Delegation can be a difficult skill to manage. However, without being able to delegate it’s almost impossible to become an effective manager. 85% of managers say that they would like to delegate more but don’t for a number of different reasons. This can range from being uncomfortable telling others what to do to want to ensure that credit for work is retained. Getting better at delegating is essential, not just in terms of improving management skills but also ensuring projects are completed and avoiding a chronically heavy workload that can result in exhaustion and stress.
Why do we need to delegate?
There are many good reasons to prioritise this skill, including the fact that CEOs who delegate tend to generate a third more revenue than those who don’t. Delegation can improve employee engagement and help to build better, stronger teams. It can enable you to focus on your strengths and adding value, as well as avoiding the stress and anxiety that can be the result of an overly heavy workload.
Getting better at delegating – top tips
- Improve the skills and experience within your team. If the reason you don’t delegate is because there isn’t anyone within the team you feel can do the work well then finding ways to fill the skills gaps, such as training, could be an important first step.
- Start getting into the habit of delegation. Every time you’re faced with a decision start asking yourself if there is someone else in the team who could handle the task other than you. Increasingly, you’ll start to find that the answer is yes.
- If you’re concerned about overloading staff as a result of doing more delegating then ask them for feedback when you’ve done it. You may find that they are actually relishing the challenge. Effective feedback loops help businesses to achieve objectives – those that use them miss a third fewer of their goals than those that don’t.
- Part of the process of effective delegation is learning to identify the strengths within your team and work with these when it comes to passing work on. One study found that employee engagement is 61% where managers are in touch with the strengths of staff and just 2% where they aren’t.
- Break projects down into individual tasks. Separate out what needs doing within a project, rank each task and delegate those that you don’t need to do yourself.
- Make delegation one of your goals. If you’re serious about delegation then get someone else to hold you accountable for it. That could be by making a public statement about increasing delegation to your team or making it a priority with those you report to.
- Look out for the signs that you’re not delegating enough. That could be that you feel constantly behind on your work and your To-Do list is impossible to get through or it could be that your team is underworked and not moving forward in terms of skills development.
Learning to delegate can benefit your own career and provide a boost to the business too. It’s a skill that is essential to learn if you want to get ahead.