Being successful at delegating responsibilities is an essential skill for a manager. It is also an exercise in trust.
Before you start the process it is helpful to gain some clarity about what you want to achieve by asking yourself questions such as: will delegating free up time for you to complete more important tasks or to have a better life-work balance? What exactly are these tasks? How quickly can a new person be trained to carry them out successfully? Some people find it hard to delegate but that is because it is not as simple as just giving work out to those you manage. It is a logical progression following the process of evaluating your own workload and trying to be more efficient and it is also an important lesson in trust.
The first step is to find the right person
You have to make sure the person you chose is qualified to undertake the tasks and that they won’t have to sacrifice more important responsibilities in order to complete the delegated work. Making use of your team members' best skills and strengths in the most efficient way possible is essential in these situations.
Explain the reasons and provide training
It is important to let the person know why you chose them specifically, how will this help them grow and how you see it fitting in to the team’s projects. If they consider each task as a new opportunity to take more responsibilities or expand their skills, it will increase their motivation to perform well.
Don’t just delegate the task and then expect the person to start working on it immediately. Taking the time to give some proper training will pay off in the future. The time you spend training is a long-term investment for all parties involved.
Allocate the resources needed
When starting the delegation process, be specific about the descriptions, the subtasks the deadlines and the expected results. It is also essential to allocate the necessary resources to the person, like specialised equipment, software, contact details, account passwords.
Practice makes perfect and delegating is no different. It is possible that the first time you delegate a task, it will take more time than you anticipated, but it will get easier over time. Give enough time to the person who is performing the task and let them learn by doing.
Always provide constructive feedback on the end result when delegating something. It will help the person evaluate their progress and complete the task more easily and better next time. Also since it was your task in the first place, remember to be grateful as well!