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How to Delegate Effectively: 9 Tips for Managers

Manager Delegating Work to an Employee

  • 14 Jan 2020

Delegation is a vital management skill . But for some, it’s the hardest to put into practice.

There are several reasons why managers may shy away from delegating work. They might:

  • Think it would take longer to explain the task than actually completing it themselves
  • Want to feel indispensable to their team by being the keeper of specific knowledge
  • Enjoy completing certain projects so prefer not to reassign them
  • Feel guilty about adding more work onto another employee’s to-do list
  • Lack confidence or trust in who they need to transfer the project to
  • Believe that they’re the only ones who can do the job right

Whatever the reason, it’s important to continue honing the skill, as refusing to delegate can have negative consequences. Not only will you overload your schedule and prioritize the wrong tasks, but your employees will miss out on valuable learning and growth opportunities.

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What Is Delegation and Why Is It Important?

Delegation refers to the transfer of responsibility for specific tasks from one person to another.

From a management perspective, delegation occurs when a manager assigns specific tasks to their employees. By delegating those tasks to team members, managers free up time to focus on higher-value activities while also keeping employees engaged with greater autonomy.

According to a Gallup study , CEOs who excel in delegating generate 33 percent higher revenue. These executives know they can’t accomplish everything alone and position their team to tackle tasks they’re confident they’ll achieve—in turn empowering employees, boosting morale, and increasing productivity. In the process, CEOs free up their time to focus on activities that will yield the highest returns and grow the company.

Here are nine ways you can start delegating more effectively to cultivate high-performing teams.

9 Delegation Tips for Managers

1. know what to delegate.

Not every task can be delegated. For example, performance reviews or any personnel matters should be handled by you. After all, hiring the right talent and knowing each employee’s strengths and weaknesses will ultimately make you better at assigning deliverables and transferring responsibility to the appropriate team members.

Several other day-to-day activities don’t require your oversight, though. Is there a task you regularly tackle despite knowing your co-worker is better equipped to complete it? Would assigning the project to other employees help bolster their careers? If there’s someone who could do the work better, or you think this could be a teachable moment, delegate. It will show you trust and value your team, while also giving you time to focus on more strategic projects.

2. Play to Your Employees’ Strengths and Goals

Every employee should have goals they’re working toward, and within those goals are opportunities to delegate. For example, maybe you have a direct report who wants to gain management experience. Is there an intern they could start supervising, or a well-defined project they can own the execution of? The type of work you delegate could factor into their professional development plan.

For other tasks, there’s likely someone on your team with the specific skill set needed to achieve the desired result. Leverage that and play to your employees’ strengths. When someone has a higher chance of excelling, they’re more motivated and engaged , which then benefits the entire business.

Related: How to Become a Better Manager

3. Define the Desired Outcome

Simply dumping work onto someone else’s plate isn’t delegating. The projects you hand off should come with proper context and a clear tie into the organization’s goals.

“You’ve got to have real clarity of objective,” says Harvard Business School Professor Kevin Sharer in the online Management Essentials course . That includes having alignment on “what does good look like” and by what timeline, and “the technique of measuring accomplishment.”

Before anyone starts working on a project, they should know what they need to complete and by when, including the metrics you’ll use to measure the success of their work.

4. Provide the Right Resources and Level of Authority

If the person you’re delegating work to needs specific training, resources, or authority to complete the assigned project, it’s your role as a manager to provide all three. Setting someone up for an impossible task will frustrate both sides; your colleague won’t be able to achieve the desired outcome, and then you’ll likely need to put that work back on your to-do list.

This is also where you need to fight the urge to micromanage . Telling your co-worker, step-by-step, how you would accomplish the task and then controlling each part of the process won’t enable them to learn or gain new skills. Focus instead on what the desired end goal is, why the task is important, and help address any gaps between the outcome and their current skill set.

5. Establish a Clear Communication Channel

While you want to avoid micromanaging, you do want to establish a communication channel so that the person you’re delegating to feels comfortable asking questions and providing progress updates.

“You’ve got to have some way to communicate so that the person you delegated to can come back to you and report,” says Sharer in the Management Essentials course . “You’ve got to have some way along the way to see how things are going. It isn’t fire and forget. That is, ‘I just give you the task and I don’t worry about it anymore. We’ve got to have some way to monitor the progress along the way without me getting in your way.’”

Setting up regular check-ins and providing feedback throughout the project can help with this.

How to Become a More Effective Leader | Access Your Free E-Book | Download Now

6. Allow for Failure

This step is particularly important for the perfectionists who avoid delegating because they think their way is the only way to get the work done. You need to allow for failure—not because your employees might fail, but because it will enable experimentation and empower the people you’re assigning tasks to, to take a new approach.

If you’re open to new ideas and approaches to the work, you’ll have an easier time delegating when able.

7. Be Patient

As a manager, you likely have more years of experience in your field. Because of this, a task you can complete in 30 minutes might take an employee a full hour the first time they complete it.

You might be tempted to refrain from delegating certain tasks knowing that you can get them done faster, but be patient with your employees. Think back to the first time you completed a specific task early on in your career. You probably weren’t as efficient as you are now; your time management skills have improved.

As you continue to delegate and your employees become more familiar with the tasks that need to be completed, you’ll notice that the work will get done faster over time.

Related: 7 Strategies for Improving Your Management Skills

8. Deliver (and Ask For) Feedback

In addition to monitoring progress, you should also deliver feedback to your employees after the tasks you’ve delegated are complete.

If a task wasn’t completed as assigned, don’t be afraid to offer constructive criticism. Your employees can take this feedback and make changes the next time a similar task is assigned. On the other hand, remember to provide positive feedback and show your appreciation when a task was done well.

To ensure you’re delegating effectively, you’ll also want to ask your team for any feedback that they can give you. Ask your employees if you provided clear instructions and determine if there’s anything you can do to better delegate in the future.

