Share the Burden – Tips on Delegating Tasks
There is only so much time to complete so much work. Even on your most productive days, there is usually always something you will have to take care of the next day. When you realized this, you hired more employees, and now it’s time to give them work to do. But that’s not as simple as it sounds – you’re used to doing all the work yourself. Successfully sharing the workload requires that you can strategically and confidently delegate tasks to others.
While this may sound easy, most people find that they aren’t comfortable assigning others work. First, let’s address the two most common fears people have when confronting their employees.
“They won’t be able to do it as well as I could.” You hired your employee because you believe that they are skilled. You have to learn to trust them – don’t underestimate their abilities. When the time comes, you can have them run their work by you before it’s finished, so that you can check if it meets your standards.
“I feel bad assigning boring tasks.” What you find boring or tedious, others may enjoy. I sometimes like to get lost in time consuming, repetitive tasks that many of my peers dread doing. A good manager can delegate work to employees who will enjoy doing it. In addition, in most cases, when you are delegating work, you have authority over others. You need to embrace this authority – you are paying your employees to do what you ask of them.
Now that we’ve addressed the fears, here are a few tips to help you get started delegating:
- Start small. Delegate less important tasks first, so that both you and your employee can get used to the process.
- Clearly define your expectations. Let your employee know exactly what you want from them. However, avoid telling them how to do it – it is best to let your employee control the process, as long as they reach the desired end result.
- Leave a large margin of error. You’re new at delegating, and you don’t know how long it takes other people to get work done. Try to set deadlines a few days before you actually need the result, so there is room for troubleshooting.
- Make yourself easy to contact. Employees need to ask questions of you until they get the hang of things. If they don’t understand something, it will take them much longer. Make the process easy for them, and they will get the work done faster.
Find these tips and many more in The Beginner’s Guide to Delegation, written by Thanh Pham of Asian Efficiency.