So how do we successfully delegate tasks? Here are my steps to delegating tasks to achieve success. These tips can be used, not only in your business for more success, but in every aspect of your life to accomplish more.

Understand the Task: Make sure you understand the task so that you can clearly communicate it to the person who is undertaking it. You must also understand what barriers and resources are required to succeed. Also, you must understand what are the tools and resources you have available to ensure that the task can be successfully completed. 

Choose the Right Person : Find the person who is motivated to take on the task. You may have someone who has the skills to do the task but is not motivated to do it. This situation will not work. However, if you have someone who doesn’t have the skills but is highly motivated to learn and is excited about the opportunity, then this is a good candidate for delegation. The person must also be motivated to take on this task for the good of the group as well as his/her own motivations. 

Communicate the Task: Take the time to clearly communicate the task and what are the expectations. And most importantly, communicate the ownership of the task. What I mean by this is that the person who is assigned to the task will ultimately be responsible for its success. When communicating responsibility for the task, let the person know the consequences of not completing it as well as the rewards for successful completion. For example, you might say something like this:

Provide Resources, Eliminate Barriers :

Now is your opportunity to make sure that the person you are delegating has sufficient resources. Whether it involves time, people, or technology, it is your responsibility to—after understanding the task, picking the right person, and communicating what needs to be done—provide the necessary resources for success. When you provide resources and remove barriers for the person delegated to the task, you are ensuring complete ownership for the success of the task.

Establish Understanding: After meeting with the delegate to discuss what is required, make sure that before he/she leaves, it is clear what is expected. Get the delegate to repeat back to you what they understand of the project. We set delegates up for failure by not taking the time to make sure that they understand what is expected of them to make the task successful.

Cultivate Success : Let the person delegated to the task know that you have confidence in him/her. Remember, in most cases, this task is new to him/her and by communicating that you have confidence that he/she will be successful gives them the confidence to succeed. 


Delegate Valuable Tasks: For heaven’s sake don’t delegate ‘make work’ tasks. Don’t knee jerk on an idea and have someone rush into your office, walk them successfully through steps 1-6, and two weeks later when they return to report their findings and accomplishments say, “What? Oh that! I’d forgotten I gave you that. Sorry but it is irrelevant now. I went with a different idea.” Remember, everything you gain in employee loyalty and heightened performance through delegation can vanish in a blink of an eye with the bad use of delegation.

Follow-up, Reward, Follow-up, Reward : You can’t take employee satisfaction for granted. It is well recognized that when employers/leaders offer empowerment or decision making to staff, employee job satisfaction will normally increase. If any strategy that is used to elevate employee satisfaction is not sustained, then certainly employee satisfaction should be expected to fall back. The reality is, it may very well fall below where the organization was before it engaged in the improvement strategy, thus creating, in far too many business environments, the employee perception that if they wait long enough the change or new idea will disappear.

It is important to note that while successes are acknowledged and rewarded in public, discipline and/or criticism should be coached to in private.


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