Delegation is part of every successful leader’s management style. One reason why delegation is so spot-on is that there is a well-designed process of delegation that ensures a smooth workflow.
Simultaneously, delegation is something that can be personalized as per the needs of every leader’s work environment.
Are you confused about how these two factors go side by side?
It’s simple. There are 4 vital steps that should be followed as is. You can improvise the in-depth details and other parts of the process however you like.
If you want to find out what these 4 steps and how you can get the most out of them, you’re in the right place! Keep reading to find out all about it.
If you’ve ever cooked you would know that the better you prep, the tastier your final meal will be.
Delegation is no different. To enhance the outputs of each step of delegation, you need to do some homework before the real deal begins. Only then will you be able to truly save time through delegation.
1. Evaluate Your Employees
The first of these is the evaluation of your employees. Over time, every employee learns more skills and polishes them.
However, there is always something that one individual can do better than the rest. You may have a team member who is an excellent graphic designer. Another one could possibly have a lot of experience with accounting.
It is a management leader’s job to observe each subordinate. Figure out what everyone does best. You have to pinpoint all the skills as well as the lack of skills of every single individual that works with you.
Keep a safe record of this data. It will prove highly beneficial when it comes to delegating tasks. If you’ve already evaluated all your team members, you will know which tasks to assign and who to keep away from them.
2. Sort Tasks
The next step in pre-planning is to sort tasks. Since more jobs and projects keep coming along by the day, it isn’t something you can do very ahead in time. But as soon as you get the details of a job, you should immediately come up with a plan.
The first thing to do is decide which tasks to delegate and which not to. Next, assemble a team for the ones that need to be delegated. Figure out the deadlines, the level of delegation you want to adopt for each member, and other details.
With solid pre-planning that includes both these steps, you’re more than ready to take on the toughest of projects with the help of delegation!
4 Steps of the Process of Delegation
Moving forward, let’s take a look at the 4 steps that make delegation as strong as it is. Understand each step well. Once you are aware of the process, you can apply delegation the right way in your workspace to achieve numerous benefits.
With the pre-planning out of the way, you now have to get on with the first step of delegation. It is the assignment of the tasks.
Once you’ve figured out what you want to delegate and who is the most skilled person for it, this step becomes fairly simple.
Now, there are two options. You can either delegate to one expert subordinate who can tackle the task on their own, or if the project is broader, you can devise a team of multi-skilled individuals who are perfect for the job.
At the time of the assignment, you should gather all the subordinates who have to work together. Communicate detailed instructions without leaving any ambiguity. Be open to questions and queries so clarify all confusion.
Secondly, be very clear about the deadlines. Decide your leadership style and delegation-level as this point.
So, if you want certain subordinates to get your heads up on the progress every week, let them know at this stage. Decide a day and time that everyone is comfortable with.
One thing a good leader never does is make deadlines strict when there is no need to. So, be as accommodating as possible.
Do not hesitate to negotiate. Let your subordinates give suggestions on how they think the work can be improved. If someone wants more time, more supervision, or is unwilling to do the assigned job, be understanding.
Open communication is a vital part of the success of this step.
2. Shift of Authority
When you assign tasks, you’ve not really started delegation yet. At step 1 of the process of delegation, you have only decided who does what. This is pretty much the same as regular task distribution that any manager does in their office.
To actually put delegation to use, you come to step 2. This is where you delegate authority.
Delegation of authority means that you give a degree of power to all the subordinates depending on the task that they have to fulfill.
For example, if you chose a lower-level employee to negotiate with a collaborator, you will also have to give this person all the authority needed to get in touch with the said collaborator.
Not all employees have access to the organization’s contact list. Similarly, not all employees are allowed to get in touch with a third-party, invite them to the office, and host a meeting.
So, for successful delegation, you will give this subordinate access to all the information needed. Any previous deals done with the collaborator will also be shared. A small budget may also have to be allocated for a decent meeting.
Unless authority is delegated in this process, the manager or leader cannot step back.
Look at it this way:
The subordinate gets on with the task without the authority. This person continues to try and get in touch with the collaborator but after multiple failed attempts, contacts you to help you create the link.
Then, the time for the meeting comes. Once again, the subordinate needs you to clear your schedule to allow for the required arrangements.
Not only is this process a complete waste of time, but it also keeps the manager and leader busy with the task that was meant to be delegated.
Therefore, you cannot skip this step of delegating authority.
Everything went well and the deadline has approached. You expect all your subordinates to come into your office with the best possible results. All you’re looking forward to is a successful output.
More often than not, you either receive exactly what you wanted or something even better. But a fair few times, things can fail too. There can be one subordinate who you expected will do great but ended up with something completely opposite of what was needed.
Here’s the best tip you’ll get today:
When it’s time for the submission, see your subordinates as mere humans, not as your employees.
It is very hard to accept failed submissions calmly but that is what you must do.
In case this unfortunate incident takes place, immediately begin fixing it. You can sit down with the same subordinate and redo the work. Adopt intervention delegation style.
Another thing you can do if you’ve got a busy schedule is to re-delegate the task to another trusted employee. But be more cautious and involved this time around to minimize the risk of failure all over again.
The job has been done, the project has been completed, and you may think that the process of delegation is complete.
The last step is extremely important. It’s time for accountability.
You remind your subordinates that they were given responsibility along the authority needed to fulfill it. Therefore, they are answerable for everything they did along the way.
Without accountability, none of the subordinates will ever feel the pressure of being in charge. That means they will fail to give their best performance.
Accountability is not something that you do at the end necessarily. It goes on simultaneously from step 1 of the process. However, in the end, you should reinforce the idea.
For the team members who did well, offer appreciation. This will give them reassurance, which serves as a boost of motivation so that they continue to work well.
For the people who messed up, offer guidance. Tell them how they can avoid mistakes in the future. Do not reprimand them. Use this opportunity to teach them what they don’t already know.
The beauty of delegation can never be denied. It is a remarkable concept with excellent implementation. The process is flawless and takes care of all aspects. But how you take advantage of this brilliant idea is up to you.
You are free to make changes in the process as you like. Do what works best for your team. But never let go of these 4 elements.
These are the 4 steps that can make your delegation more effective. So, put this process to use from today and help your organization perform its best!
The Process of Delegation
Featured photo credit: Marvin Meyer via unsplash.com
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