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.    

Best-case scenario

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.


What does ‘working from anywhere’ mean to you?

As we settle into the new ways of working and remote and hybrid working is starting to feel more normal, there appears to be a trend towards talking about ‘working from anywhere’, but what does this actually mean?

The lines between the home and office are already starting to blur, and if working from anywhere starts to encroach on people’s holidays, it might be time to redefine the virtual workplace.

In theory, being able to ‘work from anywhere’ sounds idyllic. To be tapping away on your laptop, under the shade of a parasol with a fresh fruit juice beside you, while the waves crashing below you might be considered the ultimate working experience. However, before you jet off to distant shores with your laptop stowed safely in your hand luggage, it is important that you think through the practicalities of bleisure (the term that has been coined to describe the blurring of lines between business and pleasure).

1. Can your job truly be done remotely? Not just part of it, but can you be away from the office or your customers’ premises for a prolonged period of time?

2. Can you easily take everything you need to work productively, with you, along with the normal packing which comes from being away for more than just a few days?

3. Is where you are going set up for remote working? Find out if there will be a dedicated workstation, strong internet and mobile reception, a printer or anything else you might need to get on with the job.

4. Are you constrained to working your ‘normal’ hours? This needs to be taken into account, especially if you are going to be working in a different time zone.

5. Will your home commitments – and those of your partners – enable you to pack up and work anywhere?

6. Is your company set up for you to be working remotely from somewhere that isn’t the UK? The legal, payroll and tax ramifications of working from different locations in the course of a year may make this prohibitive.

7. Is your IT security up to scratch. If you are taking customer data to different locations, you need to know that it is secure.

Plenty of formerly holiday destinations are now keen to make this dream a reality and some are even converting some of their bedrooms into offices and providing work-from-hotel offers – and some countries are attempting to mix play and work (plork anyone?), with visas for digital nomads available.

Whatever the ultimate destination is, the truth is for the majority of us, working from anywhere is still a way off and the journey is likely to involve many twists and turns – and probably a few false starts. We need to sort out the practicalities of hybrid working first, and maybe ‘working from anywhere’ will follow.

A year to do things differently

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People often make resolutions in the New Year, but in the present economic climate of change and uncertainty, is it really worth making things harder for yourself? After the dramatic workplace shift over the last few years, this year should be all about finding balance and reinstating more time spent – and by that I mean in real life – with people. That’s one resolution we can make that will be beneficial for all.

Social medias

It’s strange that meeting people in person, either socially or professionally, became such a big deal. With all the social distancing, remote working and ‘not mixing’, the accent during the pandemic was on the solitary. But we’re not a solitary species, we’re social animals, and it doesn’t matter if it’s in work or out and about in our leisure time, we all benefit from meeting up with people in person. In this way, we shouldn’t forget the importance of the human touch and interaction.

When it comes to work, our working relationships are often forged by our interactions and personalities. We tend to gravitate to people we like, to personalities which are like ours, and this often brings the best out of both parties. You don’t have to socialise outside of work, but it helps if you mix and collaborate well within the working environment. The phrase ‘team player’ is overused these days, to the point that it’s all but obsolete. To work within a team, you’re expected to be a team player. But it actually means much more than that in person.

Interaction and creativity

If you’re a personable, confident individual, you may find it easy to communicate your ideas and have people understand them. If you’re more socially awkward and unsure of yourself, you can still be just as good at your job, but have more difficulty getting your viewpoint across. The ideal – and this works much better in person than over the internet in an email or via Zoom – is the interaction in-person working gives you. It’s much easier to articulate ideas and discussions in person. Other factors, such as tone of voice and body language come into play, which can help people relate to others much more.

So many companies have adopted a hybrid working model, or even a ‘work from home only’ model, that some of that interaction is being lost along the way. This shouldn’t be the case, especially if you work in an industry where creativity and knowledge-sharing are part of your working day. One client has said to me that this year it is his resolution to meet me in person. This may sound absurd, but given the events and changes of the last two years, is entirely believable too.

We should take these lessons on board and make sure that if possible ’in person’ is the de facto way to meet up and communicate. Let’s make 2023 a year to do things differently.


The shape of things to come

As we head into the second week of the new year, many companies are full steam ahead with their plans for 2023. A new year is often a time for new beginnings, and while this can be an exciting time, in some instances these company adjustments can mean restructuring and changes at a leadership level.

A time for reflection

Where these changes have been decided on in the previous year, but only being implemented as the new year has started, the individuals concerned will have had the festive period to reflect on their careers and the path that they want to take in the coming months. Regardless of whether the change was expected or welcome, the opportunities a company restructure can provide should never be underestimated.

A new direction

Restructuring doesn’t always mean redundancies, and if an individual still envisages their future with the company, then coaching might help them recognise their potential within a new role or new team. However, where redundancy is the preferred outcome, this can still take a positive shape. Providing the person leaving the business with outplacement, can turn what could be perceived as a terrible situation into a positive one, which ultimately will see the individual in a better place.

An experienced Career Consultant will work with the person facing redundancy to help them identify the direction they want to go and the steps they need to take to see them onto the right path. This can be anything from helping them bring their CV up to date, through to overhauling their LinkedIn profile or even helping them identify their transferable skills if they want a complete change.

A lasting impression

A Career Consultant will also work with a candidate to help them identify what is important to them. This can cover everything from company, role, salary and holidays, through to job location, working hours and other non-financial benefits. All the things that ultimately will help ensure job and personal satisfaction – and ensure the departing employee is left with a favourable impression of how the company handled its restructuring.

If you would like to find out if outplacement can benefit your business, please contact Career Evolution to find out more.