how to effectively delegate tasks

How to Delegate Tasks & Improve Your Leadership Skills

If you want to be a great leader, you need to know how to delegate tasks.

Many business owners make the mistake of trying to do it all, but this kind of attitude leads to frustration and burnout. As your company grows, it becomes impossible to handle all the tasks yourself.

The good thing is that you don’t have to.

In fact, your goal should be to create the best possible team that can complete the work in the best possible way.

If you learn how to properly delegate, you will save time, motivate your team, complete tasks more efficiently, AND survive long enough to enjoy the benefits of running a successful business!

Here are some tips that can help you improve your delegating skills.

Plan To Delegate Tasks

If you decide to delegate tasks only when they become completely overwhelming, you are going to have problems. 

A rushed delegating process will be useless – you will waste time and probably end up doing the task yourself anyway.

Delegating is an intricate process that takes skills and careful consideration. Before you delegate a task to another person, you need to have clarity on what you need to do.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Which tasks am I delegating?
  • Who am I entrusting with these tasks (and why)?
  • What do I expect as the final result?

If you are not sure how to answer these questions, you are not ready to delegate. 

Plan how you will delegate tasks before things get overwhelming and determine which time-consuming tasks are holding you back. 

These are the ones you should pass on to your employees.

Make Everything Clear

A successful delegating process must have clear rules and definitions.

That’s why many managers are turning to the SMART system.

SMART is an acronym for the list of elements that need to be fulfilled for successful delegating.

These are the following:

Specific – You need to provide specific details about the tasks you delegate.

Measurable – You need to be able to track the progress of the tasks. Determine specific goals that should be fulfilled, and you will have a clear picture of what to expect.

Agreed – When delegating tasks, communicate with your employees and make sure they understand what they need to do. Ask them if they have any additional remarks and be ready to make changes to your proposition.

Realistic – Can the task be completed? Are the resources adequate? Is there enough time? Are you delegating the task to the right person with enough experience? Do they have the right tools? If you don’t aim for a realistic goal, delegating will cause more harm than good.

Timebound – Tasks need to be completed within a certain timeframe. If you don’t specify the deadline when delegating tasks, your employees will probably put it at the end of their list.

feedback is a two-way street

Give & Receive Feedback

Providing feedback is an essential part of delegating.

Delegating doesn’t just mean dumping tasks you don’t like onto the shoulders of your employees. It is supposed to clear your schedule and help your employees develop their skills.

You need to understand that your employees will probably make some mistakes in the beginning.

When this happens, some managers tend to just do the task themselves – this is completely wrong. Instead, you should teach your employees how to handle their new responsibilities.

You should also keep in mind that feedback is a two-way street.

Regularly check how your employees are handling their tasks and ask them if they have any ideas on how to improve the process in the future.

Don’t Micromanage

Micromanaging can be extremely damaging.

If you are trying to free up your time by delegating tasks, don’t make the whole process useless by micromanaging your workers.

It will not only waste your time; it will show your employees that you don’t trust them. 

And trust is vital for improving loyalty and reducing turnover.

Regularly provide feedback, but at the same time trust your employees and give them enough time and space to actually do the work.

don't micromanage your workers

Starting Out: How to Delegate Tasks

If you are new to delegating, you can start out by hiring a virtual assistant who can manage simple, yet time-consuming tasks. 

This way, you will have more time to focus on expanding your business.

Depending on the type of your company, your virtual assistant can organize your digital files, manage your e-mails, write content for social media or book your meetings

When you hire a VA, you should set aside some time during the onboarding process for training and providing feedback.

For example, you can have a quick video chat at the beginning of every workday to talk about their tasks for the day. 

You can also use this as an opportunity to get to know each other – it is always a good idea to build a relationship with an assistant who works closely with you. 

It will help them understand your expectations and give them an opportunity to ask questions about their responsibilities.

After you gain some experience, you can delegate tasks more freely. Your employees will develop new skills and take on more responsibility as time goes by.

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