Effective Delegation

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As a starting supervisor you must learn to delegate. Not only because there is a chance that you'll be overwhelmed by too much work, but mainly because otherwise you would not be able to fulfill your core tasks: managing a growing company and finding new customers.

By leaving tasks to your staff, you also improve their performance and productivity. You give your employees more responsibility and they get the opportunity to develop. How do you manage this without being awake about the implementation?

Delegation and release tips

1. Start by delegating small tasks

If you want to learn a new skill, success experiences are important. You therefore release tasks in small steps. You must get used to handing over the work and the other person must learn to cope with his new responsibilities.

So start by delegating simple assignments. There is a good chance that they will be executed effortlessly, so that all parties become more familiar with the situation.

2. Allow errors

Novice supervisors often have difficulty delegating because they think they can do better themselves. That isn't surprising, because over the years you have developed a method that has proven its value. The moment you outsource a task, it's therefore very possible that your employee will make mistakes.

Give your staff the opportunity to correct these errors. Don't solve problems yourself, otherwise your employee will learn nothing. Also, don't expect the process to the end result to be as efficient as if you did it yourself. You can always use interim evaluations to adjust the process.

3. Don't take the job back

As a manager you always remain responsible for the result. Nevertheless, the delegated task is now the responsibility of your employee. You take a big step backwards with that, and it should stay that way. Don't fall into the trap by immediately taking back the task if you notice that it isn't being executed properly.

It's also not a problem if an employee has difficulty with an assignment, because the work must be challenging. You're available as a source of information, but in the first instance you let him sort everything out yourself. If that's really necessary, you can always make adjustments.

This increased responsibility can ultimately lead to higher motivation for your employees, which increases loyalty and helps you to retain the best people.

4. Make sure the expectations are clear

Make it clear to your staff what end result you expect from the delegated task. They have to figure out the path to it themselves. You want your employees to show their own initiative, otherwise you might as well have done it yourself.

Also discuss when evaluation moments will take place and set deadlines. At those moments he can account for the results achieved.

5. Give employees the required powers

Delegation isn't possible without an extension of powers. You can't expect an employee to successfully complete a project without sufficient options to decide for yourself.

You also don't want him to stop by to discuss interim decisions. It's now his responsibility and he must learn to work independently.

6. Ensure that all personnel are aware

If you entrust a number of tasks to a staff member, then the rest of the staff must be aware of this. You do that by telling that this employee is now responsible for a certain project.

If you don't, the other employees will come to you with questions and you'll be tempted to answer them anyway. But the employee is the first point of contact. You only come into the picture when he runs into something or needs feedback.

7. Check at set times

It's the opposite of letting go and therefore sounds contradictory, but delegation also requires checking. You agree in advance on a certain expectation of the result, including corresponding deadlines.

You then check the result with interim evaluations. Try to resist the temptation to check unsolicited or behind someone's back. An effective manager gives his employees confidence.

Make staff important

Don't see your staff as a cost but as a valuable investment. Your employees are an essential factor for the growth of your company. If you manage your staff in the right way, it'll save you money much faster.

Demotivated employees cost you money. This is one of the biggest risks for entrepreneurs with staff. Without motivation people work worse. This has an effect on other employees, your customers and your turnover. You can prevent this in part by giving your staff freedom and responsibility.

Learn to delegate smarter and limit the hierarchy within your company. Let your employees do what they are good at and what they like. Then they can perform well.

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