Delegation 101

When working on an efficient team, we can accomplish great things. At any well run organization or team, every team member has a role to play. The key to success is first understanding your role, and then delegating work to the right person.

Organizations of any size cannot be successful without delegation. Clear delegation sets explicit expectations so that everyone understands their work and can trust that the work will get done. Team members must emotionally commit to assigned work and understand how it fits with the overall plan.

Here are some important tips when delegating:

Frame the Objective

When team members understand the overall goal, they have an easier time processing the delegation. (START with WHY)

Match Tasks and Capabilities

Allow team members to play to their strengths. If customers have billing questions, then direct them to the business office manager. If someone is highly organized, assign inventory management.

Be Explicit about Limitations

When assigning work, be clear about limitations. Do you expect them to work solely or can another teammate help? What are budget limits? How much time can be dedicated?

Assign a Deadline

Human beings do not complete work without deadlines. Use of a tracking tool is as important as the objective itself. Missing deadlines is not acceptable, so ask, “Is there anything you can think of that would prevent you from meeting this deadline?”

Support Them

Giving people work to do does not mean you stop talking with them, and checking in does not mean you are micromanaging. Regular weekly meetings including WWW tool updates, as well as brief updates through the month, are essential. “I have two minutes; briefly update me on your progress.”

Think about the things ONLY you can do and then consider what’s left. All that’s left may be delegated to another team member, once trained. When we withhold delegation, we actually undermine our teammate’s opportunity to grow as a professional. As a manager, failure to delegate may lead to missed deadlines, fatigue and poor performance.

The next time you sit down to do a task, ask yourself if ONLY you can do it or if another team member is capable to complete it. You may be surprised how many minutes are available in your day when you work with your team efficiently. Delegation helps the team work. Set a goal around delegating more this month.


Together Everyone Achieves More.