Should You Delegate?
It may seem easier to do every task yourself rather than to instruct and supervise someone else to do all tasks to your satisfaction. However, in a growing company, assigning recurring tasks to subordinates can provide opportunities for them to grow and enjoy more visibility while you free up your precious time for responsibilities that only top management can handle. It is an excellent way to provide cross-training for situations when back-up would be an advantage. Delegating can test an employee's readiness for promotion.
Of course, choosing what and when to delegate, and to whom, requires some thought.
- Is there someone on your staff who already has some of the skills and mindset necessary to do a particular job?
- How will this new assignment fit with the long-term goals of his/her position and personal aspirations for growth?
- Does this person have the time to take on additional workload?
- Do you have the time to train, check progress, and help that person re-do the task, if necessary, during the initial learning period?
Once you have decided to delegate:
- Make sure that you clearly define the desired outcome, as well as timelines and deadlines.
- It is critical to identify clearly the amount of authority, responsibility, and accountability that you are expecting. For example, should the task holder be able to initiate action and then report back to you periodically? Or, do you want to outline every step of the process and have them question you about any and all deviations before proceeding further?
- Be willing to make adjustments in the process.
- Be available for questions and support, but don't destroy the process by micromanaging.
- Recognize new accomplishments by the employees to whom you have delegated.
- Remember that ultimate accountability resides with you.
Enjoy the extra time gained as well as the enthusiasm of staff who feel more included and empowered as a result of your decision to delegate!