By definition, you can’t be a team of one. Among the most important responsibilities of any leader is knowing how to make the most of their team’s strengths, and delegate the workload appropriately. Learning to master delegation will result in a better work environment for your entire team, whilst playing to every individual’s personal talent.
In this issue of the Pulse, we take a look at some of the important things to consider when you're attempting to improve your delegation and workload management skills. Know your team and your tasks
It’s important to conduct a proper analysis of your workload and your team’s capabilities. Some things really will be better if you’re the one doing them, and those are jobs you shouldn’t delegate if you don't need to. However, many of your responsibilities might be better served by your colleagues or employees - especially if they can afford to put more focus on the task in question. It also might be important to analyze what responsibilities you can shift from one employee to another. Can you lighten someone else’s workload by positively challenging another?
Likewise, as a leader, it will be very beneficial to identify which tasks are time-wasters in your schedule. Someone less senior on your team can certainly take care of these, freeing you up for the work that can only be completed by you.
A mental inventory of your whole team’s strengths, weaknesses, and workload is crucial when being honest and analytical in the delegation process.
Be clear and effective when assigning work
When delegating work to other members of your team, it’s important that they have the proper instructions and expectations from the start. It is more efficient to take the time to give a thorough explanation, rather than troubleshooting or re-doing work later.
If you’re setting expectations for a co-worker without being fully transparent, it also has the potential to cause a rift in your working relationship.
Give and receive feedback authentically
After a task is completed, give constructive feedback to your team member. Did their initiative impress you? How could they improve next time? It’s also critical that you are receptive to their feedback. Did they feel overwhelmed by the task given, or were your instructions perhaps not clear enough? Keeping that open, authentic dialogue, and creating an environment where your staff feel safe to participate, will allow for a much more fulfilled workspace.
Consider implementing a digital solution
There are a myriad of different technologies dedicated to helping a team run effectively. Microsoft Teams, Slack, and Trello are just a handful of the tools you can utilize to delegate tasks to your staff, and to assure everyone remains accountable for the work they're responsible for. Especially with staff working at home, a virtual platform dedicated to communication and teamwork is a no-brainer.
It can be hard to trust that anything is getting it done without your attentive supervision. But relax – trust that you made the right hiring and delegating decisions. Trust in your own abilities as a leader, and your team’s talent in their roles. If you set them up for success, believe that they can succeed. If they don’t, it’s a learning experience for all involved.
You work hard, and you deserve the benefit of knowing your team has your back. Hopefully these strategies can help your workplace and schedule thrive.