3 Ways to Delegate Effectively

By Alicia Geigel on March 7, 2018

If you’re anything like me, you do not like to accept help from anyone when you are working; overseeing group projects are a tad dreadful and any form of unproductive teamwork just makes you slightly uneasy. Because of the independent nature of employers, accepting help from others not only feels like you’re burdening someone else with your workload, but it also feels like you might not get the job done exactly the way you want it to when you open yourself up to others. In the workplace, working independently may not be the easiest way to accomplish your goals and complete assignments, however, it is dictated by your work ethic and flow, which makes for a smoother workflow.

While working at your desk all by yourself may seem like the best option not only for you personally but also for the overall function of your office, it is actually hindering overall productivity and creative collaboration! You may be thinking to yourself, “What is the best way to work while at my job, Alicia?” To your question I have a one-word answer: delegation. For most of us, the art of delegation does not come neither smoothly nor swiftly, however, one you master it, you’ll be kicking yourself and wishing you had done so years ago. Are you an employer or recruiter anxiously trying to improve on your delegation skills? Are you an employer at work attempting to create a more collaborative, successful work environment? Check out these three tips on successful delegation below!

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Before jumping right into the useful tips on delegating successfully, it is important to understand why we avoid delegation. According to Melinda Fouts of Forbes, “When you delegate, you are entrusting another person, usually one less senior than yourself. Delegating requires trust and faith in the other person. There are three actions included in the act of delegating: making decisions, giving authority to someone else, and turning over authority.”

If you find yourself having trouble with making important decisions, allowing others to have power or transferring power to another person, this may be the cause of your avoidance to delegation. Do not worry, for many of us it is difficult to do these tasks, but it merely takes some slight adjustment and practice to help alleviate those small problems and move toward a more effective way of handling office operations. Employers and recruiters, however, should especially pay close attention to these tips as it will help to build a successful workplace!

The Content Team at MindTools further notes, “Delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills, and it helps other people in the team grow and develop to reach their full potential in the organization.”

Now, lets get into the tips!

1. Let Go, Baby Steps First: One of the elements I mentioned in the starting paragraph that make delegation hard for people is independence. Most employers just feel better working independently, being responsible for their own work and being solely dedicated to what they produce without the help or interference of someone else. However, when you close yourself off to such help, you restrict yourself creatively and productively in the workplace and only make it harder for yourself in the long run. In order to conquer the avoidance you may have toward delegating, slowly integrate it into your daily tasks and goals. Do so by assigning small tasks to those in your office or even prospective hires- ones that you won’t feel too bad about from the start, and get to know your team by entrusting them with tasks you know can be accomplished to your standards.

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Image via Pexels

2. Be Clear in Your Guidelines: One of the biggest pet peeves for many of us is not being given clear directions when assigned a specific task at work. As an employer/recruiter, it is important to make sure you are straightforward in your goals and tasks. This can only make your life easier by avoiding further interruptions but also make your workers lives easier by making their tasks clear to understand.

Fouts notes among the nine guidelines for delegating, two are “clear objectives for the person taking on the additional responsibility and an established understanding of the task assigned.” Though it may seem simple, providing clear instructions to the person you are assigning work to is essential for boosting productivity and creating an overall smoother work environment.

3. Give Feedback and Be Open to Feedback: One of the only ways of understanding where strengths and weaknesses lie in any field, but specifically the workforce, is through constructive feedback. As a means to ensure that you are delegating effectively and affirm to your workers that they are completing tasks efficiently, use and take advantage of feedback. As an employer, constructive feedback can not only show you what you are doing right, but it can also provide you with ways in which you may be lacking, all of which will benefit you and those you hire in the future!

According to Jayson DeMers of Inc, “Feedback is the most important part of the delegation process, and it works both ways. If your workers have done well with a task you assigned, let them know by publicly thanking them and offering genuine praise. On the other hand, invite your workers to share their thoughts on how you’re delegating–it’s a critical chance for you to determine whether you’re providing enough information, or whether you’re assigning the right tasks to the right people.”

For many of us, delegating is a slow and steady process that will not become mastered overnight. It is hard to alleviate the burdensome pressure we place on ourselves and let others pick up the slack. However, doing so will not only benefit you but also guarantee a smoother, more productive office in the long run. As always, good luck!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
Temple alum | columnist at Uloop News | writer at Top5Must & KnowPhilly | photographer | food blogger

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