9. Give Credit Where It’s Due

After you’ve delegated tasks and they’ve been seen through to completion, credit those who achieved the work.

“Recognizing that success is because of your team is not only right, but it has the added benefit of making those around you more engaged—making you even more successful,” writes HBS Online Executive Director Patrick Mullane for Richtopia. “It’s counter-intuitive, but not claiming success for yourself will lead to more future wins.”

The more you thank and credit those you’ve delegated work to, the more likely it is they will want to help you on other projects in the future.

Management Essentials | Get the job done | Learn More

Honing Your Delegation Skills

Delegating isn’t easy; it’s a skill that must be practiced and honed over time. But the better you become at aligning the right people with the right tasks and responsibilities, the more effective you’ll become at your job as a manager.

Are you interested in further improving your managerial skills? Download our free leadership and management e-book to find out how. Also, explore our eight-week online Management Essentials course , which will provide you with real-world tools and strategies to excel in decision-making, implementation, organizational learning, and change management.

This post was updated on June 2, 2021. It was originally published on January 14, 2020.

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8 Ways Leaders Delegate Successfully

  • Deborah Grayson Riegel

presentation of the delegation

Start by picking the right person for the job.

For many leaders, delegating feels like something they know they should do, but don’t do. Senior leaders often struggle with knowing what they can delegate that would actually feel helpful to them, or how to delegate responsibility and not just tasks, or what responsibilities could serve as a learning and growth opportunity for others below them. Before leaders can successfully and effectively delegate, they need to understand their own resistance. Perhaps they’re reluctant to delegate because they don’t want to give up control, or they don’t want to look like they’re slacking. For the senior leader to start delegating and stick with it, he needs to address these feelings, challenge his own assumptions about “what if,” and try small, low-risk delegation experiments to see whether his assumptions are rooted in the truth or in his own desire for safety. Delegating well helps leaders maximize their resources, ensuring that they’re focusing on their highest priorities, developing their team members, and creating a culture where delegation isn’t just expected — it’s embedded in the culture.

In their book, Hidden Value: How Great Companies Achieve Extraordinary Results with Ordinary People , authors Jeffrey Pfeffer and Charles O’Reilly claim that there is mounting evidence that delegating more responsibility for decision making increases productivity, morale, and commitment, all of which impact company culture. A 2015 Gallup study of the entrepreneurial talents of 143 CEOs on the Inc. 500 list showed that companies run by executives who effectively delegate authority grow faster, generate more revenue, and create more jobs.

presentation of the delegation

  • Deborah Grayson Riegel is a professional speaker and facilitator, as well as a communication and presentation skills coach. She teaches leadership communication at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and has taught for Wharton Business School, Columbia Business School’s Women in Leadership Program, and Peking University’s International MBA Program. She is the author of Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life and the best-selling Go To Help: 31 Strategies to Offer, Ask for, and Accept Help .

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How to delegate effectively: 10 tips for managers

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Delegating is when you reassign work to other team members because it’s more relevant to their workstreams and priorities. If you’re getting started with team or project management, it can be intimidating to delegate work. It’s okay if you don’t know exactly what or how to delegate. In this article, we’ll walk you through when to delegate, and give you 10 tips to help you delegate work effectively. 

Sometimes, the most valuable thing you can do as a manager is to delegate work. Not only does delegating work give you more time to focus on high-impact tasks, it also gives your team members a chance to get involved in interesting projects. 

But knowing what—and how—to delegate can be daunting for new managers. Delegating is a leadership skill you can develop over time. In this article, we’ll walk you through 10 tips to help you become a better delegator. 

What is delegation?

Delegation is the act of redirecting tasks and initiatives to other team members. You might delegate work to distribute responsibility more evenly, or because the task or initiative is more relevant to another team member’s priorities, skills, or interests. 

Knowing when and how to delegate makes you a better manager. Not only does delegating help you get your high-impact work done, but it also gives team members an opportunity to get involved in interesting projects. Effective delegation builds team skills and allows team members to develop new strengths. 

Why is delegation important? 

Delegating work is important for two main reasons: maximizing personal productivity and showing your team that you trust them with important work. The whole is more powerful than the individual—with effective delegation, you can accomplish more together as a team than you can alone. 

Knowing when to delegate responsibility to other team members is a great way to become a more effective leader. This important management skill offers key development opportunities for your team members. Depending on the type of tasks you delegate, delegation can help you build new team skill sets and monitor progress towards professional development plans . 

What stops people from delegating tasks 

It can be difficult to know what to delegate, especially if you’re a first-time manager . Some people struggle to delegate because they:

Worry that it’ll take more time to explain how to do the work than to do it themselves

Don’t understand the priority of the work

Want to work on interesting projects themselves

Feel guilty about assigning more work to other people

Aren’t sure who else can do this work

Want to feel important to their team

When to delegate work

There isn’t just one straightforward scenario for when you should delegate work. But in general, ask yourself a few questions in order to determine if this work is beneficial to delegate. 

Questions to ask before delegating tasks: 

Is this work more aligned with another team member’s priorities?

Is there someone else who has the information and context to do this work? 

Is this work an opportunity for someone else to grow and develop their skills? 

Will this work recur in the future? 

Do I have time to effectively delegate this work, including training the other person, answering their questions, and reviewing their work? 

Is this something I should personally work on (because it’s high-impact or business critical)?

Would failure impact the success of the project? 

Do we have time to re-do the work if necessary?  

You don’t need to answer “yes” to all of these questions in order to delegate work. But asking yourself these questions before delegating work helps you identify the best work to delegate. 

10 tips to delegate work

Learning to delegate work makes you a better manager and allows your team members to get involved in exciting projects. Try these 10 tips to get started with the delegation process:

1. Identify work to delegate

Not everything can be delegated. Some work is strategic or business critical, and would benefit from your personal attention. Before you begin delegating work, evaluate the importance of the work and the implications of delegating it. 

