Delegation takes time–to organize, prioritize and monitor the tasks that you give over to other people, but it’s a good investment. The truth is, the cost of avoiding it is much higher! If you are doing the work that other people can do, need to do, or even want to do, then, it’s time to schedule an appointment for an organizational consultation with yourself. Here are some questions to get you started:
Is my desk overflowing with uncompleted tasks?
Am I doing something that I don’t do very well, but don’t need to learn?
Do I set aside enough time for work on long-term projects?
Is my staff developing skills and knowledge that enable them to perform at an excellent level?
Now start making some lists.
What tasks am I doing that aren’t really necessary?
What am I doing that could be done by someone else?
What tasks am I doing that can only be done by me?
You and I both know there are many good reasons to delegate, but here are three to inspire you, in case you need it:
Delegation increases your available work time. Operational responsibilities, routine tasks and daily emergencies can crowd out the more important items on your to-do list. To create more time for yourself, you might need to hand off work that can be completed by other people in the office. And the more you delegate, the more experienced your staff becomes at working under your direction, and that eventually makes the transition of tasks a simple process.
Delegation can reduce stress. The pressure to perform under changing work conditions and looming deadlines takes a toll over time, particularly on your personal well-being. Clearing your desk and calendar eases the pressure, and that allows creativity and energy to flow back into your work, and ultimately, into your department or work team.
Delegation motivates others. A sense of achievement is central to any employee’s job satisfaction. Working in a structured environment, in which everyone is aware of their responsibilities and has the necessary skills and resources to carry out those tasks, is a process that builds confidence and competence.
The most effective delegators are self-disciplined enough to focus on the work that is truly theirs to do, and are able to equip, develop, and monitor others in the work that is distributed among the team members or within the department. We’ll talk more about that next week.