Delegate to Develop: Effective Ways of Assigning Tasks to Improve Employee PerformanceBy hire-up-staffing in Industry Resources
There is a difference between delegating tasks and dumping tasks on people. True delegation implies that you, as a manager, assign responsibility for outcomes along with the authority to do what has to be done in order to create the targeted results.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of organizations that do not do well when it comes to assigning tasks. Often, this comes from ineffective task delegation. This happens for one reason or another, including: many managers have never received training for this; they have a belief that employees cannot do the job as well as the manager could; or they have an overall lack of trust in the employees’ commitment to quality, among others.
Here are some things to keep in mind when assigning tasks to your employees:
1. Delegate positively. Don’t just throw work at people expecting them to deliver when they might not be suited for that particular task. Keep an attitude wherein you question every task you have, and check your employee roster to see who else can do that job as well as you can.
2. Ask yourself what you want accomplished. Then, assign that responsibility to the most qualified so you can achieve results rather than just unload your tasks at whoever’s at your disposal.
3. Choose the right person. Some things to consider would be who has the best experience and skills (just make sure not to bring too much work for that particular person), as well as who needs to learn how to be more responsible. Also consider the element of time, and the enthusiasm of wanting to have such an opportunity.
4. Get input. Set a meeting if you need to. Ask your team for ideas on what could be changed, who you can involve, and how to define results. If you manage a big team or company, interact with the sub-teams’ particular managers.
5. Set a deadline. Assign the responsibilities, and then set aside some time to hear progress reports. This is especially true for larger projects that take weeks, months, or even years to complete.
6. Give training and supervision. Do the people need more training before getting those responsibilities? Should they be guided closely, or can you leave them alone for the most part? Also remember to give them freedom and time for independent thinking and action-taking.
7. Assign authorities. Other than yourself, who can you give a certain level of power to? How much and what kind of power do they need?
8. Consider the different aspects of control. What kinds of controls do they need? How can you and your team leads feel in control while still giving individual contributors the power to act independently?
9. Take note of progress. Maintain control of the situation or project, paying attention to the most important details. Remember that managers are responsible, no matter how successful or unsuccessful a project is.
10. Give feedback. It’s a two-way street, so giving positive feedback as well as coaching for the not so positive would be highly appreciated and valued. Never abandon anyone, and set regular meetings for checkpoints and progress updates.
11. Learn lessons. This goes for both the manager and the employee – what did you learn individually and as a team? Document these and share with the people you work with. Feed off each other’s successes and failures in order to improve each others’ performances.
12. Post-project, evaluate performances. Ask how you, as the manager, can do a better job of helping your team members succeed? Give helpful feedback, and accept the same from them as well.