The Importance of Delegating

We have discussed before how strong a role a manager plays in whether an employee will be a long time part of a company or a short fly-by. Statistics show that the number one reason people quit a job is due to their manager or supervisor, not the job itself. In a Gallup poll in 2017, 75% of over a million employees surveyed said that they had quit their last job due to problems with management, not because of the company or the role they held. Managers that most irritate their staff include ones that don’t stand up for the employees, ones who push their weight around, ones that take all the credit and make all decisions solo and ones who micromanage their team.
 
In this blog, we’re going to look at one way to become a better manager and get rid of some of these traps. Pretty well anyone who has worked for a period of time has stories of the bad managers who drove them out of the workplace and the good managers that they went through fire for. If you’re looking at climbing any ladders, you want to be the latter! So, we’re going to look at the importance of delegating in order to dissolve micromanaging, give you great reasons to stand up for your employees and learn how to make decisions as a group effort.
 
The Benefits of Delegating
 
Many people who are new to management make the mistake of trying to do all the work themselves. They feel they must prove themselves and if they have a new team under them, they may not trust the new group. However, delegation can begin quickly, even if you’re new to your position. What are the benefits?
 
• Frees you up to do the parts of your job that only you can do rather than getting bogged down in things that someone else can do
• You can get rid of the tasks you hate doing
• Lets you build up your team by giving members tasks that they are uniquely qualified for
• Allows you to train your team to the standards you want upheld if you’re not there for any reason
• Shows trust in your team which is generally rewarded with loyalty and higher levels of productivity
• Allows you to train your someday replacement right from the start. Great leaders are always looking to train someone to eventually take their place so they can move on to another leadership role or opportunity and know that their legacy will be preserved and added to
• Improves your leadership skills. Leaders have to know when to do the job themselves and when to pass the reins to someone else

Proper and regular delegation has a lot of benefits for everyone and it’s been shown to build a tighter team that will last longer. So how can you start thinking of delegation if you’re a supervisor or manager?

Understand the Process
 
The first thing to keep in mind is to understand that delegation is a process and it cannot be done ‘overnight’. It takes time to figure out your team (especially if they are new to you), uncover strengths and weaknesses and then match tasks to the appropriate person. You also have to take the time to train your staff to their new roles and do proper follow-up to ensure the job is being done properly. Starting with small things and being ready to change up who does what as the situation requires it is important. Then you can build up to the larger tasks that give staff more responsibilities and freedom to work the job the way they find best. All in all, it’s a process and expecting it to be quick will only lead to frustration.
 
Build Up Trust
 
Proper delegation requires trust between the team lead and the rest of the team. The supervisor must trust their staff to do the job and the employees must trust that their leader will support them through the process. Building up trust takes time too and it means being willing to take the occasional leap of faith. It is usually a fairly stressful process, especially if you’re giving something higher pressure to someone that hasn’t done anything like it before, but with the right support going both ways, plenty of communication and planning, it can go really well and you end up with a stronger team at the end and greater trust.
 
The Importance of Follow-Up
 
Follow-up is critically important in so many aspects of our lives and that includes delegation in the workplace! Without follow-up, you won’t know how your team did (until something blows up in your face) and your team won’t know they can approach you to fine-tune their work. After delegating tasks, you should always book time to meet up with your team (or individual members) to find out how the job went (or how it’s going if it’s something ongoing) and to get and give feedback to improve the work. Remember, with new members of the team, it probably won’t be completely perfect the first time and really, you wouldn’t want it to be. Obviously, we aren’t looking for major screw ups, but some hiccoughs can tell you that there are areas which can be streamlined and gives the team member a chance to show their creative thinking, ability to problem solve and ability to work under pressure. Who knows: someone may have come up with a better way to do things that wouldn’t have occurred to you! Make sure to book time to meet with your team on a regular basis. As they get good at the jobs you give them, you can shorten these to small check-ins or just make sure everyone knows when you’re available to talk to.
 
Why is Delegating so Hard to Do?
 
Almost 36% of CEOs admitted to needing to improve their delegation skills in a survey conducted by Standford University. And you may be reading this and cringing at the thought of delegating if you ever make team lead. After all, as the lead, you still have responsibility if something goes wrong and you lose control over the job on top of that. For many leaders, that’s just too much to handle and so they don’t delegate and end up burnt out with a resentful team.
 
However, as you have seen, it’s important for leaders to learn how to delegate and continually practice it. As an employee, you were likely a lot happier when your supervisor trusted you to do your job and even gave you extra chances to prove yourself and as a leader, you’ll be happier to free up your time and energy for your job instead of doing everyone else’s work! Delegation is important, so practice it whenever you can and see how it benefits you!

 

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