If you are a manager, the key to getting more done in less time means mastering the skill of delegation. Surprisingly, many managers don’t realize the importance of knowing how to delegate and become frustrated when tasks and projects aren’t completed on time.
Here is a tried and true six-step formula to follow when delegating tasks to team members:
1. Map out your expectations. You can’t expect your employees to follow-through with giving you exactly what you’re looking for if you don’t set the expectations up front. Before delegating a task, take the time to explain what you’re looking for instead of vaguely handing off an assignment.
2. Assign the task. Once you’ve explained what your expectations are, you’re ready to assign the task. When doing so, be sure to provide clear information about the timing, budget and context. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, it’s also a good idea to establish your expectations for communication throughout the project.
3. Confirm understanding. Just because you’ve mapped out your expectations for a project and assigned the task doesn’t mean that your employees have a full understanding of the job at hand. Taking the time to confirm that your employee understands the task is one of the most important steps of the delegation process. As a best practice, have your employee paraphrase the assignment in his or her own words.
4. Ensure that your employee is committed to the task. Let employees know how important their role is in helping you to complete the task and the consequences to the organization if the ball is dropped.
5. Prevent reverse delegation. Avoid letting tasks that you’ve already delegated to fall back on your plate. Instead of taking tasks back, coach the employee through the challenges that he or she is facing with the task.
6. Keep employees accountable to the task. Communication throughout the task or project is crucial to ensuring that there are no surprises at the eleventh hour.
Putting this formula into practice will help managers to master the delegation process and be more effective leaders.