There are many people who hesitate to delegate for a number of reasons. For example, they may have had bad experiences in the past when they have tried to delegate. However, by following the simple ‘Ten steps to effective delegation’ which I have built up and refined over the years and cover in my workshops, and practising these steps diligently, many participants in the workshops have had outstanding results. Their ability to delegate effectively has improved greatly.
By delegating effectively you create time for activities which are of higher importance to you at that specific time. For example, you may need to devote more time to strategic issues. Or the requirements of the task you are delegating may help the other person to accept more responsibility and grow in different ways.
- Choose the right person
Match the requirement of the assignment with the person’s needs, potential, skills, interests and motivation. (You want success!)
- Explain why you are asking
Tell the person why you feel that he or she is the right person for the job and why you believe they will be successful. In other words, articulate the points you have considered in 1. above.
- Define the required results
Focus on the outcome which the delegated task will require (rather than on the tasks to be performed to achieve the results). Introduce a measure of success. You want the best.
- Emphasise the benefits
Mention the benefits to the organisation (of achieving the required results) and to the individual. (What’s in it for me?)
- Explain the resources
Ensure that there are adequate resources and explain these to the person.
(Remember to mention all resources – human, financial, supplies, time, transport, information etc.)
- Provide parameters
Explain that he or she needs to develop a ‘plan of action’ for your approval and that this should include time limits.
- Introduce control systems
Develop and discuss control systems and show how progress will be monitored and deviations dealt with. Allow for different work styles and minor mistakes.
- Ensure that the person understands…….
the rules, regulations, limitations and policies with which they will function.
- Empower with sufficient responsibility and authority..
to achieve the best results. (Don’t abdicate.)
Invite questions, summarise, make sure the person has accepted the assignment, indicate your availability to support and say ‘thank you’.
Follow these ten steps and you will delegate effectively.