How To Resolve The Problems Of Delegation Plaguing Your Team?Delegation skills are an important part of the managerial job but can also be one of the most challenging aspects. When done correctly, delegation can help to delegate tasks to people who are better suited to carry them out and give them the freedom to explore new opportunities. However, if delegated tasks become ineffective or unmanageable, the manager may be left with a lot of work they cannot handle effectively. In this blog post, we will highlight the main problems of delegation and offer practical tips on how to avoid them. By understanding the problems of delegation, you will be able to delegate tasks more effectively and efficiently – key ingredients for a successful managerial career!
- How To Resolve The Problems Of Delegation Plaguing Your Team?
- What is delegation, and why is it needed?
- What does effective delegation look like?
- What are the common problems of delegation that you should avoid?
- Lack of clarity
- Unprepared and unequipped teams
- Mismatching tasks and skillsets
- Absence of continuous communication
- Expecting perfection
- Pushing too many tasks
- Not allowing detours from the convention
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What is delegation, and why is it needed?Delegation is an essential skill for leaders. It is the process of assigning tasks or responsibilities to other individuals. By designating someone else to carry out these duties, you free yourself up to focus on more important tasks. It can be a helpful strategy for keeping your workload manageable and minimizing stress in your life. It allows teams or individuals to work on more manageable and less time-consuming tasks. Delegation skills are needed because it allows individuals to focus on more important tasks and helps increase overall productivity. When individuals can delegate effectively, they can better manage their time and resources more efficiently. Effective delegation allows people with different skill sets to work together cooperatively towards a common goal, which leads to improved communication and collaboration. Additionally, it reduces stress because each person has an understanding of their role within the overall scheme. Finally, delegating regularly builds stronger relationships with those around you and builds trust over time. This makes it easier for everyone when difficult decisions have to be made or new challenges arise down the road. All in all, effective delegation skills are needed to ensure that managers can focus on the right tasks while their teams continue to learn and build ownership. It enables a system that incorporates growth in every aspect. Read more about delegation and its benefits here: The art of delegation for managers.
What does effective delegation look like?While delegation brings several benefits, it can create many troubles for managers and leaders when it is not done correctly. Hence, it is important to ensure that delegation practices of your team create efficiencies and not more problems to solve. In order to do so, we will start by highlighting a few key features of effective delegation, which are:
Your team members are comfortable with the taskHaving your team members on the same page as you is the key to ensuring that your delegation skills are effective. Effective delegation happens when the team members fully understand the task, its requirements, and its goals. Moreover, they are motivated to face challenges and are sure of their abilities. Support in the form of necessary resources, decision-making power, and training is also vital. Those tasks that your team members can regularly perform, even without instructions, are best suited for delegating. It works best when their duties align with their strengths and allow them to generate a sense of achievement – making their experience much more meaningful.
You can trust your teamDelegating tasks to your team members requires a high level of trust. Effective delegation is all about delegating the right task at the right time to the right person, with clear expectations on both sides. You must be confident that your team members will complete the task as expected and meet your overall goals. Building trust takes time, but it is definitely worth investing in if you want successful delegation practices from your team. Suppose you are unsure of a team member’s competency. In that case, you will find yourself constantly worrying about tasks and might even begin to micromanage instead of providing guidance, which would set a harmful precedent. Hence, it is important to have faith in the abilities and values of your team when you delegate tasks. Therefore, choosing the right task to delegate also depends on the team.
Your team gets the desired resultsOne of the keys to measuring the effectiveness of your delegation skills at work is that your team gets the desired results faster. By delegating, you are freeing your time to focus on more important matters. If you spend more time dealing with the task after handing it over to someone, it is a sign of failed delegation. Furthermore, delegation supports creativity and innovation as different people with different skills think differently and develop innovative solutions to problems they have never faced before – which can lead to better outcomes for your business overall. If you notice stagnation instead, it is a sign of improper delegation.
You find time to focus on high-value-generating activitiesWhen delegating, it is key that you don’t delegate everything. You need to have a clear list of the tasks your team members can and cannot do to avoid any unwanted messes or interruptions. Delegating only the right tasks will allow you to focus on high-value-generating activities such as developing new products, services, or ideas. On the other hand, some tasks, like performance reviews, etc., cannot be delegated and should only be performed by the manager. If delegation is done wrongly and all work stops when someone gets assigned a task they are not skilled enough, this can lead to frustration and conflict within the team, ultimately decreasing productivity. By using delegation wisely, you should be able to focus on higher value-generating activities.
