Of course, you can’t do everything you get on your desk yourself. To achieve its goals, delegate tasks to others. However, this is not always easy in practice. If you ask employees to whom tasks have been assigned, you often hear criticism, such as:
- since my boss has delegated this task to me, he constantly sits in my neck and asks me how I can handle and how far I am. Then why did he/she assign this task to me at all, then he / she could have done it himself?
- first he gives me this task, then he lets me sit alone with it, closes the door and when I have questions, I never get an answer. I’m stuck and I don’t know how to go on. That’s frustrating.
- why are we doing this anyway? We’ve been doing this for years, and it hasn’t brought the company a bit further. This is a waste of time and money. But whatever, the boss ordered it, then I’ll do that now.
There are dozens and probably hundreds of comments like this. Delegation is an art and requires a lot of sensitivity.
First, you have to get it out of your head that you have nothing to do with this task after delegation. Of course you have! You must invite the person to whom you delegate to the topic and be available for questions during the process. Until the task is completed successfully. The delegated task is often part of a larger task that lies on the desk. You must plan when it is appropriate to review the Status and clarify open questions. For larger tasks and project management, this is called “milestones”. For smaller tasks, it is best to set early deadlines so that you can make necessary changes before your own deadline expires.
Second, release yourself from fear. Overcome your fear that only you can do this task properly and in time. If you micro-manage your employees to whom you have delegated tasks and control every little thing, you will surely soon hear the above comments or you can read their Frustration in the body language of your employees.
Third, prepare a “framework” for the task: deadlines, resources for the Person to whom you delegate, times at which you are available for questions. Create pre-deadlines or milestones, depending on the size of the task, so that you can make Changes. Ask in advance, what’s the worst thing what can happen, if the results are not as expected. What would you have to do to make changes? How fast could they react? You have the resources to do that?
Fourth, you should always keep in mind that Delegation is an excellent way to motivate your employees. Don’t just focus on time-saving tasks. This also enables your employees to grow with their tasks. Give them tasks that easily go beyond your comfort Zone. Under-challenged people are quickly bored and start to switch to Autopilot. Over-challenged people become nervous and frightened. This leads us to point number five:
Fifthly, the better you know your employees, the better you can delegate to them. Try to explore the Strengths and weaknesses to assess what kind of learners all these people are. Does he / she prefer to demonstrate exactly how something should be done? Do you expect a statement? What degrees of freedom do you need for the optimal performance of the tasks?
Jens Moeller Consulting Ltd.
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