You might have read our blog post, "10 Phrases You Can Never Say When You Delegate a Task." If not, stop what you're doing and read it. It provides insight into some commonly heard phrases in the workplace that hinder everyone's productivity. Maybe you're even saying a few yourself?
In response to that article, one of our readers suggested we compile a list of things you can say to boost your colleague's productivity when you ask them to complete a task. So without further ado, we present...
7 Statements to Boost Productivity:
1. "Here are all the documents you'll need to get this work done."
When you're delegating a task, the most harmful action you can take is to tell them to get it done without providing access to the necessary resources. That is a roadblock and a recipe for disaster. If you've just asked someone to start working on a new project, make sure you give them everything they'll need to start working right now — project briefs, templates, contracts.
2. "You can find examples of previous, similar work here."
Has this project been done before? A great way to show someone the ropes is to give them examples of previous work. They'll know what you expect as their finished contribution. Providing references prevents them from handing you work that was not what you wanted.
3. "Let's talk about the date you think you can finish this work."
Discussing due dates instead of demanding due dates is a great way to make sure things get done. Give your assignee the space to let you know about other commitments, and then you can discuss whether or not your preferred due date is feasible. It also gives you a chance to rearrange their priorities if need be.
4. "If anything gets in the way of your progress, let me — or the team — know ASAP so we can figure out a solution."
Offer your help clearly so your colleague isn't nervous about turning to you with questions — but only if you mean it! By offering yourself or the rest of the team as a resource, you can help dismantle roadblocks as soon as they appear and projects can stick to determined deadlines. The longer they wait to ask questions or get help, the longer your project is delayed.
5. "Judy and John have experience with this kind of task. Feel free to ask them for help."
This is similar to giving them previous examples of their task or project. When you delegate a task to your team member, let them know who has experience with that kind of work so they know where to direct their questions. Giving them this information upfront prevents your team member from running around trying to find answers to questions.
6. "You did great work last time, so I think you'll do great with this task/project as well."
Positive reinforcement is tried and true. By showing faith and confidence in someone's working abilities, you're giving encouraging them to give you excellent work!
7. "You've been working hard, take a break!"
Taking breaks is key to continued productivity. Let your team members know that you don't mind if they take a break — as long as it's well-deserved. The Pomodoro Technique suggests working in 25-minute spurts with three to five-minute breaks in between.
And 2 Questions to Boost Productivity:
But we all know that sometimes telling people, "I'm here! Ask me for help!" isn't enough. Your team members could be too shy to take advantage of that offer, or perhaps even think it would look bad if they took you up on it. If you really want to make sure your colleagues can be as productive as possible, rephrase your statements into questions and invite them to share their project worries with you.
1. "Do you foresee any roadblocks (or are you missing anything) that will prevent you from finishing on time?"
This gives your team member a chance to identify anything that may get in their way as they work on the project. Their answers could include anything from missing documents, to slow collaboration with another teammate.
2. "Do you have any ideas on how to improve this project and still get it done by deadline?"
You never know what great ideas you might get! If your team member has a great idea on how to improve a project or speed up the process, you should open your ears and listen. Your colleague is more likely to be invested in a project if they have contributed to the brainstorming process.
Have you heard any of these lines around your office before?
Keep them in mind the next time you're delegating a task, and let us know if you think they helped. Hit up the comments below with your success stories!
Next time you need to delegate a task, use Wrike to make the hand-off even easier. Start a free trial today!
|AUTHOR BIO: Ashley Coolman is a Content Marketing Manager at Wrike who specializes in social media, dry humor, and Oxford commas. Twitter | LinkedIn|