Part of being a manager or supervisor is learning how to delegate. Besides being a wonderful tool to share workload, knowing how to delegate creates people who are more personally and professionally fulfilled. It doesn’t take special skills or secret techniques to learn how to delegate successfully. Try these five techniques the next time you need to delegate.
1. Clearly specify what you want.
2. Delegate one task to one person.
3. When you delegate the responsibility, delegate the authority.
4. If you’re not immediately satisfied, don’t take the project back.
5. Review results and reward performance.
1. Clearly specify what you want. If there is any liability to delegation it is in managers not stating what they want clearly enough. It’s not enough to merely state the task, you need to be able to convey why it needs to be done, what is being requested, and how it is to be presented.
2. Delegate one task to one person. Not only does this give the person a sense of ownership, but it also the levels of responsibility and motivation needed to get the job done well.
3. When you delegate the responsibility, delegate the authority. Don’t make your people “check in” with you on every little detail. Let them make major decisions for themselves and have the freedom to invest even more in the project.
4. If you’re not immediately satisfied, don’t take the project back. Coach the employee to redefine what you are looking for, and ask him or her to summarize expectations back to you so that you are both clearer on the task at hand.
5. Review results and reward performance. There’s nothing more frustrating to an employee than doing a lot of work and then not hearing anything back. Take the time to evaluate a delegated task once it is done. Sometimes a kind word or “thank you” is all someone needs to feel work has not been for nothing. Feedback helps build morale, energy, and the desire to deliver more good work in the future.