Jan 25 2017
Management top tips: successful delegation

Whether you’re stepping into your first management role or you are at the top of the management ladder, delegation is always one of the toughest aspects of the job. Passing on a task to someone else can cause a domino effect of anxieties. You may worry that a less-experienced colleague may not complete the task to your high standard, you might be conscious of adding to a team-member’s already heavy workload, or you could feel that you’ve lost track of things.

As a manager, you have to put your trust in colleagues and provide support when needed to lead your team to success. We’ve put together a five step guide to help you build your delegation skills

Five steps to successful delegation

1. Describe the outcome
Make sure the person is clear about what you want them to achieve in the delegated task both in terms of the process as well as the outcome. If you have a lot of confidence in them, you may feel able to leave the process to them and simply describe the outcome, but if in doubt – explain.

For each task delegated specify:

  • the desired outcome
  • any timescales involved – both end times and critical path times
  • the resources available
  • any other colleagues who must / might be consulted / involved
  • the processes and procedures to be followed

2. Provide the necessary tools

Make sure they have everything they need in order to do the task as well as possible. This may mean freeing up their time or helping them to reprioritise. It may mean training or who to go to for advice.

3. Set up checkpoints

If the delegated task is new to your staff member, it is a good idea to ask them to come back and check with you before committing themselves or the organisation to any major decisions. How often you ask them to do this and in what level of detail will depend on how much confidence you have in them in the first place.

4. Follow up and coach

A delegated task means a learning opportunity for the staff member – otherwise it feels like dumping. Make sure that you support the learning process by reinforcing good work through praise and encouragement and developing weaknesses by positive suggestions and discussion.

5. Praise in public

If you have delegated something that went well, make sure you give credit to the person who did the work. If you have delegated something that went badly, make sure you take the blame yourself.

Build your skills and confidence

Want to learn more? Our one-day Delegation skills course is for managers who want to maximise their team’s potential. The Centre also offers three Management ladder courses certificated by the Institute of Leadership and Management. These are: Moving into management, for people in their first management role, Moving up in management, for people who want to refresh their leadership skills and Moving from manager to leader, for those wanting to move into a senior position. If you are interested in taking one of our management ladder courses endorsed by the ILM, please call us on 020 7490 3030 or email [email protected]

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