A leader’s guide to delegating tasks

by L&D08 Dec 2016
Delegating tasks is a proven way to increase a manager’s work capacity, as it allows them to free up time and mental energy by offloading tasks that can be done by a subordinate. It is also a great way to transfer knowledge and develop the skills of the members of the team. Assigning responsibilities to others is also a great way for the leader to demonstrate his or her trust to the team.

But according to research, only 30% of managers think that they are effective at delegation. Many of them fail at delegating because they aim for perfection and tend to get lost in the details.

According to a report by Bill Howatt, there are five steps for effective delegating. The first step is to assess the things that can and cannot be delegated, and whether it is of high or low priority.

Once this has been sorted out, the next step is to select the appropriate team member to delegate the task to. The leader should thoroughly engage the delegate by explaining the task, outlining the expectations, and offering support and direction.

Progress should be monitored as time goes by. Finally, the manager should be able to act as a coach and provide feedback to help the team member grow his strengths and skills.