That isn’t to say you can’t delegate important tasks. If there’s another team member with the context, experience, or skill set to do this work effectively, delegating it might be a good option. But keep in mind that achieving a good end result is still your responsibility. 

Good work to delegate includes:

Work that will recur in the future: If you have a recurring task, it’s often worth delegating it to someone else who has the time and energy to do the job well. 

Work that aligns with team member’s interests: If a team member has expressed interest in developing a new skill or honing an existing one, see if there’s any work you can delegate to them to help them build those skills. 

Work that connects to team member’s goals: One of the best ways to delegate is to assign work that connects to a team member’s professional goals. 

2. Practice letting go

Delegating can be difficult for first-time managers and leaders because you’re putting important work into someone else’s hands. You probably feel connected to your work and responsible for it getting done well. 

Learning to delegate is a critical skill, but you also shouldn’t be uncomfortable every time you delegate. So instead, practice handing off small types of work at first, before building up to bigger projects. Be patient—both with yourself and your team members. It will take time to build your delegation skills. In the same vein, team members may take longer to get this work done than you would. But by delegating work, you’re giving team members the opportunity to develop their skills over time and also taking one more thing off your plate. 

3. Clarify priorities

Understanding the priority—and difficulty—of tasks makes it easier for you to delegate. If something is high priority, it needs to get done soon—either by you or by someone else. Depending on the type of work, you can then make the decision to do it yourself or to delegate. 

The best way to clarify priorities is to connect work to team and company goals. When you and your team have clarity on why your work matters, it’s easier to effectively prioritize and get high-impact work done. If you haven’t already, do this by putting all of your team’s work into a shared source of truth, like a project management tool. That way, everyone has direct visibility into who’s doing what by when and why. 

4. Understand each team member’s strengths

Part of delegating is making sure the person you’re handing work off to is set up for success. Effective delegation has two elements: delegating work to team members who have skills in that area, and giving team members opportunities to develop new skills. 

To do this, make sure you clearly understand each team member’s strengths—as well as their interests. Take some time during your next 1:1 meeting to ask them what skills they currently have that they want to develop further, as well as what skills they want to develop that they don’t currently have.

5. Provide context and guidance

When you hand off work, make sure the person taking on the task is set up for success. This includes:

Guidance on how to get the work done

The due date for the delegated task

Context, documents, and details about the work

Tools required to get the job done

The priority, goals, and expectations of the work

The desired outcome

Any related work

Keep in mind that this work might be easy for you to do, but it might be totally new to the person you’re delegating the work to. Take some time to walk them through the assignment and answer any questions they have before they get started to ensure they’re set up for success. 

6. Invest in training

There may be work that no one on your team can do but you. Some managers think that means they can’t delegate the work. But depending on your priorities, it’s often better to train team members how to do the work so they can tackle those assignments moving forward. 

Training takes time—so it’s tempting to just do it yourself. But think of training as an investment in your team members and your own workload. Over time, you’ll recoup the time you spent training since the person will be able to do work. Delegating time-consuming tasks is a great way to build your own time management skills , while also giving team members new opportunities. 

Part of training someone else how to do the work is to give them space to solve problems instead of immediately providing a solution. If the team member doing the work does hit a roadblock, ask questions to prompt how they think they can overcome the roadblock. Instead of providing solutions, try asking the other person for suggestions in order to help them build their own decision-making skills and guide them towards the right answer. 

7. Prioritize communication and feedback

Delegating work is a really good opportunity for two-way feedback and communication . Make sure the person you’ve delegated work to has a way to contact you with any questions, and set up a regular check in, like a 1:1 meeting, where you can review things in more detail.

Provide feedback on their work for any future tasks you send their way. Also, ask for feedback from them—did you give them enough information to succeed? Were there any open questions that would have made getting the work done easier? Keep in mind that delegation is a long-term skill you’re beginning to build, so soliciting feedback helps set you up for long-term success. 

8. Focus on results

When you delegate work, the goal isn’t to have the team member do the work exactly like you would have done it. It’s okay if someone does something differently than you if they achieve the desired results. 

As you delegate and coach team members through work, avoid spending too much time explaining how things should be done. Instead, focus on the end goal, and give the team member the space to come up with their own process for doing the work. This gives them the space to develop their own skills, and also demonstrates that you trust them with the responsibility of figuring out how to do the work. 

9. Trust but verify

Once you’ve delegated work, try to take a step back and give the team member the space they need to do the work. Check in with them periodically to make sure they don’t need any additional support, while also being hands-off enough to show your team that you trust them.

Ultimately, however, you’re responsible for the success of the work. If it’s your first time delegating this type of work, implement a review cycle or follow-up period to review the work that was done, and nudge it in the right direction if necessary. 

10. Give credit once work is completed

Effectively delegating work gives other team members the opportunity to develop new skills and get involved in important projects. Once the work is completed, make sure the team member who did the work is credited for completing the task. 

Other cross-functional team members might give you credit for the work, especially if it’s something you’ve done in the past. Make sure you aren’t taking credit for someone else’s work, and take some time to appreciate your team member for a job well done.

Delegated and done

Delegating work is a great way to not only build your personal management skills, but to support professional development across your team. To set your co-workers up for success, make sure they have all of the information they need to get the delegated task done correctly. 

If you haven’t already, do this with a project management tool . A shared source of truth, like a project management tool, gives team members increased visibility and unlimited access to the context they need to get good work done. 

Productivity

Productivity tips

The Art of Delegating: What and How to Delegate to Your Directs

When done right, delegation means everyone on your team wins.

how-to-delegate primary img

Surprise! Pushing your unwanted projects onto someone else actually increases productivity for everyone. For the overworked manager juggling their business development duties with supervisory activities, delegating sounds like a gift from beyond.

