In previous blogs we’ve touched on delegation a little bit but haven’t fully discussed its importance and how to do it effectively. Delegation is, at its core, a very simple idea. However, putting it into practice can often be a challenge. It is important to delegate responsibilities to subordinates, as discussed in an earlier blog on control, both to free yourself up to tackle issues that require more of your attention and to help grow your subordinates. When you manage a project by delegating relevant responsibilities to your team, you enable yourself to put more focus into your own tasks.
Two of the major factors that contribute to burnout in the workplace arise from a lack of delegation, or not delegating properly, and not relinquishing control. Make sure you aren’t trying to do more than you can handle or you’ll find that although you complete projects, you aren’t producing at peak performance.
If you are a person who, like me, wants everything to be perfect and feel like you are the only person who can do things right, you are going to find delegation a little uncomfortable. When starting a project think about all the little pieces that will have to go into it to make it a success. There are probably some components that you don’t want to have to do. These are the perfect things to delegate to someone else. The hardest part of delegating is not only letting go and trusting someone else to do a good job, but also picking the right person for the right task.
Delegation becomes frustrating and stressful when you aren’t confident in the employee or team member to whom you’ve delegated specific responsibilities (contact us to learn more about the 4 stages of delegation that you can use to help grow your employees to accept more responsibility). When you delegate, make sure you feel good about the choices you’ve made so that you don’t feel the need to constantly check over what each team member is working on. If you feel confident in the choices you’ve made and in the employees you’ve chosen for each task, you’ll find that your stress levels are lower.
When it comes to choosing which responsibilities to delegate to your team, choose areas in which each member can excel. Put your technology-challenged team members in charge of less technical components that focus on their strengths i.e. writing or numbers, or pair them up with your computer-savvy employees. Use your creative individuals in a creative capacity and assign components where their creative skills will be an asset. By delegating to your subordinates’ strengths, you reduce the chances of being frustrated by their results and increase the job satisfaction of your employees .
Don’t try to take everything on yourself when you have the opportunity to divide the work up and oversee the results. You don’t have to always be looking over the shoulders of your team but you should organize check-ins and set times with your individual employees to discuss how their work is progressing (see the blog post What Gets Measured Gets Done).
Delegation is the key to producing at your peak productivity.