Is your delegation ineffective?Now that we understand what effective delegation looks like, we can check whether we are going on the right path or not. Identifying ineffective delegation is vital. If you find yourself saying yes to most of the questions below, it is high time that you change your delegation practices at work:
- The tasks you delegate do not get completed
- You complete the tasks yourself once deadlines have passed
- You worry about the tasks you have delegated
- Your team members are unenthusiastic about new tasks
- Your team members feel burdened and unequipped
- You take too many updates on tasks
- Your team cannot understand the end-goal
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What are the common problems of delegation that you should avoid?Delegation can be a great way to save time and boost efficiency. However, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of delegation so that you can save time and maintain the quality of the work.
Lack of clarityIf the team doesn’t understand why a task has been delegated, it can lead to frustration and conflict. This is because people take their tasks personally when they don’t feel like they’re part of the bigger picture. It also makes them think that their activities are inherently meaningless, in turn demotivating them further. Delegating tasks that are easily understood will help your team stay on track and optimize productivity.
How to solve:
- Explain the purpose, method, and utility of the task to your team
- Create a timeline that envisages long-term goals
- Show them how their efforts add value to the team
Unprepared and unequipped teamsIf your team members don’t have the necessary skills or equipment to complete the task, it can become very difficult for them. This is because they’ll be unable to complete the tasks independently. If tasks are delegated without proper preparation, your team will waste time figuring out how things work and get defeated before they even start. Conflicts and chaos from improper delegation can drive teams away from their goals.
How To Solve:
- Equip your team with the tools and resources they need
- Provide training on task completion procedures
- Be open to queries and provide guidance
Mismatching tasks and skillsetsIf the tasks assigned to your team are too far apart from their skillset, it will be difficult for them to work rapidly. It is because they will have to spend significant time figuring out things from scratch, as the tasks vary highly from their routine work. Additionally, their skill sets will be less effective alone if the task needs multiple skills. If you delegate tasks that are too complex or challenging, your team members may become discouraged.
How To Solve:
- Know the strengths and weaknesses of your team
- Match task difficulty with team skills
- Encourage collaboration by creating a shared goal where different members can collaborate
Absence of continuous communicationIf team members are left alone with a task without continuous support from the manager, they can end up feeling directionless and unmotivated. As their efforts are not recognized regularly enough, the employees might feel unvalued in the team. The problem can happen when team members do not communicate with each other too. If the team members don’t have regular communication with each other, tasks can become backlogged and forgotten. As tasks get pushed back further, it becomes increasingly difficult to coordinate work among the team members.
How To Solve:
- Take regular updates and feedback, and ask questions
- Make sure task deadlines are enforced regularly
- Utilize effective communication tools that work both ways
MicromanagingThis issue in delegation skills occurs in the opposite scenario of the above. It can become burdensome if the manager constantly checks in on the team members. This management style often interrupts work and makes it difficult for team members to focus on their tasks. Additionally, this unnecessary supervision can create a sense of distrust among some employees, which might lead to contradicting or sabotaging efforts altogether.
How To Solve:
- Maintain communication but respect boundaries
- Establish limits to ownership of tasks that you follow as well
- Balance autonomy, build accountability, and trust your team
Expecting perfectionTasks that are delegated should not be expected to be perfect. As the task is given to a team member, they cannot control factors such as time and resources, which might affect the outcome of their work. Additionally, delegation skills alone will not solve the problem if team members do not share enthusiasm for the task. If everyone on the team is reserved about taking part in a delegated task, it can lead to stagnation and, ultimately, failure of the project.
How To Solve:
- Encourage delegation but also provide feedback
- Set and identify goals for the team
Pushing too many tasksIf the team is not given enough time to complete a task, they might feel overwhelmed, which is an important sign of improper delegation. This management style often results in work piling up and ultimately creating more problems than it solves. Additionally, the team might become overworked and unproductive if too many tasks are delegated without adequate planning.
How To Solve:
- Understand the capacities of the team
- Delegate tasks in manageable units
- Take feedback from the team on tasks
Not allowing detours from the conventionThe team might become bogged down in the typical way of doing things if they are not allowed to take any detours. It can lead to a sense of stagnation and, eventually, failure. Additionally, the leader needs to be clear about what is expected from the delegation and make sure that tasks are broken down into manageable units so that everyone understands their specific part of the overall project.
How To Solve:
- Specify methods but encourage and allow innovation too
- Identify the core values that cannot be abridged
- Be open to new ideas and leave the rigidity
ConclusionEffective delegation is one thing that can make or break your team. Many companies have been left behind in the race for success when they did not manage this issue well. Improper delegation plagues efficiency in otherwise successful teams. To overcome such issues, it is important to know the pitfalls while delegating tasks and responsibilities to new employees. Take time to take our free self-assessment on effective delegation now and prepare for improved performance with the free effective delegation toolkit too!
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