Okay, thoughtlessly shoving your spreadsheets onto your intern won’t produce the same benefits as a carefully planned project, but the point remains: successful delegation works. Not only does delegation enable managers to swap their time-wasting activities for top-priority strategic initiatives, it gives your junior employees an opportunity to take on stretch projects and hone their skills.

But delegation is a delicate dance. You need to foist extra work onto someone—and frame it as a growth opportunity. You need to respect each employee's time and autonomy while supporting them when problems arise. You need to maintain accountability for the overall outcome, but distance yourself from the details.

Oversee the process too heavily and you’re micromanaging. Back off entirely and you’ll be accused of abdicating responsibility and abusing your employees. By operating between those two extremes, you can free up your schedule, develop your employees, and improve the bottom line.

What’s Stopping You From Delegating?

Done well, delegation presents a win-win situation for all involved. But most leaders don’t delegate well—or at all.

Hesitation stems from personal insecurity—whether it’s fear of losing time, control, credit, or delegating yourself out of a job. But because delegation only succeeds when you can surrender control of the details and decision making process to your colleagues, you need to recognize and address those concerns before assigning tasks.

You don't have enough time to delegate

That extra hour you spend training your colleague on a new software or process could grant you an extra three hours for a higher-value project

Between explaining the tasks to employees, following up, addressing questions and problems, and providing feedback, delegation can occupy a lot of time. At that point, it may seem more efficient to do the work yourself, even if it steals time from something more valuable. True, you might complete your presentation in less time than your subordinate. But instead of considering the time differential, consider opportunity cost. As a manager, you likely have more pressing business-enhancing projects on your plate than your junior employee. So that extra hour you spend training your colleague on a new software or process could grant you an extra three hours for a higher-value project.

Also, not having enough time to delegate is the surest sign that you need to delegate something out of your schedule. But time crunches place managers in a vicious cycle. How do you create time to delegate when delegation is what creates time? In The Courageous Leader: How to Face Any Challenge and Lead Your Team to Success , Angela Sebaly recommends simple ways for managers to make time to delegate:

Assess what is on your plate that can be postponed or dropped. Not everything we do is necessary. Some of what we do is because we’ve always done it, the person before us in the role always did it, and the person before them, and so on. Manage energy in other parts of your life so that you can temporarily do more of the strategic stuff at work that gets you unstuck (like hiring a qualified team). As requests for your team come in, practice asking, "Why this task?" and "Why me and my team?" rather than "When do you want it done?"

Delegating yourself out a job

Although this is a possibility, realize that when your direct reports create value for others, their competence will reflect positively on your management, even though you’re not directly involved in driving those results.

Consider the alternatives, too. To take a less optimistic perspective: their failures will reflect poorly on your leadership. Though you could hoard the work for yourself, under-prioritizing strategic imperatives for busywork or burning yourself out will be counterproductive.

Related: Learn the best ways to protect your time .

What Should You Delegate?

what to delegate

Although we managers fiercely protect our right to make our own choices, we tend to shy away from decisions that carry negative consequences.

This pattern holds even when stakes are low: In a study published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, participants tasked with choosing a restaurant were two to three times more likely to delegate the choice to someone else if it negatively impacted others or if the options were unappealing. According to the investigators, they outsourced their choice to avoid feelings of responsibility or blame for their decision. If a hypothetical dinner decision can provoke this anxiety, imagine the choices that managers face daily: Firings, business mergers, or other major consequences.

But rather than giving those tough or politically sensitive decisions to someone else, managers need to devote more time for those higher-level strategic tasks .

Instead, delegate out problems that prevent you from enhancing your business . On Entrepreneur, Matthew Levey, owner of Field Trip Beef Jerky, recommends low-value, time-intensive activities for managers to shift elsewhere, including:

Tasks that keep you from growing your business

Banish the busywork. For example, a standalone editor at a rapidly growing media company who spends hours proofreading freelance submissions might be better served hiring a copyeditor. Free from micro-analyzing every comma and period, she can devote more time to setting content strategy or forging partnerships with sponsors.

Areas that are out of your wheelhouse

Once again, think about opportunity cost. The more time and energy you spend trying to make sense of that complicated financial report, the more resources you’re diverting from other projects. If the buck stops with you, it’s worth the sacrifice. But if one of your direct reports can figure it out in five minutes? It’ll save time—and once you factor in your hourly pay—money, as well.

Anything you want your team to learn

Allowing workers to take ownership of tasks helps them truly absorb lessons and skills, as Bob Marsh, CEO of a motivational software called Level-Eleven, discusses in the Entrepreneur article. If you’ve been meaning to teach your team SEO optimization or a new software, a hands-on project will go a longer way than just about anything else.

How Should You Delegate?

how to delegate

Much has been written about the importance of delegation, but one reason many leaders don't delegate is they're not sure the best way to go about delegating—and making sure the job is done right. Here, in a nutshell are the most important things you should consider before handing over a task or project.

Choose the right people to delegate to

Match activities to your employees’ activities. This will help minimize the chances of unduly burdening someone with a task that’s completely outside their capabilities. For example, offload your editing to the detail-oriented wordsmith in your group, the client check-ins to your charismatic salesman, and your budget reports to the math whiz.

But equally, if not more important, is spreading the load evenly throughout your team. Researchers from North Carolina State University emphasize the importance of fairness in delegation as well:

Some of your team members may feel that they are already putting in extra time for your team’s project. This may be true, so make sure that you are fairly dividing tasks between yourself and all of your team members. If everyone feels overworked, you will have to explain that in order to get the job done, everyone needs to put forth the extra effort.

Especially after a missed deadline or a blown deal, it’s understandable to avoid the people who burned you in the past. But constantly saddling your most dependable employees with time-consuming tasks will only invite resentment and accusations of favoritism. Lean too heavily on a few stars and you’ll lose them. Instead, identify the weak links in your department and decide whether to train them or replace them with more reliable people.

