Delegation is, and always has been, a key to effectively leading and managing people. It is an essential management skill, serving as the link between leading (setting the direction for your team and inspiring people) and managing (organizing, directing, and controlling work).
Effective ways to enhance your delegation skills
As with any team management activity, the delegation process will have a better outcome if you plan out your effort. AMA’s Making the Transition from Staff Member to Supervisor course recommends the following steps to delegate work effectively:
Step 1: Assess the work opportunities and the employee candidates for delegation. Issues for you to address in this step include:
Step 2: Set expectations for completion of the task with the employee. Issues for you to address include:
- What exactly does he or she need to do?
- What does successful performance look like?
Step 3: Provide support to the employee for successful completion of the task. Issues for you to address include:
- What are the boundaries for the employee (resources, decision-making autonomy, etc.)?
- What authority does he need to complete this work?
- What resources does he need to complete the work?
Step 4: Follow up with the employee to ensure success. Issues for you to address include:
- Does the employee understand what he needs to do? Has he made a commitment to complete it?
- How will you monitor the employee’s progress and provide necessary coaching?
- How will you show appreciation for the employee’s efforts?
Delegating well can have wide-ranging benefits for you, the employees who take on tasks and responsibilities, and the organization. Delegation is a powerful managerial competency that allows you to get results, manage time, develop people, and build morale, leading to greater success for your colleagues and the organization.
New managers need core skills—in delegation, communication, motivation, and more—to maximize the results of their team.