How to delegate effectively
If you’re a good manager, you’re probably always looking for ways to become a great one. Sound familiar? Then read on — this article is for you.
According to Michael Schneider in his Inc. article “Google’s 7-Step Process to Delegating Tasks That Any Manager Can Use,” Google has done considerable research into which specific behaviors make some managers more effective than others. And one of the most important things great managers do is — they empower their people. In other words, they delegate important tasks and do not micromanage.
Of course, this might sound intimidating. After all, your company depends on everything being done well and on time. Plus, how can you know your people are ready to take on more responsibility?
The answer is to delegate carefully and effectively. Here’s how:
- Clearly define the objective. You should explain what the outcome should look like and why it’s important to the company. For example, if you want to delegate the writing of a quarterly report, explain exactly what that report should contain and why having it is critical to informing upper management’s strategies.
- Assign tasks that align with your team members’ individual strengths and interests. Although some managers delegate tasks to team members who have the least amount of work on their plates, it’s wiser to play to your teams’ strengths and interests. And remember: When you consistently assign one type of task to the same person, he or she will become more skilled at it.
- Be available for questions. You can’t expect your team members to know everything you do, so make sure all the lines of communication are open. That way, they can come to you with questions or concerns.
- Provide sufficient support. While you should allow your people to complete their tasks as they see fit, offer guidance when they ask for it. You should also monitor progress to ensure that project milestones are being reached.
- Make it clear that you remain accountable. Even if you delegate some of your tasks, you still have to take full responsibility for ensuring they’re completed properly, as Mindtools points out.
While it might seem easier and more reassuring to simply hold on to all your duties and take care of them yourself, in the long run, it won’t help your team or yourself. But if you apply these tips, you can help your team members learn more skills while at the same time freeing yourself up to handle the most important responsibilities. And in the long run, that’s what will help your team members, you, and your company advance.