Cultivate a culture of trust

Remember those team-building exercises where you close your eyes, cross your arms, and let yourself fall into someone else’s arms? Delegation is the workplace equivalent of the falling tests: You’re betting your work product and reputation on your coworkers’ work, thus revealing the trust level between you and your team members.

Nobody will want to pick up your work if they don’t believe that you have good intention. For many business leaders, that poses a problem: in Edelman’s Trust Barometer, one in three workers said that they did not trust their employers. Also, most considered a fellow worker’s voice more credible than that of their CEO.

Even if you think your direct reports trust you, realize that your mannerisms and offhanded comments could subtly undercut your credibility. Carefully word your ask and avoid these common pitfalls , which Gwen Moran presents on Fast Company:

One way to damage your credibility is to offer a "non-apology apology" when you owe an authentic one, says Michael Maslansky, CEO of Maslansky + Partners and coauthor of The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics.

When you apologize for occupying a worker’s time, don’t couch your mea culpa with qualifiers. Just own up to it and move on.

While sometimes situations require consequences, such as for carelessness or bad actions, publicly making someone else a scapegoat is just going to make people wonder about how much you can be trusted.

Classic social psychology research confirms that we learn just as much from observing other’s experiences as we do from our own. Scapegoating prevents people from taking the risk to take on new projects, so avoid that if you want to create a culture of trust.

Address your staff’s concerns

Sure, sometimes your employee doesn’t want to pick up a new project at 4pm on a Friday. But when your direct reports resist an extra assignment, don’t assume that they want to slack. In fact, their biggest concerns mirror those of their managers.

Frustrating as it may be to meet resistance from your team members, realize that their hesitance could stem from their own fears. North Carolina State University presents the most common barriers for employees, including:

Not enough time

Not enough experience

Fear of failure

Fear of being a scapegoat

Not their responsibility

Reaction from other team members

Unless they’re obviously slacking off, hear them out. Once you understand why they’re really wavering, you can meaningfully respond to those barriers. Encourage and use open communication to air out and alleviate out minor problems before they balloon into major issues.

Follow the Acceptance Theory of Authority

No matter how politely you ask your assistant to pull performance data from the last five years, there’s no getting around the underlying message that, "My time is more valuable than yours." So approach the ask delicately and if possible, create some buy-in for them. The process will be much more pleasant if your subordinate sees some personal value in their end product.

So how can you exert authority while empowering your employee? Follow management theorist Chester Barnard’s "Acceptance Theory of Authority," which outlines the four conditions employees need to meet before accepting a task. Incorporating these conditions into your ask will encourage you employee to take, if not embrace, the extra work.

What your directs need from you:

1. They need to comprehend the assignment

Clearly articulate the desired outcome. Begin with the end in mind and specify the desired results. If necessary, spell out necessary steps and "signs" of adequate progress, so they’ll be able to catch themselves in a mistake before involving you. But after describing the non-negotiable aspects of the project, leave the process up to them. This recognizes your employee’s autonomy to work according to their own style.

To Heather Herndon Wright, senior director of alliance relationships at the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council in Dallas, Texas, this is the secret to successful delegation :

I frequently use the analogy, "Here we are, and there is the Emerald City. Build me a yellow brick road. It must be made of brick and they must be yellow, but I don’t mind if it’s curvy, straight, or triple decked, as long as it’s completed on time and meets the requirements I laid out."

2. They must consider the assignment to be related to the organisation’s mission

Basically, you need to convince your direct report that their sacrifice will serve a purpose beyond giving you time to hit the slopes this week. So during your ask, clearly connect the assigned task to business goals. Will it expose your company to new fundraisers, stakeholders, or customers? Will it enable you to recruit and hire the talent you need to improve your department? Will it help your company provide services for others?

Tying their work to a broader mission that they believe in encourages employees to take ownership of their work, according to research by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer.

Why is meaning so important? Because when people find meaning in the work, they also feel a sense of ownership. The work means something to them personally. And as Keller describes, when people take ownership of the work, they are more committed to it, more intrinsically motivated, more engaged. And that makes for better performance on all dimensions.

Related : 3 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Your Motivation (Even When You Don't Feel Like Working

3. The assignment must be consistent with their professional goals

That said, people also respond to more obvious, immediately gratifying motivation. So give your employees tasks that improve their skills and make them more valuable. This sends the message that you’re as equally vested in their advancement and progress as you are in your own work and convenience.

Since nobody considers spreadsheet formatting instrumental to their professional future, achieving personal buy-in isn’t always possible. But if you’ve built a track record for prioritizing your employee’s personal and professional development, they’ll be more likely to cut you some slack when you do give them a thankless task.

4. They must be have the skills and knowledge necessary to complete the assignment

Obviously, you shouldn’t hand off client meetings to the new intern and hope everything works out.

But unless they’re at your side from 9 to 5, your subordinates probably don’t know all of the resources you have in your arsenal. They also won’t automatically know what level of initiative is expected of them or whose inboxes they can spam with questions and requests. Especially if they’re several rungs below you on the organizational ladder, they’ll likely err on the side of being conservative. Without full knowledge of their authority, they’ll fear overstepping their bounds—and keep asking you questions.

Streamline the process as much as possible on the front end by telling them exactly what permissions—and resources—they have, from your valuable contacts to that spreadsheet hack that saves you hours every time. Dr. Scott Williams, a professor at Wright State University’s Raj School of Business, outlines other questions that managers should address upfront:

Can subordinates assign tasks to their peers or other personnel not in their line of authority? What workspace and equipment can subordinates use? Can subordinates have a budget for the project? Can subordinates hire assistants or temporary help? These are the types of questions that should be addressed when delegating.

