If you manage others, delegating is a critical skill. There are many excuses why people don't delegate, but there is one important rule of thumb. If you want to develop others and free yourself up for higher level tasks, you should consider delegating anything that someone else can do 70% as well as you.
The fact is that it is highly unlikely that your staff will be able to complete a particular task or project as well as you at first. You probably have more expertise and experience; isn't that why you're the boss? If you want to grow your staff and your organization, however, you will need to develop additional skills and competencies in your people. Here are the seven steps to mastering delegation:
1. Develop a climate for delegation - By placing value in the feedback and work of others, your staff will feel appreciated and work harder. They will want to contribute in new and different ways to the success of the organization.
2. Determine your objectives - Before you get started, you need to ask yourself, "What do I want to get accomplished?" With that in mind, "What tasks can be done by others?" When you are mapping out the action steps to a goal, always consider who can handle the different tasks involved.
3. Know your workers - Who would be the best person to complete a particular task? If you understand and know your employees' strengths/weaknesses and likes/dislikes, you can match up assignments more appropriately.
4. Develop a plan - You should have an overall work plan or goal planning summary that spells out responsibilities and deadlines. This plan can be done in conjunction with the employees being held responsible for the various tasks.
5. Communicate your expectations - Your employees must have clear directions and a full understanding of the deadlines and expectations. Make sure that they understand what you're communicating. The use of clarifying and confirming questions can ensure proper understanding. If you are unsure if the employee "gets it," you can also ask them to repeat their understanding of the situation back to you.
6. Monitor progress - Make sure that you monitor and assess the employee's performance on a particular assignment and give appropriate feedback. This is particularly critical when a new assignment or responsibility is being handled by an employee.
7. Evaluate results and assign new work - At the completion of the project, review the results to make sure your objectives were met. If you outlined your expectations and the results desired on the front-end, this should be easy to measure. If the job was completed in a satisfactory manner, congratulate and praise your employee. You can also look for additional opportunities to assign new work. If the desired results were not achieved, use this as a teaching and learning opportunity. Continue to assign new work and monitor performance.