Delegating is a common and essential practice in the workplace. When you delegate, you give some of your work to other people. Those people are then in charge of getting the work done. Delegating makes work more efficient. You might find that, with some projects, you can get more done if you delegate or assign some of the work to other people. Delegating doesn’t mean that you’re being lazy or trying to get out of doing the work yourself. Delegating simply means that you’ve found the best way to spread out the work.
As you delegate projects and tasks, you are really giving up some of your control over those tasks in exchange for more free time. However, just because you’re giving up some control doesn’t mean that the tasks won’t be done right. It’s still up to you to make sure that each task is done correctly.
Delegating that first task is not easy. But the more you experience the benefits of delegating, the easier it becomes. Here are five steps to help you learn how to delegate tasks in the workplace:
1. Figure out what needs to be done
2. Identify tasks that can be assigned to someone else
3. Figure out who you have available to help you
4. Assign tasks
5. Monitor Progress
Figure out what needs to be done
If you already have a to-do list for the project, you’ve already completed the first step. However, if you know that you’re not going to be doing some of the tasks yourself you may need to adjust the to-do list. You might have the list written in a way that makes sense to you, but to someone else the items on the list might be confusing.
For example, maybe there’s an item on the list that should really be broken up into three tasks. If you were originally planning on completing the task yourself, that would have been fine. But in order to make the task more clear to someone else, break up the task into smaller, more specific tasks.
Identify tasks that can be assigned to someone else
Once you have a to-do list that is broken down into specific tasks, identify tasks that you can assign to someone else. You should try to hand off tasks that are low in importance and that anyone can do. Your time may be better spent doing something that only you know how to do. On the other hand, you can also assign tasks that require a skill that you don’t have.
Figure out who you have available to help you
Once you have figured out which tasks you want to assign to someone else, think about the people who could help you with those tasks. This step is about matching other people’s skills with your needs. Everyone has a unique set of skills. It’s up to you to identify who is best for each task.
Now that you have figured out who you have available to help you with your tasks, you can assign the tasks. Remember, even though you’re not actually doing this task, you are still responsible for making sure it is done correctly. The way you assign the task has a lot to do with the outcome. For example, if you assign a task with very little instruction, the task probably won’t be done the way you want it. If you assign the task with very little time to complete it, you can’t expect the quality of the work to be very high. You want to assign tasks in a way that sets up the person for success. When the person you delegate the task to succeeds, you succeed!
Here are some tips for assigning tasks in a way that will result in the best outcome:
- Include as many details as you can.
- Share as much background information about the task and entire project as you can.
- Give the person to whom you are giving a task a reasonable amount of time to do a good job.
- Tell the person doing a task the deadline up front.
- Provide all of the resources needed, such as tools, equipment or passwords.
It’s never a good idea to hand off a project or task and then forget about it. After you delegate or give a task to someone, don’t assume that everything’s going well just because you don’t hear from that person. Take time to check in on people often to monitor their progress and make sure that they’re doing the tasks correctly. If a person isn’t doing the task correctly, the sooner you catch it, the less time and resources are wasted.
Now that you’ve learned how to delegate in these five steps, you can implement them in your workplace to make the most of your time. By delegating tasks in the workplace, you will increase the amount of free time you have as well as your chances for workplace success.
Now that you’ve learned these five steps, you can make the most of the resources you have. Going forward, remember that the key to success is not the amount of resources you have; what matters is how you make use of them. If you’d like to see how we can help your students learn these skills in order to become ready for the workplace, click the free trial link below.