If this seems too exhaustive, remember that one face-to-face conversation now can save you an annoying email thread later on. Not only will the preparation ease your employee’s burden, but it’ll prevent them from "reverse delegating" the task back to you. Remember that the point of delegation is to create more time for yourself to take on strategic tasks. If you don’t prepare your employee to fully own the project, and you’re forced to assist them, your delegation will result in extra work for you. You’ll find yourself split between your new higher-value projects and the ones you offloaded before.

After You Delegate

after you delegate

Once you've handed off a task, you're all set, right? Not so fast. You'll need to follow up to see how the task was performed.

Inform others of the tasks and projects you've delegated

Separating yourself from a project is hard enough without being pinged every five minutes for permissions to documents or fielding questions from clients wondering why you suddenly disappeared. Avoid logistical headaches for you, your subordinate, and other stakeholders by informing everyone affected by the project that you’ve shifted responsibilities and permissions from yourself to your direct.

If you’ve granted your employee access to confidential documents or databases, let the relevant IT representatives know. If you’ve told your employee to contact outside clients, give them a courtesy heads-up or even better, facilitate a virtual introduction between the two parties. This not only enables your employee to assume their authority, but it lets you fully disengage from the nitty-gritty details of the job.

Set a schedule for checking in

Your project’s out of sight, but it’s not out of mind. Even the most meticulous planning and check-in process can’t completely erase the uncertainty—or the resulting stress of handing over work. But if you interrupt your employees' process, you’ll not only undercut their autonomy, you’ll subtly encourage them to refer problems related the project back to you. This both prevents your employee from testing and improving their skills and keeps you from progressing on higher priority jobs, thus rendering the entire exercise useless. Worse, it forces you to split your resources between the assignment that you outsourced and the extra one that you picked up.

Although you remain responsible for the project’s final outcome, accept that you’ve surrendered control over most of its execution. And be flexible: Because your subordinate has less familiarity with the project than you, they’re unlikely to perform as effortlessly, efficiently, or quickly as you might like.

As a compromise, set up a collaborative Google doc or Slack channel for the project. With real-time progress updates and a clear line of communication, you keep the door open without barging through it every ten seconds. (But if you find yourself refreshing the page every 20 minutes, go cold turkey.) Establish a set routine for checking in and discussing issues, such as a standing weekly meeting. Once you’ve determined a specific day and time to meet, leave it alone.

Conduct a mutual review

Nobody delegates perfectly and, as mentioned above, few managers even do it well. So when you review your employee’s performance, don’t forget to solicit feedback from them as well.

As Amy Gallo writes on The Harvard Business Review Why Aren't You Delegating? - Harvard Business Review ,

Give your direct reports permission to call you out when you haven’t delegated something you should. Remember that it’s never easy to give your boss feedback, so be crystal clear that you are open to and expect this kind of input. Also, let them know that they’re responsible for their own growth and if they see a project they want to take on, they should ask for it.

If you completely micromanaged your employee or abandoned them during a critical moment, that knowledge will help avoid those mistakes and improve your working relationship in the future. Beyond that, your openness to criticism will do wonders for your credibility.

Although it eliminates something from your schedule, delegation still requires work. But it's worth the effort! When done right, delegation means increased productivity and progress for everyone on your team. As John C. Maxwell wrote in Developing the Leaders Around You : "If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate."

Title graphic by Freepik Quote images produced using Pablo by Buffer .

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Kathleen McAuliffe

Kathleen McAuliffe is a freelance writer covering personal finance, women's rights, and fitness. When I'm not writing, find me running for marathon PRs or coffee.

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delegation

Nov 02, 2014

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Delegation. Delegation. Delegation skill is the ability to effectively assign task responsibility and authority to others. Delegation skill is your ability to get things done by using work and time of other people. Delegation.

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Presentation Transcript

Delegation Dr. Lincoln

Dr. Lincoln

Delegation • Delegation skill is the ability to effectively assign task responsibility and authority to others. • Delegation skill is your ability to get things done by using work and time of other people. Dr. Lincoln

Delegation • Effective delegation is a critical survival skill for managers and supervisors • and this is what many delegation training resources are about. • Yet, what is less often emphasized is that understanding delegation skill and knowing how to use it right is an important personal time management skill. • No matter if you have subordinates or bosses, if it is at work or at home. Dr. Lincoln

Delegation • Definition: • The process by which responsibility and authority for performing a task is transferred to another individual who accepts that authority and responsibility • Delegation is a dynamic process • It involves responsibility, accountability, and authority • It empowers others, builds trust, enhances communication and leadership skills, and develops teamwork Dr. Lincoln

Responsibility and Accountability • Responsibility Defined: • Denotes an obligation to accomplish a task • Accountability Defined: • Accepting ownership for the results or lack of results • In delegation: • Responsibility is transferred whereas accountability is shared. Dr. Lincoln

Delegation decision-making tree • See Figure 10-1, page 143 in text • Authority to delegate varies • Nurses must check statues and regulations before delegating duties Dr. Lincoln

Responsibility • For your delegation skill to work, make sure that you will be able to monitor the progress of task execution and know if the task is actually completed. • When you delegate, normally you are still responsible to see that the task is completed. • Avoid delegation when you are unable to monitor the completion status. Dr. Lincoln

Delegate the Whole Task • For the delegation to be effective it is important that you delegate the whole task. • You need to effectively and clearly communicate to the delegatee what outcome is expected and what requirement are for the task results. • This is very important for the delegatee's motivation and performance, as well as for your satisfaction with the task results. Dr. Lincoln

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Benefits of Delegation • Benefits to the Manager • Able to devote more time to tasks that cannot be delegated • Can develop new skills and abilities • Benefits to Delegate • Gains new skills and abilities • Can bring trust and support – increasing self-esteem • Enhance job satisfaction and motivation • Improves morale • Feel more appreciated Dr. Lincoln

