Delegating Effectively

Delegation doesn't just happen. Just like any other task that you perform as a manager, you have to work at it. The six steps to effective delegation are the following:

1. Communicate the task. Describe exactly what you want done, when you want it done, and what end results you expect.

2. Furnish context for the task. Explain why the task needs to be done, its importance in the overall scheme of things, and possible complications that may arise during its performance.

3. Determine standards. Agree on the standards that you will use to measure the success of a task's completion. These standards should be realistic and attainable.

4. Grant authority. You must grant employees the authority necessary to complete the task without constant roadblocks or standoffs with other employees.

5. Provide support. Determine the resources necessary for your employee to complete the task and then provide them. Successfully completing a task may require money, training, advice, and other resources.

6. Get commitment. Make sure that your employee has accepted the assignment. Confirm your expectations and your employee's understanding of and commitment to completing the task.

Clearly, delegation benefits both workers and managers alike when you do it correctly. So why aren't you delegating more work to your employees? Maybe you aren't sure what to delegate. While a manager can delegate almost any task to a worker, some things should be routinely delegated to employees, and some things should never be delegated to employees.

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