Free Up Your Time and Create a High-Performing Team
If you constantly find yourself under the hammer of time, then it may be ineffective delegation that is to blame. Indeed, delegation is one of the key skills that the best leaders and managers possess. But how do you do it well?
The advantages of delegation in management
Leaders and managers are under enormous stress to get things done. Not only the daily tasks, but the big-picture strategizing that is crucial for a business to survive and thrive.
Research by McKinsey shows that 89% of leadership effectiveness is accounted for by four distinct behaviors:
Without good time management, you cannot do any of these things. Delegating tasks effectively gives you your time back. It allows you to lead more effectively, and:
Improves team efficiency (and your own)
By delegating, you shift tasks to people who are more skillful than yourself. This frees the time to do the work that best suits you. It also enables you to do work which is better for others to do from a financial perspective. Should you be doing routine administrative tasks?
Helps you to develop your team
For efficiency, you should delegate to those who are most skilled to execute the task you are delegating. However, delegation can also be used to help develop your team’s skills.
Allows you to achieve more
Perhaps the biggest advantage of effective delegation is the time that you free for yourself. Time that you can now spend on the strategic tasks that make a real difference.
Improves your team’s agility
By developing the skills of each team member, you develop your team’s ability to cope with increasing workloads, cover for absences, and take on more interesting and innovative projects.
Develops a positive culture
Delegating tasks empowers your people, and shows them that you trust them. Their self-esteem improves, they become more accountable, and they will be more willing to accept responsibility.
So how do you delegate effectively?
Delegation is a skill. It must be learned, and the more you practice it the more effective you become at delegation. These five strategies will ensure you improve your team’s efficiency and capability as you develop your delegation skills.
Know your employees’ strengths
Effective delegation starts with understanding your people. Learn their strengths and weaknesses and their potential. When delegating, match tasks to skills. This may not be the person with the lightest workload, so you must learn to balance delegation.
Take the opportunity to develop your team
Delegating tasks is also an effective tactic to help team members develop new skills. By delegating, you confirm that you trust the person to learn the skills they need to do the job, and that you trust them to ask for help when needed.
To be most effective, you must take on a coaching role – or delegate the coaching role to another who is highly skilled, while retaining responsibility for the coaching.
While it may take longer to get the tasks done initially, the payback is delivered by having more team members with a growing skillset and ability to do more tasks – therefore developing a higher-performing team.
Give clear instructions
It is crucial that you provide clear and concise instructions, and that you confirm that your employee understands what they must do. What is obvious to you is not necessarily obvious to another. You should ensure that you explain how the task is to be done, when by, and if there are any reporting requirements.
Listen to feedback
Improve your delegation by listening to feedback. Ask people for their thoughts on how you delegate tasks, if your instructions are clear, and if there are other tasks that they would prefer you to delegate to them.
Prioritize your delegation
Over time, as your team develops its skills and you refine your delegation skills in line with the feedback you receive, you will be able to delegate more. As you do so, begin by prioritizing the tasks that you delegate.
Focus on delegating time-consuming, low-skill tasks to save as much of your time as possible first. Then move forward by delivering tasks that develop strengths and improve weaknesses of your employees. Finally, delegate tasks that challenge employees to explore their hidden strengths and identify new roles for them to assume.
Take advantage of delegation in management
Your time is important. Effective delegation will give you more time to spend on the big-picture tasks that deliver the goals of your team and organization. It is also a strategy that pays exceptional dividends when used to improve team performance and develop individual and team goals.
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