The Delegation Process • Define the task (p. 136) • Delegate only the work for which you have responsibility and authority – routine tasks, less priority, is training or education required? • There are certain tasks that should not be delegated! • Decide on the delegate • Match the task to the individual • Who has the requisite capabilities? • Who is available? Dr. Lincoln

The Delegation Process • Determine the task (p. 137) • Define expectations • Provide enough time to describe task; allow for questions • Describe the task, provide a reason for it, describe the standard for evaluation and expected outcome and timelines for completion • Reach agreement (p. 138) • Be sure they have the needed information or resources • Monitor performance and provide feedback. • Remain accessible; provide praise and recognition Dr. Lincoln

Obstacles to Delegation • Potential Obstacles to Delegation are listed in the text • Table 10-1, p. 139 • An Insecure Delegator • “I can do it better” • “I can do it faster” • “I’d rather do it myself” • “I don’t have time to delegate” • There is also the fear of being blamed for the delegate’s mistakes. Dr. Lincoln

Delegation: Common Fear of the Insecure Delegator • Fear of competition or criticism • What if they do the job better? • Fear of liability • There are risks associated with delegation, but if delegation is done correctly, the risks are minimized • Fear of being blamed for the delegate’s mistakes • Fear of loss of control • Will I be kept informed? • Will the job be done right? • Fear of overburdening others Dr. Lincoln

Liability and Delegation • What are the five rights of delegation from the Nat. Council of State Board of Nursing (1995)? (P. 142) • Right task • Right circumstances • Right person • Right direction and communication • Right supervision Dr. Lincoln

ANA 2001 Code of Ethics for Nurses • The nurse is responsible for exercising informed judgment • and basing the decision to delegate on individual’s competencies and qualifications • Failure to do so constitutes negligence • Imperative that the right task be given to the right person Dr. Lincoln

Tools for Delegating Successfully • Delegate only tasks for which you have responsibility. • Transfer authority when you delegate responsibility. • Be sure you follow state regulations, job descriptions and agency policies when delegating • Follow the delegation process and key behaviors for delegating describe in the chapter. • Accept delegation when you are clear about the task, time frame, reporting, and other expectations. • Confront you fears about delegation; recognize those that are realistic and those that are not. (p. 144) Dr. Lincoln

Effective Delegation • Clarify the assignment • Specify employees’ range of discretion • Allow employees to participate • Inform others that delegation has occurred • Establish feedback channels Dr. Lincoln

Effective Delegation • The effective delegation and empowerment of your employees is essential for your success as a manager • and gives you the added benefit of happier employees and manageable workload Dr. Lincoln

Some Questions By what authority may RN’s delegate nursing care to others? A UAP may perform care that falls within which component of the nursing process? What are the 5 rights of delegation? Dr. Lincoln

More questions . . . • Which tasks can be delegated to a UAP? • A. inserting a Foley catheter • B. measuring and recording the client’s output through a Foley catheter • C. teaching a client how to care for a catheter after discharge • D. assessing for symptoms of a UTI Dr. Lincoln

A little praise goes a long way • Here are a few ways to motivate a UAP on your staff: • * Remind him how important he is to you and how much you depend on him. • A simple "thank you" at the end of each shift, or a specific "I really appreciated it when you . . . . shows him how important he is to you. • * Put something in writing for his supervisor or employment file (and his next evaluation) to document a job well done. • * Follow through on what he tells you. • For example, he may be the first person a patient tells about a new symptom. • Retrieved from: http://www.nursingcenter.com/library/JournalArticle.asp?Article_ID=649854 Dr. Lincoln

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Delegation of authority in management funnel

Asian News International

J-K: Top rural sanitation officer highlights importance of sustainability for achieving Swachhata goals

Lucknow ( Uttar Pradesh ) [India], February 18 (ANI): Director General, Rural Sanitation, Jammu and Kashmir, Anoo Malhotra , participated in the two-day National Conference on Swachh Bharat Mission-Grameen (SBM-G) and Jal Jeevan Mission (JJM) held in Lucknow on the 16th and 17th of February.

The conference aimed to discuss strategies and initiatives to further the goals of the SBM-G and JJM programmes.

DG Malhotra gave a detailed presentation on the Swachhata Green Leaf Rating (SGLR) initiative and information education and communication (IEC) strategies at the conference, which brought together diverse stakeholders from across states and UTs, fostering a confluence of ideas and best practices.

The Swachhata Green Leaf Rating initiative is aimed at improving sanitation standards in the hospitality sector, with a focus on rating hotels and other establishments based on their sanitation practices, encouraging them to adopt best practices and improve overall sanitation standards.

Malhotra highlighted the best practices--from Swachh Yodha Pratiyogita, Swachhata Bank, Waste to Wonder, War against Waste, Give Garbage Get Gold, Rural Technology Park, Swachh Samagaam, My 10 Kg Plastic, and other initiatives adopted by Jammu and Kashmir to promote sanitation and hygiene practices among the masses. These practices have been instrumental in raising awareness and encouraging behavioural change towards sanitation practices.

Jammu and Kashmir's innovative IEC strategy received all the praise from participants and delegates.

In her presentation, DG Malhotra emphasised the importance of sustainability in achieving the goals of SBM-G. She outlined the way forward to achieve these goals, stressing the need for continued efforts and innovative approaches to ensure the sustainability of sanitation practices in rural areas.

The conference saw the participation of Union Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, alongside other eminent personalities, including Atul Kumar Tiwari, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship; Swatantra Dev Singh, Cabinet Minister of Jal Shakti, Uttar Pradesh ; and Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS).

Day one of the workshop covered a range of topics through panel discussions and interactive sessions. The Minister of Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, launched three impactful books from SBM-G. He spoke about the critical time of this conference, which comes when both JJM and SBM-G have reached significant junctions in terms of their outputs and when the focus needs to be on sustainability.

