How to Delegate Work to Your Team – Part 2

As a leader, you must learn to delegate tasks effectively. “Delegation”, when done effectively, benefits both you the leader and your team. You get more work done by leveraging the experience and expertise of your team members whereas they get to put their skills and knowledge to work and help the team achieve its goals.

If you fail to delegate tasks effectively, you waste your time and energy and that of your team members. You don’t get what you expect and sometimes, you end up having to redo the work yourself. They work for nothing and don’t feel supported. This is utterly ineffective—plus, it’s frustrating for both parts.

Once you’ve decided to delegate a task and chosen the team member(s) who should perform it (see part 1), the way you delegate the task matters; when you communicate the parameters of the task clearly, you save yourself the time of having to go back and forth with your team member(s), trying fix misunderstandings.

As a general rule, even when you delegate a task verbally, confirm everything in writing so that expectations are clear. And make sure your communication clearly delineate the task by answering the “What?” the “When?” the “Why?” the “How?” and the “Who?”

The “What?” (The Task)

Explain the task as precisely as you can so that the expected result is unambiguous. What is the final product (or result) you expect from your team member(s)?

Make sure your team member(s) clearly understands what you expect. The clearer you are, the better it is. If you don’t want any surprise, verify that your expectations are clear to them.

The “When?” (The Deadline)

Provide the deadline to your team member(s) so that they know by when they must deliver the goods.

As a general rule, when setting deadlines, always give yourself a buffer. For example, if you need to pass on your team member’s work to another stakeholder (e.g. your boss or a client), give yourself enough time to review the work and make necessary corrections.

The “Why” (The Background)

When applicable, share with your team member(s) any relevant background information on the task. What led to the task being needed? Why is this task important? Providing contextual information will help your team member(s) better understand the task and the rationale for it—and ultimately make their job easier.

The “How?” (The Method)

When delegating a task to your team member(s) for the first time, you may need to show them how to perform it. In such case, demonstrate the methodology they must follow to perform the task.

Experienced team members may already know the methodology they should follow, but it’s a good idea to confirm that they do know.

The “Who?” (The Resource)

Whom should your team member(s) consult if they need assistance and have questions? Often, you are that person. However, if you’re not that person (or if you’re absent one day), they must know who they can rely on: the resource people.

Once you’ve clearly presented the tasks, address your team member(s)’s questions, concerns, and other comments. Now, that they have all they need to perform the task effectively, send them on their way. From then, monitor their progress.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.