Delegate The Results You Want, Not The Process
Delegating work is one of the best ways to motivate employees and achieve an objective. It helps in developing individuals and challenges everyone to step up their game.
However, it can also be seen by everyone else as something negative. Often times, it is perceived as a burden and the person delegating the work is just plain lazy. Worst, the worker who is given extra work will not do his/her best because of the thought that s/he will not be given credit for the work anyway.
So how can you effectively assign work to others? What do you need to do to accomplish the task at hand and avoid resentment from your co-employees or subordinates?
1.Evaluate your motivation
The first thing that you need to ask yourself is, “Why am I going to assign this task to another person?” Knowing the reason behind your decision will help clear things up for you. If your only reason is because you want to take the load off your shoulders, then don’t delegate—you’re falling exactly into the stereotype of why employees resent being trusted with extra task.
But if you honestly believe that delegating a job to one or more employees will achieve positive things for them and the company, then proceed to the next steps.
2.Weigh the pros and cons of delegating the work
Will the project be completed in time? Will you achieve the desired results? Do you have the staff or manpower capable of doing the job? Is delegation the efficient way to achieve the results that you want? These are just some of the questions you need to answer before you proceed with delegation.
3.Clearly define the work parameters, responsibilities involved, and level of authority.
First, identify the goal that needs to be achieved at the end of the project and then outline the steps towards that objective.
Every employee or co-worker involved in the project must know their role. You have to be clear of what is expected of them. Don’t leave them hanging and wondering by just saying, “I need this report tomorrow!”
c.Level of authority
Oftentimes, the dilemma of a person given an extra responsibility is the decision-making. When you outline a project, you will be able to identify bottlenecks that will require your decision. You have to be clear with the employee whether s/he could proceed without consulting or if s/he needs to sit down with you and discuss the crucial aspects of the project. As a rule of thumb, give the person enough leeway to be independent, but keep an open door policy for consultation.
4.Identify the person who will benefit the most with the extra work.
Always refer to the objective of the project and find the best person that can help you achieve it. Always keep in mind, though, that the person(s) you are going to assign a task to must be able to take away something from the experience—be it personal accomplishment, career motivation, or both.
The designated person can be the silent worker sitting in the corner or it can be the employee who always has a bright idea during meetings. You need to assess the skills, character, and capability of each prospective candidate. You cannot just assign a task to a secretary because “all s/he does every day is type documents”, unless you know for a fact that s/he has a very analytical mind.
5.Keep an open mind
You may have your own idea of how to achieve the end result and your employee or co-worker may just follow your lead. Still, it will be great to let them know that you are open to new perspectives. Let them feel that they are involved in the whole process and they are not just there to get the task done. Welcome their input and brainstorm with them.
6.Learn to trust
Delegating a work can be nerve-wracking, especially for someone who is so used to getting things done on his/her own. When you assign a work to someone else, avoid hovering by their work stations every ten minutes and checking their progress. What you can do is set up a regular meeting to discuss updates and progress, daily if needed.
In the same token, don’t make your employees feel that they are left alone by going invisible on them until the deadline. You need to learn how to tread the thin line between being over-bearing and being supportive and concerned.
7.Take responsibility for the mistakes and give credit to others for the achievements
One sure way of burning the bridge of cooperation is to blame others for everything that went wrong. As the project manager or person doing the delegation, you have to own whatever mistakes were committed in the project.
In the same manner, don’t bask on the glory of the project’s success by claiming all the accolades. Acknowledge everyone who participated and thank them for their effort. Let the whole office know of their amazing contributions that led to the success of the project.
8.Sit down and assess
Regardless of the outcome, gather your team and talk about the project after it is completed. Ask them how they feel about the task they were assigned. Know what made the project easy or difficult for them. Identify opportunities that can be done better the next time. Avoid the blame game; instead, focus on what lessons could be learned out of the experience. Everyone will feel better if they knew that they are part of the team, regardless of the outcome.
Are You Ready to Delegate
Delegating work is both a skill and an art form. You need to have the aptitude to ask someone to do a task and make them feel good about themselves at the same time. When properly done, delegating work will help develop efficiency at work, confidence amongst individual employees, and success in all your endeavors.
(Article Contributed by Rico Enginco)
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