He spoke about the work we do in SBM-G and JJM, which must be done in mission mode when we are addressing the concerns of saturation and transformative missions in JJM and SBM.

The National Conference on SBM-G and JJM provided a platform for stakeholders from across the country to share their experiences, learn from each other, and strategize for the future. Malhotra's presentation was well-received, and her insights are expected to contribute significantly to the ongoing efforts to improve sanitation in rural Jammu and Kashmir. (ANI)

Anoo Malhotra, Rural Sanitation, Jammu and Kashmir (Photo/ANI)

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    To ensure you're delegating effectively, you'll also want to ask your team for any feedback that they can give you. Ask your employees if you provided clear instructions and determine if there's anything you can do to better delegate in the future. 9. Give Credit Where It's Due.

  7. 7 Effective Delegation Steps

    For both large and small projects you delegate, this provides a clear path toward success. Here's what SMART goals look like during the delegation process: Specific: Precisely define the expectations for success, such as one 30-slide presentation on your company's monthly financial performance intended for the vice president of the company.

  8. 8 Ways Leaders Delegate Successfully

    Decision making and problem solving 8 Ways Leaders Delegate Successfully by Deborah Grayson Riegel August 15, 2019, Updated November 16, 2023 Tim Davis/Corbis/VSG/Getty Images Summary. For many...

  9. How to Delegate Effectively: 10 Tips for Managers [2023] • Asana

    Delegation is the act of redirecting tasks and initiatives to other team members. You might delegate work to distribute responsibility more evenly, or because the task or initiative is more relevant to another team member's priorities, skills, or interests. Knowing when and how to delegate makes you a better manager.

  10. The Art of Delegating: What and How to Delegate to Your Directs

    But delegation is a delicate dance. You need to foist extra work onto someone—and frame it as a growth opportunity. You need to respect each employee's time and autonomy while supporting them when problems arise. ... True, you might complete your presentation in less time than your subordinate. But instead of considering the time differential ...

  11. How Well Do You Delegate?

    (Questions 2, 5, 9, 11) Start by deciding what you can delegate, and when. Then, it's much easier to decide how to delegate, and to whom, and to give them the resources and knowledge they need. Don't try to delegate work that you should be doing yourself. You might want to ask your strongest team member to prepare a presentation for you.

  12. Delegation and Empowerment

    Delegation and Empowerment. Delegation can help you to share out workloads fairly across your team. But it can also build trust, collaboration and engagement. Discover a range of tips and techniques that will help you to delegate tasks effectively, keep track of them, and empower your team to take ownership of, and responsibility for, their work.

  13. Benefits of Delegation Skills Training for Managers. PPT examples

    1. Teamwork. If managers trust their team and team members are motivated to work for that manager, teamwork can only improve. 2. Productivity & efficiency. As managers free up their time to do things that are more relevant to their jobs and team members learn a variety of new skills, productivity and efficiency increase. 3.

  14. Delegation

    DEFINITIONS Delegation: Defined as getting work done through others. OR Delegation: Is the process by which responsibility and authority for performing a task ( function, activity, or decision) is transferred to another individual who accepts that authority and responsibility (NCSBN 1995) 6. 7.

  15. How Leaders Shape Success: Delegation & Effective Communication

    Delegating concept. Wooden figures and arrows. getty CEOs who demonstrate exceptional delegation skills achieve a remarkable 33 percent increase in revenue. These top executives recognize the...

  16. Delegation Process PowerPoint Template

    Reviews. Use our graphic-rich Delegation Process PPT template to describe the process by which managers divide their work and decision-making responsibility among their subordinates with a certain amount of authority and allow them to act on their behalf. Business leaders can use this fully editable deck to highlight the significance of ...

  17. PPT

    The Delegation Process. The Delegation Process. Susan Kaer. This presentation has an audio commentary with each slide except for this first slide. To move to the next slide press the DOWN arrow. Extent of Delegate Involvement. Little involvement / just watching. Full Ownership of Task. The Delegation Process. 204 views • 7 slides

  18. PDF Improving Patient Care Outcomes Through Better Delegation

    knowledge deficits among the staff. The delegation communication learning was designed in a PowerPoint format and included information on the purpose of the project, significance to practice, brief literature review, ANA (2005) principles of delegation, and case scenarios contrasting substandard and high-level delegation communication examples.

  19. PPT

    Presentation Transcript. Delegation Dr. Lincoln. Dr. Lincoln. Delegation • Delegation skill is the ability to effectively assign task responsibility and authority to others. • Delegation skill is your ability to get things done by using work and time of other people. Dr.

  20. Delegation PowerPoint Presentation and Slides

    The stages in this process are Delegation, Deputation, Delegacy. Slide 1 of 20. Delegated Proof Of Stake In Blockchain Explained Training Ppt. Presenting Delegated Proof of Stake in Blockchain Explained. Our PowerPoint experts have included all the necessary templates, designs, icons, graphs, and other essential material.

  21. Delegation

    Slide 1 of 2. 11 process step flow of delegation with assignment and authority. Slide 1 of 16. Task Assignment Powerpoint Ppt Template Bundles. Slide 1 of 5. Delegation responsibility template with 7 diverging arrows. Slide 1 of 5. Performance standards authority effective delegation with converging arrows. Slide 1 of 6.

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    Jammu and Kashmir's innovative IEC strategy received all the praise from participants and delegates. In her presentation, DG Malhotra emphasised the importance of sustainability in achieving the ...

  23. Missosology on Instagram: "𝗟𝗢𝗢𝗞

    38 likes, 0 comments - missosology_org on February 18, 2024: "헟헢헢헞 | Miss Universe Philippines 2024 delegates during the official press presentatio..." Missosology on Instagram: "𝗟𝗢𝗢𝗞 | Miss Universe Philippines 2024 delegates during the official press presentation held yesterday at Hilton Manila Hotel.