Tips for effective delegation

people delegating

To achieve everything you are capable of achieving and to be able to concentrate on those few tasks that can make the greatest contribution to your life and corporate work, you must become excellent at delegation. Whether you are a boss or an employee, it is an universal key to success that is to ensure that more tasks get done in less time and to build team capacity.
Unfortunately, a lot of managers don’t pay enough attention to the delegation process and thus do not get to enjoy the full benefits.
Delegation is a good motivator. It improves performance, raises morale and saves your time. It is the first step towards real empowerment and full team participation

There are a series of steps to follow in order to get outstanding results from delegating jobs or corporate work. The problem is that most managers only do one or two of them. And when a task isn’t completed to their satisfaction, complain that their subordinates aren’t good enough to get the job done. This is due to not getting a proper training course from the higher management. 

The issue is never really the employees or subordinates but really whether the delegation has been successfully executed. Thus an in-house training is required for the employees. But if that is not possible in near time, you can read the following article. 

The 5 Steps to Delegation

• Tell
• Feedback
• Deadline
• Follow up system

When to Delegate

1. Instead of You?
Ask , “Who can do this task instead of you?” You have to delegate everything possible so as to have sufficient time to do the work that are most important to achieve your goals.

2. Better than You?
Ask, “Who can do this job better than me?” Successful managers and effective leaders must attain the ability to look out for people who are superior to them in certain tasks. You should continually be finding people who can do specific parts of your work better than you.

3. At a Lower Cost?
Review the task and ask, “Who can do this job at a lower cost than me?” Many companies and individuals are finding that they can outsource major parts of their operations to companies who specialize in that area. Companies that specialize in a particular function can usually do the job cheaper and faster than a company that does that work as part of its other activities.

4. Can It Be Eliminated?
Ask, “Can this activity be removed altogether?” What would happen if the job were not done at all? Many of the routinized tasks and activities in a company or business could be readily eliminated and discontinued with no loss of productivity or inconvenience to anyone. Instead it can only dramatically increases effectiveness and efficiency in an organization.

For effective delegation at work the following key steps are necessary to ensure you do not encounter the risk of miscommunication, misunderstandings, demoralization and poor performance.

Effective Delegation Guidelines

Match the Person to the Job. Do not delegate tasks which are well beyond the subordinate’s expertise (ie not capable of doing it properly or completing it on schedule), restricted to your level of seniority, confidential, concerned with personnel or policy. One of the worse time wasters in the working arena is delegating the task to the wrong person.

Prepare & take the time to think through carefully the task to be delegated. Be very clear about the outcomes you desire and what you are asking for so that your expectations do not keep changing.

Select and assign the right person you want to delegate to, check his/her current workload and relevant skills/experience. Past performance is the only accurate predictor of future performance. Do not ever delegate a critical job to someone who has not performed that job satisfactorily in the past.

Conveying the necessary information to your subordinate. Provide clear and precise guidelines on timing, budget, context and set expectations for communication and updates including frequency, content and format.

Explain how the work should be carried out including your preferred approach or method of working. Explain how you would like to see the job done and how the work has been successfully executed in the past.
Take enough time to discuss with absolute clarity to ensure the job will be done faster and accurately once the person start and trains on it.

Agree on what is to be done. Get acceptance of the task and responsibility for results, also agree standards, time scale and follow up procedure. But remember … “delegation is not abdication”

Confirm understanding. The best way to confirm understanding is to ask your subordinate to paraphrase the request or assignment in their own words. Have him or her explain to you what you have just explained and agreed upon. Or just ask some relevant questions to make sure employees understand all aspects of what’s required.

Confirm commitment . Never assume that just because you have handed the task over, then your subordinate is going to automatically deliver the result desired. Confirm that your subordinate is committed to the expected results and to the process that’s been set out, subordinate’s overall goals for the task are aligned with yours. Ensure subordinate fully realize the consequences if he or she fail to deliver on the desired outcomes.

Delegate at the right time. Delegate authority, not just tasks

Delegate tasks which are routine, time consuming but necessary, chores, pet projects you tend to keep for yourself – but these may likely to be developmental for the subordinate

Discuss the task, focusing on results not methods

Delegate the whole task and arrange for the necessary resources including decision making authority

Ensure Accountability. Two-way communication is essential here. The subordinate is regularly communicating with you about the status of the deliverable and the timing of delivery so that there are no surprises at the eleventh hour. Finding out at the completion date that a deliverable hasn’t been completed or has been done unsatisfactorily is the worst nightmare scenario in delegating.

Set a Deadline and a schedule for completion of the task/program. At the same time, arrange for regular reporting and for periodic inspection. Invite feedback and questions if there are any delays or problems. Especially, in Malaysia the people are not in accordance in time, so a deadline will be an extra motive for the corporate tasks.  

Monitor and give advice when required but without interfering
Manage by exception where possible. If the job is on track and on schedule – managing by exception means that the person does not have to report back to you. If you don’t hear from him, you can assume that everything is going well. The individual only has to report back to you when an exception occurs and there is a problem with getting the job done on time, to the agreed upon level of quality.

Support subordinate in any legitimate disputes

Review at agreed times, give feedback and coach as necessary

Give credit and praise, link value of work to business results

Email: [email protected]/[email protected]

Training programs:
YouTube: Rachel Khor


Provides In-House Training
Principal Trainer, Peak Success Abundance Sdn Bhd
From Directive Communication International & American Institute of Business Psychology:
– Certification in Colored Brain Communication
– Certification in Human Drive & Motivation
– Certification in Dynamic Speaking
– Certification in Curriculum Development
– PSMB Certified Trainer
– Certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
– Certification in Hypnotherapy from London College of Clinical
Hypnosis (LCCH)
– 18 years corporate training experience


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