By ALaina Brandenburgel
As employees move through different levels in an organization, delegating portions of their workload becomes necessary. At the highest levels of an organization, taxes on the time become more frequent, and delegating can help management level employees focus on other tasks and manage projects more efficiently. But delegating takes a certain level of trust in those to whom you choose to assign tasks, and it can also be difficult to determine which tasks should be handed off and which should be done yourself. Following are some strategies you can use to make the process of delegation easier.
Figure Out Where Your Time Is Being Wasted
The first step in delegating confidently is to determine which tasks are needlessly sucking up the most time. Track your daily tasks for a week to see where the most time is being wasted. If your time is being eaten up by registrations, reservations and other administrative tasks, you’re probably not using your administrative resources effectively, and you could save a lot of time by having admin staff handle your calendar, conference scheduling and similar tasks. A Harvard Business Review article titled “How to Decide Which Tasks to Delegate,” by Jenny Blake, also advises delegating tasks that are very tedious. “Tasks that are relatively simple probably are not the best use of your time. Very straightforward tasks can (and should) be handled by anyone but you. For example, manually inputting a 100-item list into a spreadsheet and color-coding it, or updating the KPIs in your presentation deck.”
Determine Who Should Handle Your Tasks
One reason managers may be hesitant to delegate is that they don’t always have confidence that their coworkers will do the job with similar quality. Before delegating, make sure you know the personality, skills and other qualifications of the person to whom you choose to assign tasks. A GovLeaders.org post titled “Why Managers Must Delegate Effectively In Order to Lead” states, “A key part of the process is to calibrate these steps to the capabilities and experience level of the employee to whom you are assigning a given task. Some employees will be quick at understanding the task or will have the skills and judgment to get the job done with no further follow-up. Others will need more explanation at the beginning and support along the way.” Start out by delegating non-essential tasks until you know how you and your coworker work together. Once you’ve assessed that they can work up to your specifications, you can start delegating more important tasks. You should also consider their skill level when deciding who will be completing different tasks.
Delegating is an essential part of being an effective manager, so it’s important to learn how to do it well. By identifying which tasks you can delegate and finding the right fit for the assignment, you can focus on other parts of your job to finish projects more efficiently.