Whether you are new in-charge, a supervisor, or someone else in an authoritative position, it is imperative to learn how to delegate tasks in order to complete a job or project in an efficient manner.
Early on in my new role as a Senior Accountant, I had to learn how to assign staff certain tasks in order to get a particular job done. I never had such responsibilities, so in order to find a model, I would observe the other coworkers, supervisors, and those in charge to see how they ran their jobs. From observing others and applying my own personal experience I have learned that delegation is a key skill for any effective leader to have. Here are four steps and tips that I recommend taking in order to make delegating tasks easier:
1. Decide which tasks you are able to delegate and which you cannot.
When doing this step, I originally made the mistake of writing off certain tasks as I thought that it would be faster for me to just to complete the job on my own. You may have to schedule some additional training time, but as new jobs or projects come in, their efficiency will increase, freeing up some of your time in the long run.
2. Decide who you will choose to delegate the task to.
While there may be an obvious choice at first based on their level of experience, try to avoid favoring one member of the team. You want each team member to have specific roles and a purpose for being on the team to boost individual morale. It is important to take chances with your staff and allow for them to work through the job. Invest in the newer staff, as someone invested in you during your early stages of your career.
3. Provide clear instruction in order to ensure a successful outcome
Even though you personally may have done a task many times and think it is relatively simple, it may not be as obvious to another person. I found that giving clear instruction and deadline information for each task avoids many miscommunication issues. Realize that the outcome is still your responsibility, so you will need to support your staff when needed.
4. Give feedback once tasks are complete.
Remember delegating tasks are important to boost staff’s morale and it is an opportunity to feel like they can be trusted. If a staff did well at completing a particular task, ensure to give them praise for a job well done. If there are room for improvements, make sure you handle giving the feedback delicately and provide only constructive criticism. In either case, always ensure to show your appreciation to your staff and make sure their efforts are recognized.
Written by Amit K. Saha, Senior Accountant