How to delegate tasks with efficiency

No one is expected to be able to carry the weight of the world on their own.

Everyone needs help and support to perform their tasks more efficiently.

It is, however, necessary to push pride and other negative emotions aside in order to recognize all that others can bring to the table and learn how to delegate tasks with efficiency.

There is no such thing as a single-handed success or a one-man team, when everyone is included and acknowledged, the team will succeed together.

Working on your delegation skills is necessary even if you’re not in a management position. Everyone may need to delegate tasks on their day-to-day work routine and knowing when and how to delegate efficiently benefits all members of a team.

Letting go isn’t always easy

Some people can delegate tasks easily while others face some difficulties.

“Letting go” of their tasks for many reasons, such as perfectionism, and can be frequently be called “control freaks” or “micro-managers”.

Studies show that only 30% of the managers believe they know how to delegate tasks with efficiency. Within those, one in three of their subordinates judge their superiors good delegators. This shows that only 10% of the managers know how to truly delegate and empower employees.

The major challenge in delegating is knowing what to delegate and what not to delegate. Not knowing that will keep you busy all the time with the wrong tasks.

Almost every employer needs to improve their expertise in this specific area. Other than that, here are a few steps for delegating effectively and better using your time and resources.

Tips for improving your delegation skills:

Pick the best person to delegate to

Picking the wrong person for a key task is the fastest road to failure.

All you need to do is match the requirements of the task at hand to the abilities of the person you’re considering for it.

Make sure that the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.

Give clear assignments and instructions

Communicate the task clearly and make yourself available if people have any questions or concerns about it. Describe exactly what you want done, when you want it done, and what is the end result expected.

Get commitment

Make sure that the person you chose for the job has accepted the assignment. Confirm your expectations, the task’s specifications and be absolutely sure of your employee’s understanding of and commitment to completing the task.

Set a task completion date and a follow-up system

Delegate clear outcomes and make them measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

Explain what is to be done, how you think it should be done, and the reasons for doing this job in the first place.

Set a date for when you expect the delegated task to be done.

Establish check points along the way to make it easier to accompany the development of the task along the way.

Delegate responsibility and authority, no just the task

You must grant employees the authority necessary to complete the task without constant roadblocks or standoffs with other employees.

For completing a specific task, they need not only the responsibility and liability for it, they need to be able to overcome any bump on the road without the need to call for help.

The challenges in delegating

Almost everyone, specially those who have begun as a startup and have grown from a one-person entity, has struggled with the need of letting go of any task (remembering the references of “control freaks” and “micro-managers”).

On the other hand, executives who go from a large company to a startup tend over delegate, resulting in high costs and lack of control.

The overall conclusion is: every entrepreneur, at a small company or a large one, needs to overcome their fear of delegating for the greater good of their team.

Doing it right, as outlined above, every task will most likely be done better, faster and a lot more effectively than you could have done it on your own.

Keep track of your delegated tasks with Pipefy!

Pipefy’s Task Management Template was specially developed to help you manage yours and your team’s tasks without breaking a sweat.

This template shows you in an organised and simplified manner what everyone is currently doing, what they have to do, and what is already done. It also highlights what are the priorities, what’s on time, what’s late and what’s potentially creating bottlenecks.

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Written by Isabelle Salemme, Product content manager at Pipefy. She uses her extensive Pipefy knowledge to write informative pieces teaching users to make the best of Pipefy. Besides being responsible for all product-related content, she's an avid reader, a coffee lover and a professional photographer.