If great people are overwhelmed with small and insignificant things, it is solely their own fault. – Ian Hamilton
If you are taking work home with you, if you are staying in the office after hours, if you are working weekends to make up for lost time, if the goals are beyond individual ability and capability, then it’s time to delegate work.
What is work delegation?
Simply put, it is the delegation of task to others with defined authority necessary to complete the task, i.e. decisions about which tasks you hand over to whom and which you keep to yourself. Delegation is more than just moving a task – at the same time, you are asking a team member to take over the execution of the task and authorizing them to act on your behalf. But you are still in charge and must accept the consequences.
Almost everyone complains about too much work, but most still struggle with outsourcing. For experts, it is indisputable that a modern manager is characterized by the ability to delegate tasks and does not want to do everything alone. All work processes can be improved and simplified if tasks are well distributed.
Research on the working hours of people in managerial positions shows that 50 working hours or more per week is not uncommon. So, the inevitable points are quality time management and asking which tasks others can take over. Those who know how to delegate work will have satisfied employees, customers and partners and – most importantly – successfully achieved goals.
An individual’s belief that they can do everything best on their own leads to their growing inefficiency, as well as the dissatisfaction of other employees. This mindset starts to be an obstacle in achieving the set goals. Therefore, delegation of tasks is a reflection of mutual trust between managers and employees, but also a good assessment of how to make the most of the qualities of individual team members.
Delegation of work is also an area of personal and professional development
The problem stems from our belief that we need to control outcomes and the belief that we know best. It’s hard for us to let go of control.
As managers, we fear the consequences if the employee does not complete the task with the desired result or within the given deadline. Failure can reflect poorly on us, so we often follow the path of least resistance. Instead of working to improve our delegation skills, we sometimes find it easier to complete a series of tasks because the overload somehow seems less risky than delegating tasks to others.
We worry: What if they do not do it right and by my standards?; What if they do it (sigh) better than I do?; What if I become less important to the task?
Because we inherently love to be in control and experience its loss as a loss of authority and power, at the core of the many excuses for not delegating is a desire to maintain control.
Delegate work for right people in the right place
When delegating work, it is important to select the right people for the appropriate tasks. When selecting a subordinate to whom you will delegate tasks, you need to know their abilities and inclinations to work together, but also have confidence in them, their personal qualities, and their attitude toward responsibility. By delegating effectively, you will contribute to the achievement of the goals of the organization, develop and build a person reporting to you, who will successfully improve their skills by completing the assigned task, and you will get more time for management and more creative work.
You should note that just knowing how to delegate work is not enough. You also have to want and know how to delegate. The art of delegating is a set of will, knowledge and behaviors. It is one of the most sought-after skills and one of the most desirable. I would say, fundamental qualities of a modern manager.
Despite this fact, according to some researches (analyzing the correlation between the degree of delegated tasks and the achieved results of managers), most of their failures are precisely due to insufficient or inadequate delegation. Obviously, the issue is not ignorance of the role of delegation and its benefits, but primarily the manager’s attitude towards delegation. It is about the manager’s personal attitude and personal attitude towards delegation.
The basic personal attitudes towards delegation, which usually have a decisive influence on both the success of delegation and successful management as a whole, are:
-willingness to accept the ideas of others,
-capability to delegate tasks to others,
-willingness to accept risks and possible mistakes,
-determination to build trust with subordinates.
Very often, contrary to the generally accepted attitude, managers do not trust their subordinates and think that they can do any task better than them. It is the result of their fear that by delegating their own affairs they will lose some of the power and all that power brings them.
Everything can be delegated completely – except responsibility
The key word for the modern understanding of delegation is TRUST!
Not all delegation is effective, so it is important to be aware of some of the dangers of ineffective delegation or lack thereof.
One of the most common dangers of not delegating is wasting time supervising others. Some employees work harder than others, which inevitably leads to a poor working atmosphere and dissatisfaction. Competent employees are either frustrated or bored. The team and individuals are demotivated because they are not given the desired and acceptable responsibilities and do not develop new skills.
It is important to know what to delegate:
-Repetitive tasks – routine tasks.
-Irrelevant decisions that often repeat.
-Solving minor problems.
-Tasks that take a supervisor a lot of time.
-Duties for which employees are better qualified than the supervisor.
-Special task for which we have a well-trained person.
-Tasks someone is very interested in or loves to work on.
-Gathering information, analysis, etc.
When you make a decision on who to delegate to:
-Simple tasks done by anyone.
-Some tasks require specialized skills.
-Do tasks develop new skills?
-Does it save time?
-What is the financial value of the task?
What should not be delegated?
-Urgent tasks where there is no time to explain and make mistakes.
-Tasks for which others are not qualified.
-Planning and making important decisions.
-Rules of operation and conduct.
-Certain protocol and stressful situations.
Two golden tips for successful delegation preparation:
-take delegation one step at a time,
-delegate work as much as your views and expectations allow.
The following facts should always be in mind of – a good manager:
-inspires confidence through delegation,
-gives a sense of freedom, and
-encourages the development of the creative abilities of subordinates.
Finally – mistakes happen to all of us, even those who delegate work
And you were, after all, a beginner in this business. Do not immediately forward tasks to someone else or put them back on your desk, but let mistakes serve as opportunities to learn from theperson who made them. Go over each item in detail and be available to the team member to answer questions and offer your help in implementing it. Try to sandwich any criticism between compliments – point out the good things first, then the mistake, and end on a positive note. Harsh criticism leads to fear, not respect. Fear is unlikely to inspire your team members to take on more tasks and support you in your next endeavor.
Good luck with the delegation and let us know how it went! ?