“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it… Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine”, says David Ogilvy, widely hailed as the Father of Advertising.
Mr. Ogilvy specifically discussed task delegation and how fundamental it has become in today’s fast-paced world. Task delegation has been around for a while, but for a variety of reasons, managers and higher authorities have been sceptical about it.
In this blog, you’ll debunk task delegation myths and discover how to use it effectively.
What Does Delegating Mean?
Delegation is the process of giving tasks, authority, or responsibility to another person—usually a subordinate. You delegate them certain tasks, duties, or authority so they can work on your behalf.
You can do your tasks more quickly and accurately if you delegate them to your teammates. In addition to fostering a feeling of accountability and trust among your team members, task delegation also highlights your unwavering confidence and respect in them.
Let’s look at an illustration of the power of delegation:
Imagine you’re running a bookstore. Your daily to-do list is quite long. Due to the enormous business errands, you sometimes have to skip your lunch and dinner. A wide variety of customers visit your shop. Moreover, you constantly tell yourself that you need to start looking for a team to run this store so that you may set up a second one on the outskirts of the city.
Being the only member and responsible for managing the marketing campaigns, updating your website, operating the cashier, managing accounts, and assisting customers with finding the books they want, seem like a lot to take on.
As a result, you employ certain professionals to handle these duties on your behalf. You’ve now earned hours to think deeply and develop company growth plans, besides having your time freed up.
This is the influence that task delegation has. Delegating tasks is sometimes perceived to mean giving your co-workers extra work. While it is a concept of channelising your work to your teammates.
The advantage is that you can always get your suggestions and guidance across when they need it. When they don’t, congratulations! You’ve moulded a person who can undertake the tasks as good as you.
Why is Delegating Tasks Important?
When you’re unfamiliar with the concept and are used to doing everything on your own, task delegation may initially appear to be an alternative. However, there isn’t actually an option. It becomes necessary for you to start seeking individuals you can trust and who will reciprocate your trust when you have a goal and the drive to grow in life.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of delegating tasks:
- Setting your priorities becomes easy
It gets confusing when you have a ton of work to do but don’t know where to start. In this case, you wonder “how do I begin? And what do I begin with?” When you encounter such a situation, it becomes imperative to prioritise your tasks.
The following four ideas could come in handy the next time you feel stuck:
● Important and Urgent
● Important but not Urgent
● Urgent but not Important
● Not important and not Urgent
Break down your tasks into these four points and see how it does wonders for you. These will give you a clarity of what to do and most importantly what not to do.
Once you columnise your tasks in these four columns, you now know which tasks you can delegate to your juniors and which ones you need to do by yourself.
Important and urgent will be on your cart while you may decide on the other three points i.e. Important but not Urgent, Urgent but not Important, Not important and not Urgent. Doing so will free your mental space and provide you the time you need to give your 100%.
- Builds trust and respect in the team
When you delegate tasks to your teammates, they understand that you trust them. Trust is what binds people together and takes your business a long way.
When people start trusting you, respect follows. With respect comes responsibility. Hence, they’ll see the task as their responsibility and will take the accountability of the actions that are closely associated with the tasks.
They will build a powerful habit of decision making along with building a similar culture in the company.
- Builds a sense of importance
Task Delegation is not about only delegating tasks. It’s about a lot more than that.
It instils a sense of significance in your subordinates when you provide them assignments. They believe they are significant to you and that you chose them for the task delegation because they are deserving of their position.
The affection that your employees have for you is what keeps them committed to you. You don’t have to worry about them leaving the company or joining your competitors.
When your employees feel valued, appreciated and important, they make a difference. When the employees make a difference in the company, the company as a whole makes a difference in the society.
- Accelerates task completion
“No person will make a great business who wants to do it all themself or get all the credit”, says Andrew Carnegie, a renowned American Industrialist.
You will have less work to complete if you have a team working for you. A man could accomplish everything on his own, but it would take a lifetime. A team, on the other hand, might need several weeks or days to do the same. Task delegation will enable you to complete more work faster. Time values you if it’s valued. A wise man therefore once said, “Time is money”.
How to Delegate Tasks Like a Pro?
- Choose the right person for the task
The most essential step in task delegation is choosing the right person. If the work necessitates a marketing specialist, you cannot assign the same assignment to a member of the sales team. It is crucial that the person assigned the assignment has the necessary expertise, knowledge, and abilities.
Learning about a person’s qualities is another aspect. People fall under the introvert, extrovert, or ambivert categories.
The two extremities of a band are introverts and extroverts, while ambiverts are individuals who can fit in anywhere. Consider which category each team member falls into before assigning them a task.
You can’t expect an introvert to work well with the team and coordinate their best effort. An extrovert needs others around them to function; they cannot operate alone. If they are being themselves, they can give their best.
- Describe the project and its outcomes
The delegation of a project is just the beginning. Therefore, when you assign the assignment to your subordinate, be sure to explain the whys, whats, and hows of it.
To begin the project, they must first have a basic understanding of what it entails. Only after fully comprehending the project can one begin to consider how to begin.
Describe your final product in more detail. You may assist your junior create a roadmap for the project by outlining the expectations for its outcomes.
- Provide a helping hand
Once the first two stages have been completed, the third step—extending a helping hand—follows. It’s crucial to inform your subordinates of the available resources needed for the project after outlining the undertaking and its intended conclusion.
These resources can be either open source (cost-free) or proprietary. Describe the benefits and cons of both alternatives. Let them choose the option that best suits them.
Giving them a helpful hand doesn’t include spoon-feeding them. Let them acquire knowledge as they go. By doing this, they will be able to address the project and the sector holistically.
- Delegate Authority and Accountability
Task Delegation and accountability go hand-in-hand. When an individual is in-charge of undertaking a certain project, he in another way signs up for its responsibility and authority. That means he’s also accountable for the actions and consequences that are associated with the project. In other words, he leads the project.
Cultivate an environment where people feel motivated and inspired to take on the accountability rather than dodging it away on the other person. Make them feel comfortable and reassure them if anything goes wrong, you’re there for them to fall back on. It’s not you v/s them. It’s you + them.
- Give honest feedback
Once the assignment is over, give your junior an honest evaluation when they approach you.
Having stated that, refrain from using harsh language that might offend them. Try to be empathetic and explain to them why something doesn’t meet your standards. How can it be improved, and what are the positives for the project.
If you truly like their work, don’t be reluctant to give them a hearty praise. Positive feedback might boost their self-confidence and self-esteem. Mention the aspects of the project that you found most appealing and how creative it was to come up with a certain feature.
- Express appreciation and credit
Appreciation may look small but it makes a huge impact on your employees. As mentioned earlier, your employees want to feel valued and appreciated. It’s basic human nature. We all crave some deserving and genuine attention.
Make your junior feel heard and seen. Show gratitude for the work they’ve done. Appreciate them for having successfully completed the project. Give them the credit they deserve. You may even pinpoint their achievement on your office’s notice board.
Delegating tasks has a wide range of benefits overall. It’s the ideal option for convenience, while still advancing personally and professionally. You become more welcoming and empathetic in addition to becoming a better boss.
Furthermore, task delegation doesn’t have to be boring and manual. The essence of task delegation is to reduce your work and make it fun. There’re tools which can help you with easy task delegation. Asana, Task, PH, Clickup, Monday.com, Airtable, Teamwork – are some of the examples.