How to Improve Your Delegation Skills

By Kaitlin Hurtado on September 16, 2019

Efficient delegation skills are vital to be effective with time management, and management in general. As much as you may want to take on every task to make sure it is done just the way you want it to be done, it’s just not a reasonable option. Not only will you be spreading yourself too thin and not giving 100% to each task you are assigning yourself to, but you will be holding back the development of other employees as well.

When they don’t get opportunities to take on these tasks and grow from them, they are lacking the experience needed to excel in their career paths. If you are looking to improve your delegation skills, look no further than this post to pick up a few tips to make the task easier:

Photo: Pexels

1. Understand the reasons for delegation

Before you set out to improve your delegation skills, it’s important to understand the reason for doing so. You aren’t just doing it to be lazy, ridding yourself of work just so that you do not have to do it. You should be delegating it off to another employee because it is an efficient option in making sure whatever needs to be done actually gets done.

Understand that not everything needs to be done by you in order for it to get done right. When you delegate to the right person and give clear instructions, the task will be done properly. Another thing you should understand is that proper delegation will only benefit everyone involved.

Not only will you relieve yourself of a heavier workload, and lend your energy on to other tasks that need you more, but your employees will learn from the opportunity as well. If the tasks you are delegating to people are new to them, they are given the opportunity to learn a new skill. They will be able to learn from the experience, so even if they need a little bit more instruction, they can take what they learned and apply it to their future work.

2. Recognize your employees’ strengths

Once you have recognized the need for delegation, figure out the best way to delegate to your employees. Do not just hand out tasks randomly in hopes that everyone will complete them, but put some thought into who will do each tasks properly. When delegating a task out to somebody else, think of the set of skills or experience needed to complete the tasks properly. Will they need experience with a certain software program? Or will they need to have knowledge of a certain topic to be able to finish the task in the way you want it to be done?

Match up these skills to employees. If you are matching up a task to an employee that does not have any related skills or experience, be prepared to spend extra time instructing them through the task and do not hold it against them when they may struggle a bit along the way.

Not every match will be perfect and it’s not something to worry about. Take it as a learning experience. When you see how an employee handles the task, you can see what happened. If it met your expectations, may it was because you gave clear instructions or because the employee you gave the task to was the perfect fit because of their previous work experience. If it did not meet your expectations, try to pin down the reason the delegation did not work out.

For example, if it was done wrong, maybe the instructions lacked clarity and the employee did not know how to properly complete the tasks. Or, maybe they weren’t familiar with the software needed to complete the task or did not have prior experience in anything related to the tasks. This is why clear instruction and follow-ups are important when it comes to improving your delegation skills.

3. Give clear instruction and encourage employees to ask questions 

Once you delegate a task to an employee, encourage them to ask questions when needed, especially if it is a task they are unfamiliar with. Even the clearest instructions can give little help if the employee does not have prior experience or the skills to complete the tasks.

It may not be a task they are used to, but introducing it as an opportunity to learn is a great starting point. They may be hesitant to approach the task. Make sure that they understand why they are being given the task. Whether it is because they have previous experience that would make them best equipped to see it through or that you believe that they have the ability to learn from the task.

You want your employees to be equipped for a task in the best way possible so make sure that you are available to assist them. If they successfully complete the task, they are one step closer to mastering the task, making it all the more easier for you to delegate similar work next time.

By Kaitlin Hurtado

Uloop Writer
UC Irvine
Hello! I'm Kaitlin, a fourth year Literary Journalism major at UC Irvine. I'm a writer on Uloop's national team and a campus editor for UCI.

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