Whether your run a small business or work full-time in a supervisory role, it’s important to develop good delegation skills. Without them, you become a one-man band, swamped with mounting tasks and duties, yet not enough time to complete them. However, once you develop good delegation skills, you are equipped to handle bigger and better projects which can increase your bottom line.
But before you can even begin delegating, you must evaluate the task at hand. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. What are the project parameters?
Before you can assign a task to someone else you must clearly define its scope, outcomes, products and deliverables. Otherwise you’re setting both you and your employee up for failure.
2. Who is best-suited for this assignment?
After determining the project parameters, you must select the person best-suited to complete the assignment. This comes after evaluating employee skills and experience. One of the characteristics of a good delegator is the ability to assess employee capacity as well as the appropriate level of challenge.
Once you define the project and select an employee to whom it can be delegated, follow the proper steps to ensure the experience is successful:
Step One – Communicate. When you assign the project, you must ensure that you communicate the parameters as clearly as possible. If possible, submit a written description of what you’re looking for so the employee can refer to it as often as necessary.
Step Two – Determine Schedule. You must also provide a timeline with a due date. Include milestone tasks that can be reported to track progression through the project. Also, determine the reporting method which will be used to maintain proper communication.
Step Three – Allow for Different Work Styles. Remember that just because the employee isn’t completing the project in the exact manner you would doesn’t mean he/she is failing. You must allow for the employee’s creativity and individual work style as you evaluate the project’s success.
Step Four – Show Appreciation and Reward Accordingly. People will be happy to work for you when they know that you’re a gracious and appreciative supervisor. Provide necessary guidance and don’t be short on praise or gratitude when warranted.
Step Five – Inspect and Report. It’s important that you evaluate the final project and provide necessary feedback to the employee. Be honest and give constructive criticism when appropriate. One of the objectives in delegating key projects and tasks is to help employees stretch and grow as well. At the project’s close be sure to inform them whether or not that’s been accomplished.
Delegation is a crucial skill to attain in order to become a successful leader. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be honed and enhanced with practice.
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