Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How to Delegate Productively

As a manager or leader in your business, you will find yourself delegating out work at some point or another. While proper delegation makes for a well-run and productive team, improper delegation of tasks can side rail and entire project. There are a few tricks that all managers can use to help make sure that tasks are proportioned out fairly, that hours on the time clock are met, and that work is set out in a way that encourages work instead of inhibits.

To reduce the risk of problems when delegating work, start by issuing smaller, easier tasks first. This limits the damage that can be caused in case someone fails. This also will help build the self-esteem of the person who took that responsibility if they succeed.

You should never limit yourself to just explaining what they should do either. When people realize how their work fits in the process, they can react better when things go wrong or when you are not present. Having a chance to innovate can sometimes bring out the best in employees.

Take a look at these other tips which will help you be a better delegator:

1.     Choose things that you can delegate “up”. This means picking things that are simple enough that you can pass off to an assistant like checking emails, picking up dry cleaning and so on.
2.     Choose things that you can delegate “down”. These are the items that you want professionals handling. For instance, you will want to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to do the numbers.
3.     Provide crystal clear instructions. Being able to delegate successfully starts with getting through to your people clearly. If someone doesn’t understand something, make sure they do by talking things over.
4.     Empower the staff. Give your employees enough responsibility to make them feel special. It goes a long way.
5.     Letting go. Some people can do tasks better than you can. Let go and let those with the strengths in that task do said step.
6.     Invest in long-term success. Choose employees that will stick around for a long time but make sure they are worth having around as well.

Do not forget the reality of the learning curve: the first task delegated does not always run optimally. Do not be tempted to take the matter into your own hands. Give your employees a chance and teach them where they went wrong. You will often be surprised at the improvement rate that shows.

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