How to Delegate in the Workplace

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Delegation in the workplace usually means the transfer of responsibility for a task from one person to another, typically from a manager to an employee. A decision to delegate a task is not a light one and depends on employee responsibility. This article explains the process of how to delegate and explores the benefits and steps to delegating tasks with some tips you can use in your workplace.

Why should you delegate in the workplace?

Delegation in the workplace has many positive benefits for management and employees. Delegating tasks and responsibilities can help to meet deadlines for projects. More work can be done quickly when employees and management work together to meet project deadlines. Delegation is good for projects because having a team help with a project gives you more time to plan, lead and complete the project. For company culture and environment, delegation creates communication and team effort. Delegating tasks also gives employees an opportunity to take initiative in the workplace.

To whom do you delegate in the workplace?

While there are many qualified people in your workplace, you should delegate tasks and responsibilities to those employees whose skills match the tasks for the project. You should delegate responsibilities to those who have prior knowledge of the project requirements. Someone who has already been working on a project will have a better idea of the scope of a project and the necessary skills to take initiative for a project. It is also important to note that you should delegate tasks to people who are reliable in getting work done and giving status updates to those who need to stay apprised of project progress.

How to delegate in the workplace

When you delegate in the workplace, you should complete the following steps:

1. First, decide on the task or responsibility you want to delegate

Be sure the task fits in with the project goals. Have measurable outcomes for the task in relation to the project. For example, a task to audit the security of a database might be critical to implementing a new content management system. 

2. Second, understand whyyou need to delegate a task

It’s essential for you to understand why delegating a task is important. A common reason for delegating work is to finish a project more quickly.

3. Third, choose someone reliable for the delegated task

 Be sure the person whom you delegate a task to has the right skills and the time to finish the task. A person to whom you delegate should also have a record of being reliable in getting tasks done on time and being able to communicate with others about their progress.

4. Fourth, communicate why, how and when you want the task completed

Be clear about any specific details such as procedures to follow or timelines that need to be met. You should also introduce any other employees who are related to the delegated task.

5. Fifth, set firm deadlines

 Give hard deadlines for the person who is doing the task, and ask the delegated person to update you on their progress.

6. Next, require regular feedback

Ask for regular feedback from the person to whom you delegated the task, and in turn, respond quickly when the employee asks for your feedback. Communication with your employees is essential to clear up any issues.

7. Then, trust your employees to complete tasks

While it’s important to keep communication lines open during tasks, it is equally important to give your employees opportunities to take initiative.

8.  After that, review tasks after employees have finished tasks

Give feedback to employees about their abilities to complete tasks. Require the employee to correct any errors you find. Delegation is about getting the task done, but delegating can also be a great learning experience for your employees.

9. Finally, give constructive feedback to employees 

Constructive feedback helps with an employee’s professional growth, building teamwork and creating a strong company culture. Give constructive feedback to help employees grow professionally.

Tips for how to delegate

Here are some tips for how to delegate tasks in the workplace:

  • Know the barriers to effective delegation. Some barriers to delegation are wanting to do everything yourself, not knowing who is capable of doing the tasks and wanting to micromanage.
  • Teach why delegation is a learning task. Delegation should be presented as an opportunity for your employees to try new tasks and take on new challenges.
  • Know what to delegate and what you have to do. Delegate those tasks that give you more time to manage.
  • Provide mini-trainings for the task. If an employee is not familiar with some aspects of the work, offer some training to prepare them for the task.
  • Volunteers. Ask for possible volunteers if you have equally eligible employees for delegating the task.
  • Authority. Delegate with authority to your employees, but with respect for your employees’ talents. For example, acknowledge an individual who has great database security skills.
  • Know when you need to delegate. For example, when your current workload will consume too much time for one person or it interferes with your other priorities, you will need to delegate some tasks.
  • Knowing what tasks to delegate. Some tasks will be outside your knowledge. An example of knowing what to delegate to others is programming if you are not familiar with a certain programming language.
  • Knowing how long to delegate a task. An example is creating a deadline for the delegated task.
  • Seeing delegation from your employee’s perspective. Your employee’s perspective about task delegation is critical for delegating tasks effectively. For example, delegate tasks to an employee who has the time and the skills to help move projects forward.