As you and your professional services team take on more clients and projects, you’ll need more resources to keep up with demand. It’s the natural order of growing a business. That’s why knowing how to delegate work is such an important part of long term success; without delegation, you will quickly find yourself overloaded, over-stressed, and ultimately burnt out.
Understanding how to delegate tasks does more than just free up your time to focus on the bigger picture. Proper delegation also empowers your employees, builds trust and rapport, and prepares junior team members to take on more responsibility and eventually move into leadership roles. That’s not to say that delegation always comes easy, though. Read on to learn how to delegate tasks effectively, including some tips and tactics that will help make delegating easier and more effective for you and your professional services teams!
How to improve delegation skills
Before diving into the specifics of how to delegate effectively, it’s important to understand why some managers struggle with delegation in order to think more critically about how to improve delegation skills.
The truth is that delegating tasks can be challenging for a number of reasons. Here are a few common ones:
- Letting go of control can be tough.
Releasing the reins isn’t always easy, especially if you started out as a small team and handled the majority of the day-to-day tasks. It can be difficult to start letting go of those tasks and entrusting them to others. But, there comes a point where you have to do just that in order for the organization to grow and scale.
Remember, the employees on your team were hired for a reason. They want to succeed and do good work just as much as you do — but they can only do that when you start trusting them to.
- Thinking you can get it done faster, better — or both.
While this may be true at first, it’s short-sighted thinking that will only serve to impede the development of individual employees and the company as a whole. Keep in mind that you were in the same position once upon a time, and if you can learn how to complete a certain task quickly and accurately, one of your newer team members can, too.
- Thinking that delegating means you’re avoiding work.
Although this fallacy is often rooted in a strong work ethic, it’s a fallacy nonetheless. Delegating work is not only essential for balancing workloads and achieving more in less time, but it also provides opportunities for employees to learn, grow, and ultimately contribute more to the success of the organization.
How to delegate tasks across teams
Let’s now look at some specifics of how to delegate tasks effectively among your professional service employees and teams.
- Don’t delegate at random.
In order to delegate work effectively, it’s critical to assign the right tasks to the right team or team member. As a manager, you need to understand your employees’ and your teams’ strengths and weaknesses, as well as their preferences. This way, you’ll set everyone up for greater success.
- Be clear on why you’re delegating this task to this team or employee.
Another important part of leadership is identifying strengths in others that they may not yet see in themselves. When delegating a certain task to an employee or team for the first time, it’s helpful to explain exactly why you chose them in particular and express your confidence in their ability to execute it successfully.
- Give clear guidance, provide resources, and offer support.
Delegation does not mean simply handing off a task and calling it a day. As a manager, you need to provide clear instructions, helpful resources, and ongoing support should the team or employee run into obstacles.
- Delegate all the way.
Along with the responsibility, you also need to delegate the authority needed to complete the task or project to standard. Often, employees simply don’t feel empowered to make necessary decisions in the course of a task or project. Avoid this by making sure the team and its individuals understand the types of questions or decisions that may arise and letting them know that they have the authority to answer those questions or make those decisions.
If you or any of your team members are nervous that they may overstep their bounds, you can spell out what kinds of decisions or questions would need to be elevated.
- Review, verify, and offer feedback.
Of course, just because you delegated a task does not mean that you are off the hook for the finished product. Nothing erodes trust quicker than delegating something out and then blaming the employee or the team when it goes awry. That’s why it’s critical that you review all delegated work, ensure that it meets the criteria for completion, and offer positive and constructive feedback.
How to delegate work with Wrike
Of course, delegating work is much easier when you have a task management system to help you keep track of multiple projects and tasks. Wrike’s powerful task management capabilities allow you to assign tasks with ease, monitor employee progress, and provide support and feedback as needed.
Ready to see how much simpler delegating work can be with Wrike? Start a free two-week trial today!