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Whether you’ve been promoted to a role in upper management or find yourself struggling to let go of your work baby, delegation is necessary to success and is difficult to shy away from entirely. It’s an essential tool that aids efficiency and eases stress, and when implemented properly, it helps workers manage their agenda while collectively enhancing productivity within a team.
As positive as it can be in action, it can take time and experience to learn how to do it effectively. Fears or hesitation around delegating typically stem from a reluctance to relinquish control or being afraid that someone else might slow down the wheel they’ve precisely curated. Not to mention, delegating evenly amongst co-workers and to the right candidates can be a tricky game to play. You may also feel that there isn’t enough time in the day to pass on work. Explaining tasks or the nitty-gritty details of a project can seem tiresome.
Regardless, the alternative is usually worse. Overworking yourself bares a multitude of issues and if you have the resource, sharing the workload will inevitably enhance your overall lifestyle. Allowing more time for personal endeavours and liveliness. So, it’s all about finding your groove and learning to lean on the team you’re a part of. With more energy to focus on the big stuff or any minute details, you have more room to grow in your career and give your work the attention it deserves.
Here are seven ways you can learn to delegate efficiently:
1. Focus on time management
How you manage your time and to-do list are important first steps when it comes to delegation. You must know where your time is spent and which tasks you need to focus on before you can release them. Use tools like TimeIvy to see where your working hours get spent and research project management tips or software to organize your schedule and the items you’ve delegated.
2. Avoid micromanaging
No one likes a manager who peaks over their shoulder or obsessively tracks their every move. Simply, just don’t do it. Be aware of micromanaging antics and try your best to avoid them. This type of behaviour blatantly screams “I don’t trust you”. It also limits the chances your team will shine and do their best work because they don’t build any confidence in their personal abilities.
3. Communicate deadlines and expectations
Be clear and concise when communicating deadlines and the expectations you have for the task at hand and their involvement in it. If there is no real deadline, create one that aligns with both your schedule and your workload.
4. Allocate tasks to deserving candidates
Reward your colleagues for the hard work they do and pass on projects to the ones who feel the most inspired or interested in the subject. Study their skills and unique qualities and choose the right people for the right tasks. People naturally thrive in different areas and giving life to the things they’re passionate about helps you in the long run. In other words, make the best of the potential you have within your team.
5. Offer external training or courses
To avoid time-wasting or overexplaining, offer dedicated training opportunities or send them online courses they can take to extend their knowledge. This allows people the chance to grow and learn outside of what you’re teaching them. You never know, they might learn something and teach you.
6. Practice gratitude
Don’t forget to say thank you. People will continue to give you the extra effort if they know you’ll appreciate it, it’s human nature and a positive thing to build people up. So, practice gratitude and let your team know that you’re thankful for their work. Make sure to commend jobs that are well done too and be wary of patronizing. A simple thank you and a well-done review will do wonders.
7. Be on top of progress
Set out time weekly or bi-weekly to discuss the progression of tasks. This will ensure the ball keeps rolling and allows time for both of you to discuss any changes or ask any questions. Don’t overdo it on the catchups though or obsess over delays as you’ll find yourself knee-deep in the micromanager category and quite frankly, it’s a bit annoying.
With the combination of these helpful practices, you can shape your working schedule and readjust your routine to a version that’s healthy and productive. Your management style is yours to shape, and delegation is a huge part of that. No matter the uncertainties you associate with it, delegating to the right people and in smart ways will aid the development of you and your team. It will also excel the amount of work you do and the quality of it. At the end of the day, isn’t that what you want?