Task delegation is a crucial skill for managers of all levels to learn. You simply cannot do it all yourself and need a functioning team to perform both regular business operations and special projects most effectively. Every project manager should know these three delegating tips.
Choose the Right Person for the Job
The first thing any manager should do when deciding to delegate a task is to consider and choose the right person to accomplish that task. Consider a number of factors including personality, skillset, experience and other traits. Be fair as well—don’t put a disproportionate amount of work on any single employee. Even if that employee is one of your best, you run the risk of generating resentment and burnout. Make sure the employee has enough time to adequately work on and complete the task as well.
Establishing frequent and effective communication is critical to managing a project of any variety. Technology can help with this—instant messaging apps geared towards professional teams such as Slack as well as plain e-mail are useful tools. Everyone involved in the project needs to be on the same page at all times or problems are likely to occur. Interdepartmental communication is also important. For example, a project regarding a new client database system may need to heavily involve accounts receivable management. If you are working with outsourced contractors in other countries who speak a different language, investing in a translation agency might be a better decision than hiring your own translators or relying on Google Translate.
The final most important thing you can do when delegating a task to an employee is to continue to offer instructions, support and guidance. Employees will often have follow-up questions after the fact or as the project progresses. Remain encouraging and support your employees so they can best accomplish the task you have asked of them. Also be sure the employee understands the reasons for the task and why it is beneficial. There may be benefits to the team overall as well as to the individual, such as developing a certain skill or providing them more credentials for a promotion.
Project managers need to be able to delegate tasks and do so effectively. This can sometimes be a difficult decision to make, so be sure to weigh your options and understand what factors contribute to success. Learn from your mistakes and always strive towards being a better manager.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.