7 Keys to Effective Delegation

Delegation is a key skill of managers and individuals alike. Delegation moves you from what you can achieve individually to what you can achieve as a team. Delegation helps you multiply yourself and get more done in lesser time.
Here are seven keys to effective delegation
Assign the job to the right person – You have to understand the strengths of each and every individual reporting to you. Once you understand that you can then match the job to be done with the capability of the individual. Once there is a match assign the task to them and your confidence in getting the work done will improve. 
Don’t Micromanage – Micromanagement is a term no one likes and that’s how it should be. I think once we follow the earlier step of matching the person to the job then the need for micromanagement decreases. The biggest sense of accomplishment that employees get is when they know that they are being entrusted with both accountability and responsibility. It also shows that you trust the individual to do the job in an excellent fashion and increases their confidence. 
Be supportive – We have to be wary of reverse delegation. This is when the employee comes back to get input and try to delegate the task back to the manager. At this point you have to put the question back to them and ask them for solutions. At the same time you have to be supportive by listening to their concerns without taking responsibility back. Keep reiterating that they have the capability to come up with the solution and you are available to help whenever the need arises. 
Check in periodically - Checking in periodically with the employees increases their morale. It shows that though you have delegated the assignment you haven’t abdicated the responsibility. Keep checking in regularly to understand the current status of the assignment and offer to help out whenever required. 
Encourage feedback – Feedback is the breakfast of champions. Being open to feedback encourages employees to be open about their concerns with you. When you allow them to air concerns to you openly it builds trust which is the foundation of exceptional performance. One of the methods to achieve this is through 360 degree appraisals where you are evaluated by the people who report to you. 
Keep praising regularly – People will walk over broken glass to get recognition. Given how important this is it is absolutely essential to keep praising your employees for every good thing they do. When they bring in the work in progress item to show you keep encouraging them on a job well done. Show confidence in their abilities. Praise in public and give criticism in private. This is the best way to ensure no one feels embarrassed in front of their peers. 
Make them accountable - Finally the only way you can make delegation effective is if you ensure that each person you delegate has skin in the game. Make sure they understand that the final work output is their responsibility. This creates a culture of ownership resulting in better work output and higher individual job satisfaction.
Delegation can also be done in your personal life. For example if you don’t want to mow your lawn and you have someone do it for you at a specified time for a specific rate then that is delegation. This frees up an hour a week which you can spend on your personal improvement activities. So become creative about delegating anything that can be done better by someone else for a better return on your investment.

The views expressed here are my own and do not represent my organization.


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