The power of delegation
If you are managing a team, you know how difficult delegating work to other individuals can be. Managing a workload can be complicated and is a key factor in any successful manager and team – and consequently business. Getting the balance right between delegation and realistic workload can also be tricky. So, why it is so important to be able to delegate well? Well, the simple answer is you can’t do it all on your own.
Specialism and efficiency
Delegation isn’t just about getting somebody else to do something. It’s about matching skills to tasks, and matching knowledge to subjects, so you really need to get to know your team and colleagues well. If you’re dealing with specialist subjects, it’s often the case that someone will be better suited to carrying out a task than others due to their experience and skills. Those with a background in certain subjects, say finance or planning, will be able to become familiar with and tackle projects faster than someone who has to research the subject, for example. We can also delegate work aligned to strengths and motivations. Delegation often brings out the best in an individual, if they are assigned to deliver a key piece of work or oversee a key project that involves the way they love to work.
Delegation is also about allowing individuals within a team to contribute to the overall success of a project or task. Being able to contribute a key component to a wider success is an important element of teambuilding and also for enhancing morale. While delegation feeds into workload management, which in turn can help with efficiency, it’s also not just a case of getting things done more quickly. A piece of work might pass through many hands, have many drafts, for example, until it reaches an ideal version. Different people will bring different perspectives to each draft – and each will have a made an important contribution. Most projects are like this and each contributor should be able to see their mark on the end result.
A range of options
That is why it’s important to have a diverse team membership, so that when it comes to delegation, you have a range of options as to who is best suited to the role, project or client. It’s critical to empower teams and acknowledge that their effort makes a difference, as leaders we can’t do it all and micro-managing does not bring the best out in people. Coaching skills can come to the fore as a result of delegation too. You’ll be able to identify which person is right for the project from their CV profiles or through discussion with them. in this way, delegation and teamwork create a positive business culture that benefits everyone.
There are of course cons to the delegation argument too. One of the biggest negatives of delegation is how to ascertain what to delegate to who. Some individuals may take umbrage at not being delegated a task that they would be well suited for, which can cause division and resentment in the team. In that case, you may have to explain your rationale for your decision, if it becomes an issue.
In the best-case scenario, it allows staff to learn and develop new skills, while they are working efficiently on a ‘live’ project. But if you make the wrong choice, it could end up costing you money in lost time and wasted resources. When it works, delegation can be a huge asset, with improved efficiency and great results. It also of course gives you the time and space to focus on higher-level tasks. It’s all about getting the right mix of staff that will make delegation easier, as you play to their strengths and reap the benefits of the power of delegation.