“As all entrepreneurs know, you live and die by your ability to prioritize. You must focus on the most important, mission-critical tasks each day and night, and then share, delegate, delay, or skip the rest.” – Jessica Jackley.
Learning the art of delegation can be a powerful tool for leaders and managers. However, it takes courage to entrust people with personal responsibilities. Even so, by correctly delegating tasks, driven individuals can maximize their efficiency while streamlining processes and maximizing productivity. With proper delegation, even daunting challenges can become manageable – allowing for faster decision-making, increased collaboration, and improved results.
Why do managers Delegate?
Managers delegate to optimize efficiency within the teams. Through the distribution of tasks, they leverage the diverse skills of their employees, leading to improved outcomes, for example:
- Delegation promotes employee development and skill growth, a key managerial responsibility.
- Trusting and empowering employees through delegation builds a culture of collaboration and trust.
- Effective delegation helps managers balance their workload and offer timely support to their team.
- Delegation fosters a collaborative work environment where team members contribute to shared goals.
Managers’ ability to delegate aligns with their role in planning, collaborating, and monitoring team performance while preparing employees for future leadership roles and creating a thriving workplace.
“Delegation frees up time and energy for the leader to focus on more important tasks.”
How does delegation improve managerial decision-making?
Delegation enhances managerial decision-making by freeing up time for leaders to focus on critical tasks, strategic planning, and higher-value initiatives. Managers assign tasks based on individuals’ skills and expertise; delegation ensures improved efficiency and quality of output. In addition, delegating encourages diverse perspectives and collaboration, leading to better decision-making through unique insights and ideas from knowledgeable team members.
How does delegation improve business outcomes & productivity?
Delegation empowers employees to grow, take initiative, and perform better. What’s more, sharing responsibility creates an environment where employees take ownership of their work, leading to increased creativity, and personal initiative. Leaders who delegate enable their teams to produce innovative outcomes, exceed job descriptions and maintain high-performance standards. A survey study of 1,446 employer entrepreneurs conducted by Gallup found six common qualities successful “Delegators” have in common:
- Delegators know that they can’t accomplish everything themselves.
- Delegators develop team capacity using a strengths-based approach.
- Delegators ensure that employees have everything they need to do their jobs.
- Delegators focus on outcomes, not processes.
- Delegators encourage new ideas and practices to accomplish goals.
- Delegators communicate frequently with employees.
In contrast, reluctance to delegate can lead to overwhelmed leaders, disengaged teams, and decreased performance.
“53 % of business owners believe that they can grow their business by more than 20% if they delegate 10 percent of their workload.” (Inc.com )
Successful Leaders Who Delegate Responsibilities
Bill Gates: Delegation Allows You to Focus on Key Business Operations
Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, initially took on a hands-on approach by writing code and interviewing every new employee himself. However, as Microsoft grew, Gates recognized the need for delegation to have a broader impact. He realized that he couldn’t personally oversee every detail and began to delegate tasks, despite the initial difficulty of letting go. Gates understood that delegating responsibilities was crucial to scale and achieve success. He hired Steve Ballmer 1980 to help manage the company’s growth and ensure promises were met. Through delegation, Gates learned to focus on his strengths and develop a framework to guide the organization, leading to Microsoft’s significant growth and substantial success.
Steve Jobs: Delegation Improves Clarity, Accountability & Commitment
Steve Jobs believed in delegating specific individuals ownership of tasks and responsibilities. To ensure clarity and accountability, he implemented a system where Apple meetings included an ‘action list’ with a ‘Directly Responsible Individual’ (DRI) assigned to each action item. Jobs understood that by assigning a single person to be directly responsible for a task, he could eliminate confusion and increase commitment, mentoring leaders who were accountable and willing to take ownership. This approach emphasized personal involvement and accountability, aligning with his vision for effective delegation within the company’s operations.
Richard Branson: Delegate Tasks You Don’t Excel In
Richard Branson emphasizes the significance of delegation for entrepreneurial success, asserting that focusing solely on personal drive will not overcome challenges and bring new ideas to the market. He underscores the need to delegate tasks one cannot excel in and highlights the importance of handing off responsibilities to individuals or third-party providers skilled in those areas. Branson recounts his experience of initially delegating work and acknowledges the value of finding individuals who share your vision, understand your ideas and can enhance your business. Branson advises maintaining a connection with your company to notice warning signs. Still, he underscores that effective delegation and collaboration allow entrepreneurs to concentrate on the bigger picture and elevate their products or services.
Dos & Don’ts When Delegating
- Identify tasks suitable for delegation based on their alignment with team members’ strengths, potential growth opportunities, and impact on overall goals.
- Assign tasks that align with employees’ goals and strengths to enhance motivation, engagement, and overall team performance.
- Provide context, objectives, timelines, and success metrics for delegated tasks to ensure a common understanding of expectations.
- Equip employees with the necessary resources, training, and authority to complete delegated tasks while avoiding micromanagement.
- Set up regular check-ins and feedback mechanisms to enable transparent communication, progress updates, and addressing questions.
- Delegate routine tasks to focus on strategic initiatives, innovation, and critical decision-making, optimizing leadership responsibilities.
- Delegate your scheduling, payroll, employer-employee communication to TimeWellScheduled! Save time, money, enhance productivity and reduce stress!
- Don’t micromanage tasks; allow room for employees to learn and develop their skills through delegated tasks.
- Avoid miscommunication by effectively conveying work expectations, deadlines, and outcomes to prevent confusion and reduce quality.
- Don’t overload teams with tasks beyond their capacity, as it can lead to burnout and decreased performance.
- Don’t delegate tasks to individuals lacking the necessary skills, knowledge, or experience for successful completion.
- Don’t Underestimate Time: Be patient with employees’ learning curve, recognizing that task completion times may initially be longer as they gain familiarity.
“The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels.” – Eli Broad.
Delegation is a must-have for successful leadership and management. The ability to share responsibility among your team while assigning challenging tasks allows you to expedite decision-making, inspire collaboration, and maximize productivity. Often, it takes courage to delegate to those around us – but the rewards are countless. With the right delegation strategies in place, even the most challenging of goals can become achievable with the help of colleagues.
Thank you for reading our article!TimeWellScheduled is a secure online time and attendance software 100% tailored to meet your scheduling needs! In addition, TimeWellScheduled facilitates employee attendance tracking & payroll tasks and enhances staff management capabilities. Plus, our service is free for up to 10 employees!
Click: here to download our (Excel) employee scheduling template; It’s free.