Delegate: how (well) to delegate to your staff?

When the workload increases, the manager is led to delegate his or her work tasks. What is the Art of Work Delegation? How to delegate? Here are 7 tips on how to delegate. Delegate. Excuse me, the Art of Delegating is to earn more by working less (if you can). Indeed, delegating well is a key factor in balancing personal and professional life. While increasing team motivation. And yet! Yes, it's simple to want to delegate... but as soon as you start to practice, you realize that it's not that easy. Both for you, the manager, and for the person who takes over some of your responsibilities. How do you delegate attributions and work tasks to the team, to your staff? This Management file offers you 7 tips to become a Master of Delegation.

Delegating, an approach to teamwork

This is the first piece of advice because it is of crucial importance for the business manager. You don't realize it right away, but delegating is a paradigm shift: you have to accept that you can't do EVERYTHING yourself. Moreover, everyone works in a different way. We live in an interdependent world. The company's success depends on its entire team. The success of your company is not only due to YOU!

Delegate, do not abdicate

You have to remember that if things go wrong, it's YOUR fault. Delegating is not saying to the person "here, I'll give you this to do as well" (figure it out!). The risk of failure must be taken into account BEFORE delegating a task. It is better to prevent than to cure, as they say. In case of failure, the only person to blame is you. For not being able to delegate your tasks properly. In doing so, you may find that the person you delegate to is better at the job... than you are!

Tasks delegated as clearly as a beautiful crystal...

If you cannot clearly define the task to be delegated, the task is not ready to be delegated. The right tasks to delegate are tasks: specific, measurable, feasible, realistic. In other words: intelligent tasks. Tasks that are vaguely delegated, without measurement criteria or that are easily unverifiable are impossible to do properly. Part of the Art of Delegation is simply to create INTELLIGENT tasks and communicate clearly about them.

Tools and means to delegate (a nutcracker and an instruction manual?)

We don't teach you that the best tool for breaking nuts is a nutcracker. And the best way is to know how to use it. The tasks you delegate also require their nutcracker, as well as instructions on how to use it. Also, while some people do the job completely independently, others need a little help from you, support to get started. This is part of the ins and outs of knowing how to delegate effectively. Charles, are you going cold? Charles, are you going to cargo? ...communicate to delegate... Voilà! Now that you know who to delegate to and how to delegate, it's time to communicate to delegate. You, you send Charles to the store's fresh food department. But maybe for Charles, freight is the receipt of pallets delivered to the store. Interpretations may differ on the task being delegated, how to delegate, and the tools and means to do so. So take the time to check:
  • the understanding of the task,
  • the details of the process for moving from A to B
  • the tools and means and their use
  • the steps and indicators to validate them
  • Good communication allows your employee to be immediately operational.

Gradually slacken the rope

When doing a job, there is always a spectrum of freedom in decision making and actions to be taken. You can think about this before delegation so that you can "cut the person some slack" once the work has been delegated. Some HR managers call this "islands of freedom" (although I don't like this term). The concept is to decide beforehand what freedom you will leave in execution, and then to communicate clearly about the freedom granted. Giving slack ranges from "Give me the information, and I'll decide"... to "you decide and you do it, you don't need to consult me about anything". It's up to you to find the right balance that suits everyone based on the risk of failure, the person's skills and your confidence to carry out the delegated task.

Delegating, an interdependence focused on the positive and on success

The premise was stated at the beginning of the article. It is possible that some of the tasks you delegate may be better done by someone other than you. It's a 100% win-win situation for you, for the company, for the employee:
  • The employee takes responsibility, he "goes up".
  • You, you save time
  • Your company and your customers benefit from a better quality of work
Moreover, delegating teaches you as much about your employee as it does about you and the company. It's an opportunity to share ideas with employees who have enough information and experience to talk quickly implemented. This leads to positive and result-oriented discussions. Finally, delegating allows you to detect talents in your employees that neither they nor you had thought of before. A few years ago, I hired a developer. After a few months, we decided to put him in business development (sales, marketing, ...). Because he excels in this field. And that it made him happy (and me too).

Tip 8: Setting the scene for the delegation

Over time I realized that the best way to delegate is to stage this important event for the employee's career and development. Delegating is an important event in the company: it changes your employee's work, it gives him/her responsibilities, it gives him/her variety in his/her work tasks. Above all, above all... by delegating, you don't just give a work task :
  • You give your trust to the person in your team.
  • You give power to the person in your team.
What is the best proof of trust and encouragement you can give someone? The best proof is to give them some of your power.

In conclusion: delegating is putting interdependence into practice

That's what's in this management file. The company is a system in which all its elements depend on each other. The team depends on you as much as you depend on the team. Everyone has their own sources of motivation and their own criteria for satisfaction. The Art of Delegation is the art of giving of oneself to get the best out of one's team in return.
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