I often meet with managers that seems to be very stressed and confused about very long list of tasks they have to do. Those managers are really ambitious people, who worked hard for their positions. But eventually they are in the world, where their expectations did not meet with the reality. Usually I am asking them: ’Do you delegate some of your tasks to your employees?’ Than, to their astonishment, as we start together short analysis of To Do List, they become more comfortable.
Today I share with you with two things. One is a matrix, that help me to give a priority to tasks. Second thing is a short list of 5 steps I take to delegate tasks.
Probably you have been thinking many times what gives delegating tasks. First answer, that always comes to me is time. If I, as the Diamond Manage, know how to manage my time, I know also how to delegate tasks. Really, let be honest. Not all tasks from your daily list have to be done only by you.
The easiest way to recognize which actions have the biggest priority and which of them can do someone else, is using the Eisenhower Matrix. This matrix is really helpful in many situations (more I will write about it soon).
Today we are interested with quadrant no.3 – delegate it. In the beginning of manager’s career, delegating might be a huge problem. As I mentioned, managers and team leader always want to do everything by themselves. But the thing is, that our teams consist of few, like not many, other people, who can realize tasks.
For you, as the manager, it is important to remember that you also profit from delegating. First of all you have more time, for other, urgent things. You present better quality and quicker process of making decisions. You can even check your teammates – if someone is ready for higher responsibility or for promotion. Your employees feel more appreciated at work. They trust you more!
A task, which is delegated in a good way returns to you with higher value.
STEP no. 1.
Define a task or a project.
I am acting with my team brief sessions every morning. Usually at that time I am presenting a new task. It always means, it is something extra to do, more than daily responsibilities. In a few sentences I am explaining why it is important, why our department has to do it.
STEP no. 2.
Choose a person or a team.
If I do not have chosen yet anybody, I am asking who would like to do it. I am waiting for a ’volunteer’. My team knows its daily plan and they know, who can afford for something extra. If I have already chosen person, I am explaining to my team, why it is she or he. I always use a method ’underline strength’. The idea is to show employees that I see their soft skills. It is even better seen, if I support decision with an example from last days. I also use a rotation. I never choose one person in a row to the special task and I am giving a chance to everybody. Even if it means longer waiting time for results.
STEP no. 3.
Set up goals.
This is really important and difficult step. This stage usually belongs to employees. They know, they have many tools and I am counting on their creativity. As they receive a new task I am presenting a main goal and one or two additional, which would be good to achieve. Than I am giving a time to think about the way to reach goals. Usually, at the end of the day we meet to discuss steps, tools, time frames and way of presentation. I am leading my employees. I am asking ’why’ questions. I am all the time extra player in delegated task. I am motivating and supporting. But, I am not doing task for them.
STEP no. 4.
Present the deadline.
With my team we have agreed that we have the deadline and the final deadline. Of course, it all depends on you and your team, what kind of rules do you have.
The deadline means that my team has finished a task and is ready to share results with me and others. Than, it is feedback time and points of improvement.
The final deadline means that task is completely finished. It is ready for 100% and can be presented in other departments, if applicable.
STEP no. 5.
Feedback in the meantime and after completion.
I will underline it again: ’Give a feedback to your teammates all the time’. A feedback plays also a hint role. I am always asking my employees, how things are going? Do they achieve what they have planned for that time? Do they have any difficulties? Do they need my involvement? Do they want to verify something? I know that a good word is always a reward. I try to say as many times as possible something positive. After finished task, employees receive from me an email. Something that can be used at PE meeting (Personal Evaluation).
The idea of delegating tasks is very useful in daily work. It helps to build up an involvement, higher responsibility and company feeling. Good manager knows expectations of his/ her employees for extra tasks/ actions/ projects/ development.
P.S. The Eisenhower Matrix and 5 steps for delegating are useful also in a private life.