Successful managers get to the top by knowing how and when to effectively delegate. Being able to use your human resources wisely makes both you and your team better.
But when the time comes to delegate, you might find yourself doing a delicate dance. It’s your job to delegate work, but it might not be obvious what tasks should go to which employee.
One option is to fake it: Gather your team together, outline the project tasks to be done, and let your employees choose what they want to be responsible for.
It might be easier, but it’s less effective. Why? Because employees respond better when they feel they’ve been chosen for a particular task, rather than having to volunteer for it.
Delegating specific work to a specific employee tells that employee his manager feels he’s the best one to get that job done right. This encourages more investment in getting it right.
Plus, it eliminates competitive squabbling among employees; if the directives come right from the boss, there’s no use fighting over who’s doing what. This is especially critical if you manage a large team filled with even larger personalities.
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So, it’s important to get the delegating dance done right. This comes with an instinct about which employees are best suited to which tasks.
Here are six ways to help you do it gracefully – and ensure no one gets left out:
1) Delegate Busy Work to Your Most Task-Focused Employee
These are your employees who never want to be bored or don’t crave too much downtime. They’ll pound the tedious and repetitive stuff out quickly and be ready for more when it comes.
Just don’t pile all the busy work on one person all the time. And emphasize to that employee how important those tasks are to the overall project. Otherwise, employees could get the impression they’re only around to do the things no one else wants.
2) Delegate Project Management to Your Most Confident Employee
Showing innate leadership abilities and decision-making comfort makes these employees naturals to direct projects you don’t have time for.
These employees have also earned enough respect from their co-workers, who will be more willing to follow their lead.
3) Delegate Schedule-Keeping to Your Non-Procrastinating Employee
If your task involves time-tables and planning, get your uber-organized employee to take this on. You’ll likely never have to worry about missing a deadline or falling behind.
Delegate your inter-departmental liaison tasks to your most diplomatic employee.
Use your smoother-talking employees to coordinate with your team and other departments when necessary.
They’ll most often keep friction to a minimum and can take some time-consuming meetings off your hands.
4) Delegate the More Unique Tasks to Your Most Seasoned Employee
Not only are they experienced, they also likely could use a change of pace.
Switching things up for trusted employees who’ve toiled at mostly the same jobs for years keeps their curiosity piqued and their engines running.
5) Delegate Ongoing Crucial Tasks to Your Most Organized Employee
These are the ones who leave their desks every day so tidy that it looks like no one works there. Everything is off their plate by the end of every day, so they can start fresh tomorrow.
This is key when you know you need a lot of work done in a short time.
6) Delegate the Stuff You Hate to Do to Your Most Easy-Going Employee
There’s usually nothing they mind doing, so they’ll find the up-side of the tasks you dread. And they might even come up with a less painful approach to getting them done.
Of course, these are only suggestions. The way to really succeed at delegating is to mix things up every once in a while. Employees appreciate when you take advantage of their strengths and encourage them to break out of their own routines. They’ll reward you by making your delegating dance easier to do.
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