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How to Delegate Tasks among Employees

Part of the Complete MBA For Dummies Cheat Sheet

No manager can do everything alone, MBA or not. Delegating is an effective tool that business managers can use to achieve goals. If you delegate work, responsibility, and authority to employees, you'll increase the amount of work accomplished and often with better results. Delegation is a great management tool when done right, so follow these steps to help:

  1. Communicate the task.

    Describe to your employees exactly what you want done, when you want it done, and the end results you expect. Be clear and unambiguous and encourage your employees to ask questions.

  2. Furnish context for the task.

    Explain to your employees why the task is important, how it fits into the overall scheme of things, and any possible complications that may arise during its performance. Encourage employees to ask questions, and don't get defensive if your employees push you for answers (someone always will).

  3. Determine standards.

    Everyone needs to know when they cross the finish line. Agree on the standards that you'll use to measure the success of the task's completion. These standards should be realistic and attainable, and you should avoid changing them after performance has begun.

  4. Grant authority.

    Empower your employees with the level of authority required to complete the task. They can do without constant roadblocks or standoffs with other employees.

  5. Provide support.

    Determine the resources (money, training, manpower, advice, and so forth) your employees require to complete the task and then provide them.

  6. Get commitment.

    Don't assume that your employees will automatically accept the assignment; you must make sure that they do. Reaffirm your expectations and confirm your employees' understanding of the commitment to completing the task.

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