This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Delegation is an art, and the result is a stronger, less stressful work environment and a healthier company overall.
On the surface, we delegate simply to manage an otherwise-impossible workload. But both leaders and employees benefit from the process. Most employees feel more engaged as they take on deeper responsibilities. They feel invested and empowered, and that’s good for everyone. Because “employee engagement” has become such a common business phrase, it’s worth untangling exactly what it means.
Challenging employees with opportunities to learn and grow ensures they’re fully in the game. And it’s exciting to see someone knock a project out of the park. In fact, I often find that staff deliver better results and improve the underlying process when we hand over the keys and let them drive.
Before you can entrust your staff with new challenges, you need to decide what you shouldn’t be doing. A task is ready for delegation when:
After 13 years in business, there’s always someone in our company with more niche or technical skills than me – and that’s fantastic. It means we’re hiring the right people, and they’re sharing that specialized knowledge across the team.
It’s so easy to fall down a day-long rabbit hole of calls, emails, meetings, and busywork. Instead, use your energy to tackle the work that only you can do. Hint: it probably hinges on people and strategy.
As a leader, you shouldn’t do work that doesn’t require your unique expertise. Others can conduct research, crunch data, prepare reports, and lay the foundation for big-picture thinking. Remember that you can always pick up a project partway through, once someone else has tilled the soil.
There’s never enough time in the day, and too many competing priorities. When you’re facing multiple deadlines, choose the highest-impact option. Focus there and assign the other project to someone you trust.
Delegation can feel uncomfortable even when you know it’s in everyone’s best interest, so start small. For example, if you want to re-assign an HR process, set a time to walk your employees through it. Once they start to manage it, create a calendar reminder to review their work every few days, or at an interval that works for you. Over time, you can check in less frequently – to the point where they only come to you with questions.
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