, set up a schedule of follow-up meetings to review what’s happening. When you delegate work, people will ultimately do it in their own way. And their way will almost certainly not be your way. Let it go if they are not compromising on the outcomes.
However, if you see someone is seriously off course, then don’t hesitate to intervene. The best way to do this is to call an emergency meeting, highlight your concerns, ask questions, and listen to what the individual has to say. Provide clear guidance encouragement and support.
Planned delegation gets real results and will enhance your reputation as a manager. Delegating on the run can be disappointing or even disastrous.