With a net worth of approximately $4.9 billion, Richard Branson, founder and chief executive officer of the Virgin Group, is one of the most successful executives on the planet. Branson doesn’t credit his success to his charisma or communication skills, but rather his ability to delegate responsibilities. He insists “If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.” These tips can help you do it efficiently.
Understand the Strengths of Every Member of Your Team
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Efficient delegation begins with identifying the right person for the job. Executive mentor Steve Caldwell believes understanding the strengths of every person on your team will help you do this. Considering each employee’s skills, passions, and career aspirations will help you decide who’s best suited for any given task.
You are part of your team too, so analyze your own strengths and weaknesses as part of this process. This will help you decide which tasks to complete and which are best delegated.
Clearly Communicate Expectations
According to the University of Southern California’s website, its Master of Communication Management degree helps students “learn to delegate in a constructive manner that fosters effectiveness and organizational efficiency.” Clear communication is essential for efficiency, because it ensures people do the job required right the first time.
According to Peter Economy, leadership expert at Inc., managers must explain delegated tasks and how their performance will be measured clearly and comprehensively. Workers must understand what they’re taking on to meet your expectations. Good communication flows both ways, so encourage workers to ask questions to ensure they are clear on your requirements.
Do Not Micromanage
Don’t confuse providing clear instructions with being prescriptive. Delegating tasks indicates you have trust in your employees, but that trust can be undermined if you micromanage them.
Mr. Economy says managers should allow their employees to complete given tasks in the manner they prefer to meet your objectives. “Telling team members specifically how to complete an assignment is not an effective means of delegating work,” he wrote in Inc. “It limits creativity and initiative while diminishing self-esteem.” An approach that encourages independent work will yield much better results.
Be Available for Your Employees
As B2B digital marketing company Multiview explained, being inaccessible can be just as damaging as micromanaging. The tasks you delegate are likely to be unfamiliar to your employees, so it’s important you’re available to them should they have any questions. If it’s possible, give them opportunities to observe you at work and practice the skills required before tackling your task.
Ensure Your Employee Has Authority to Complete the Task
Mr. Economy reminds managers that when they delegate tasks, they should also delegate the authority required to complete them. Otherwise your employees will face obstacles that could impair their ability to perform. For example, your employees might need a budget and the use of company funds or passwords to access high-level files. Make sure you organize these during the delegation process so you can truly pass on the task.
The ability to delegate is an underrated skill, but as many key business figures believe, it’s an essential one for managerial success.