Tips on Proper Delegation

Delegation doesn’t mean that you lose complete control. You can always send a reminder to the person’s inbox to see whether they are on track.

If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make an impact, learn to delegate – John C. Maxwell

 No one enjoys being called in to work immediately after requesting for time off. Just when you are on holiday with your family, you receive a call from your boss saying that things are in a mess and you need to resume work.  A BCP (Business Continuity Plan) is important for any supervisor/ manager to curb on any unforeseen circumstances.

It’s not easy to give up control especially when you are well conversant with all your duties and training is required for your subordinates to catch up. You’ll find yourself putting off training and preferring to take everything up alone. The downside to this is that there will be an overreliance on you, leading to a lot of stress and lack of optimum performance. 

If you had an unexpected week off would your priorities, tasks and initiatives go on without you? If your answer is no, then that means that you are more involved than essential 

How do you delegate without losing control?

  • Identify the Right People to Delegate Tasks:

It’s important to identify the right staff to delegate tasks, using the criteria of strengths and weakness and not who has less work to deal with. For example, a team member may be great at excel and you have multiple reports required by a client. Instead of being overwhelmed by multiple deadlines, you can begin to train and slowly delegate to the person with the relevant skills and not the one with the lightest load

  • Include Instructions at the Beginning:

Even though the tasks may seem easy and obvious to you, ensure that you have clear guidelines and TAT’s. During the training session, you can have the trainee taking notes to avoid confusion and forgetfulness. A point of reference is important especially when you are not around

  • Train & Oversee:

Delegation doesn’t mean that you lose complete control. You can always send a reminder to the person’s inbox to see whether they are on track. A sit down is also essential before the person is up to speed just to see whether they are catching up. Be patient in your training and understand the person’s capacity to grasp. Patience in training is essential.

  • Provide Feedback to Your Team:

It is crucial to give feedback to subordinates on how tasks have been handled. Provide constructive criticism to keep them motivated. 

Give a window of opportunity for question and answer session so that in case of any challenges clarification can be made.  This is also a chance to learn the team and get their feedback on how tasks can be performed better. Allow the team to share their ideas and integrate those that are helpful. People feel valued and appreciated when their ideas are listened to.

  • Have a Trial Phase:

After proper training, delegate tasks and see how your team performs. A trial period will help you as a manager or supervisor to gauge understanding of your team mates.  You can step out for a few hours and see how your team performs without you present.

Delegation is not easy. It takes time and requires letting go since most managers do not find it easy to trust that their tasks can be executed at the same level as them by their delegation of authority. It is important to note that not everything requires delegation. For example: Rights on Software, Finance Related issues. Therefore, it is important to clearly outline what can and cannot be delegated. The essence is to make work easier and improve the work environment for everyone.

Arnold Akampulira
Notification Bell