2012-11-20

Delegating tasks to employees – 6 ways to get positive results

Drake Editorial Team

When you delegate a task, you want to feel confident that it will be completed correctly and timely. Here are six approaches you can use to increase your comfort level when delegating.

  1. Assign Tasks in a Progressive Manner: Start with small, non-critical tasks; then move to large, critical tasks. This is especially important f this is the first time you have delegated a task, or if this is the first time you have delegated a task to this specific employee. In either case, you will feel more comfortable and the employee will too.
  2. Explain the End Results Clearly. Tell the employee what you expect and when. Provide specifics about what a “satisfactory” end product looks like. Give exact deadlines and due dates. Also, ask questions to ensure that the employee to whom you are delegating the task understands your expectations.
  3. Establish Check Points for Following Up: You might have the employee give you an update after one-half of the task is completed, after a certain amount of information has been compiled, or after a specific time period. Your decision should be based on the task as well as the employee. But whatever your check point make sure that you establish some “preview” period before the final product is presented.
  4. Explain Why and How the Delegated Task will Benefit the Employee: If you assign something that you normally do to an employee, explain “what’s in it for the employee” besides more work! The benefits could be learning something new, working on a high-profile task, or something else. To determine benefits, think about your employee and the task.
  5. Consider Workloads and Other Workplace Factors when Delegating Tasks: Think about things like the amount of work the employee already has, the critical nature of the task you are delegating, or political issues associated with the task. The employee should be able to meet your expectations given all these factors or others.
  6. Ensure that the Employee has Access to the Resources, Materials, and Tools needed to Perform the Delegated Task: Make sure that the employee knows where to locate anything and anybody needed to successfully complete the task. If you cannot provide all the information or materials at the time you delegate the task, let the employee know when you will be able to provide it or where he or she can go to get it.

Barbara Brown, PhD shows managers how to improve employee performance by linking performance to results. She publishes handbooks that contain phrases for linking employee performance to workplace results. Handbook topics include Linking Time Management To Results, Linking Customer Service To Results, and others. Dr. Brown also offers E-Courses and E-Consulting as well as onsite training and consulting. Website: www.LinkToResults.net; Email:Barbara@LinkToResults.net

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