How to Delegate Work Effectively

Delegating tasks to employees is an effective way to lessen the work for supervisors, however many don’t we delegate. For some supervisors it is hard to delegate because they feel they can do the job better or if they do delegate and the job is not completed properly they are ultimately responsible. Another reason delegation is underutilized is because supervisors may feel threatened if the employee does a fantastic job. I have heard it said that as a supervisor it is my job to put myself out of a job so I can move on to bigger and better things, this requires knowing how to delegate work effectively.
Employees should be given the opportunity to prove themselves, they may make mistakes and they may succeed with flying colors. It is important to choose the work you give assign carefully, don’t start with critical tasks that could result with harsh consequences if not properly done.

By delegating work you are able to build trust and increase responsibilities among employees. They feel they are more of an asset and able to assist in day-to-day operations. Delegating is a way to grow and mature employees leading to better moral and career satisfaction.
At first you may run into some resistance when trying to delegate tasks. Reasons for this include fear, lack of time, and lack of supervisor feedback. Get around many of these issues by delegating to the other’s strengths; don’t set them up to fail. If they don’t have time to do the task, make the time. Provide them feedback when needed. Eventually they will feel more comfortable with the tasks and may require less feedback from you.

When you delegate be sure to pick the right person for the job. Describe to them the desired results and give them a detailed description of the task and answer any questions they may have. If you feel they are not certain they completely comprehend the task, inquire from them how they plan on getting the job done? If their answer is way off base step back and give them more information and supervision. If their answer is moderate then let them run with it for a while and they may find that they need more guidance. Let them come to you and ask questions. If progress is not being made you may need to step in and provide some guidance. If they answer correctly, there is no need for more definition, let them run with it.

Types of Work that can be Delegated

Along with knowing how to delegate work you need to know what type of work can be delegated. When deciding whether or not to delegate a task consider the following. Can they do it better than you can? If so delegate. If not still consider delegating. This is a good opportunity to start building independence. Can they do the task instead of you? If so delegate. As a supervisor you already have a full plate. Delegate when you can. Can they do the task at less of a cost than you? What I mean here is how much do you make an hour? No consider how much one of your employees makes an hour. Should you spend your time doing work that they could be doing at a lower cost per hour? Probably not. If your employee can do the task more efficiently than you, delegate. Lastly, delegate when you see an opportunity for growing and adding perspective for your employees.

What Should Not be Delegated

In conclusion I should mention when not to delegate work. There are certain tasks that should not be delegated to your team members. Don’t delegate when the task is confidential, personal, routine, and there is no opportunity for the employee to learn.

As a supervisor you want to grow your employees. You want to build confidence and independence in them. Knowing how to delegate work can help accomplish this. Involve your team members as much as you can. Watch out for over-whelming them and don’t give them too much work. Remember, most people see an accident waiting to happen. This means that they will most likely complain about being over worked when they see the potential of being over worked. So when they complain they have to much work they probably have time for just a bit more. Still be mindful of how much work you are delegating and don’t forget to encourage and compliment your employees for their efforts.

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