Wood Words

There’s No “I” in Teamwork, but there is a “D”

The “D” is for delegation.

In management, delegation is the ability to effectively assign task responsibility and authority to others.  It’s a great business tool, and it’s critical to growth:

  • Delegation helps your employees grow. Many employees want more responsibility – and want to work on projects that really matter.
  • Delegation increases productivity.  When everyone on your staff spends more time doing what he does best, productivity naturally increases.
  • Delegation promotes teamwork.  When you assign a project to a group, they depend upon one another to achieve whatever goal you’ve set.  By transferring responsibility to them collectively, you help employees focus less on whose job is what – and more on working together to reach the bigger goal.

Today, we’re sharing a few tips for delegating to create higher performing teams:

Change your mindset.  Do you have a hard time giving up control?  Is delegation a “dirty word” to you?  If so, think of how much more productive you could be if you allowed others to handle certain aspects of your job.  What else could you accomplish if you had more hours to focus on your key priorities?  When you view delegation through this lens, you begin to appreciate how valuable it can be.

Decide which tasks can be delegated.  Start by listing all of your responsibilities and projects.  Then identify your key priorities:

  • responsibilities that require your specific expertise;
  • factors against which your performance is measured;
  • what’s expected of you from superiors.

Once you’ve established these key priorities, consider tasks that fall outside of your central responsibilities as candidates for delegation.

Assign tasks to those best suited to them.  Identify people on your team with the right skills to carry out the tasks to be delegated.  Find out who:

  • can “talk your language” and has the right skills and experience for the task;
  • can clearly understand what needs to be accomplished;
  • is eager to be involved in the endeavor.

Meet with the group to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Establish a timeline and agree on what a successful outcome will look like.  Make sure everyone has the resources he needs to accomplish the project successfully.

Let go.  This can be the toughest part of delegating; but once you’ve assigned a task, give employees the freedom they need to complete it.  Resist the urge to drive the work yourself.  It may cause confusion about who is actually responsible for its completion and ultimately diminish ownership (and performance) on the part of the people you assigned it to.

Monitor progress.  Though you should give employees freedom to complete a delegated task, you must also keep tabs on its progress. This allows you to keep the work on course, catch problems early and adapt the plan if necessary.

At the end of the day, delegation does more than just take things off your plate – it builds more cohesive, productive teams within your organization.  And if you need high performers to add to your organization’s teams, give Wood Personnel a call!