Delegation is assigning responsibility and authority to someone in order to complete a clearly defined and agreed upon task while you retain ultimate accountability for its success. Delegation aims at empowering your teammates. As leader you understand that delegation is a very positive and helpful process, it saves your time a lot and helps you achieve much more, as after delegation you can devote your time to other important tasks. It also gives you opportunities to take up higher responsibilities for your learning and career growth.
However sometimes fear of losing control or lack of confidence may discourage you to delegate the work to your team members. But delegation still remains a very good tool to develop the subordinates and get the best out of your available time and manpower resources. To get the best out of delegation process we recommend the following steps.
- Choose a task to delegate: Identify and define the task to be delegated and identify reasons of delegation, define your outcome clearly. Ask- is there something which I can delegate to some of my team member, something routine, which some of my team mate can do?
- Choose the right team member: Identify the right team member to delegate the task. The right team member is someone, who has certain level of essential skills to do the task under consideration, time and willingness to learn.
- Delegate: Explain the importance of the task. Clarify to the individual about the reasons, why he only has been chosen for delegation, don’t forget to motivate him. He should be able to see his gains clearly – what is in it for him. Set timelines and clarify other expectations.
- Provide necessary training: Discuss and plan for his training to facilitate his success and provide all necessary inputs. Assure to give him all support and make arrangements for required inputs like coaching or on the job assistance.
- Check Understanding: Ensure that training given has been effectively received and individual is confident of his skills to complete the delegated task.
- Assure the required support: Assure the individual concerned for providing necessary support and tell him that you (the leader) are still accountable for the delivery and quality of the assignment.
Review and Provide feedback: Set up a review and feedback process during the middle of task to minimize the risk and surprises. Evaluate objectively without criticizing. Provide feedback and explore actions for improvement.