Is Lack of Delegation Holding Your People Back?
Updated: Aug 17
Effective delegation is a leadership skill that is overlooked and underrated.
We all know we 'should' be delegating... but just because you know, doesn't mean you do.
Successful delegation requires excellent organisation and prioritisation, trust and empowerment. If you are used to being ‘across everything’ (hello subject matter experts, I see you!) you will also need to learn to let go... It takes conscious effort to delegate, and delegate well - I promise, the payoff is worth the effort. Delegation frees up time for important strategic work that only you, and your leaders, can do.
The key to delegation is setting clear expectations and providing the appropriate level of support for the outcomes you want to achieve. Level up your delegation by following this framework - and yes, even new leaders can delegate. It’s a great way to build trust with your team and also develop their skills.
Set your priorities
Get organised, understand your priorities and identify what you can delegate to ensure you can meet your objectives.
Communication Is Key
Make sure that everyone involved understands their roles and responsibilities so there’s no confusion down the line. It also helps if you provide as much detail as possible so there is a clear understanding of what everyone needs to do.
It’s important that the person you choose has the necessary skills or experience required (and desired) for the task at hand. Additionally, try not to overwhelm any one team member with too much. If someone is already swamped with BAU, delivery and project work, look for someone else who may have more bandwidth in their current workload. OR what can be reshuffled to free up capacity?
Deadlines and milestones
Set realistic deadlines and ensure that your team has enough time to complete the work. Deadlines create accountability for you and your team but don’t just set and forget. Factor in milestones (or checkpoints) along the way where you can check on progress and offer support if required. This is not the time to be micromanaging, however - allow your team to use their judgement in completing the tasks.
It’s important that after delegating tasks, leaders follow up on their progress regularly with both team members and other stakeholders to ensure everything is going according to plan. This helps build trust between colleagues while keeping everyone informed about what’s going on throughout the process—not just when it’s complete!
If you feel that things are going off track, it’s vital to speak up as soon as possible and course-correct what’s happening. This is the time for a Courageous Conversation where you provide important feedback and create a plan for moving forward. Delaying action will only lead to missed deadlines and frustrated team members. And when it all goes well, don’t forget to celebrate the successes with your (newly empowered!) team.
Until next time Eat the Frog, Get the Worm, Be the Bird, and start delegating.
Ally Nitschke is a Leadership Expert, Courageous Conversation Specialist and Speaker. She has been working with leaders and as a Leader for over 15 years. She is on a mission to change the way we communicate at work, to lean into those uncomfortable conversations and lead with courage. Ally delivers Courageous Conversations Programs, Courageous Leadership programs, Coaching, Mentoring and Keynotes. To inquire about her working with you or your organisation please contact us here.