Tips for Delegating Effectively

If you want to be a great leader in the workplace, one of the first things you will need to learn is how to properly delegate tasks to fellow team members. Managers have the control to oversee certain push factors to ensure everyone has a healthy work environment. Task delegation is considered one of the most important and effective skills that managers can possess.

Many managers have a difficult time letting go and delegating out work. This is them believing they might lose recognition for their job title and show weakness in their abilities. However, managers doing everything themselves, can lead to becoming burnt out and missing deadlines. Managers may even stretch themselves too thin or discover they don’t have all the skills needed to complete tasks.

Managers have some required tasks but their primary role is to ensure employees are completing their assigned projects to fulfill the organization’s mission and goals. As managers advance in their career by taking on more responsibility, delegating out work helps managers save time and allow for them to focus on higher-level tasks. Some of this extra time can be spread evenly across planning, decision-making, employees, and systems development.


Managers that are entrusting the workload with their employees, shows that they have faith in their employees. This is also another way of valuing employees’ work and setting up opportunities for employees to succeed. Managers will also create a more productive and competent team. If managers are ready to start delegating, here are some tips for doing it effectively:

1. Avoid taking on too much work

To become comfortable with handing off work, start small and assign non-critical tasks to employees. Managers should get to know their employees and learn to trust them. Assign them more substantial projects once employees feel more comfortable with their own abilities. Don’t delegate high-priority tasks unless there is proof that the employee can handle it accordingly. Delegate consistently, not just when managers are overloaded with work. Managers should also applaud employees for being dedicated to their job, while still volunteering themselves to take on more responsibilities.

2. Ensure everyone understands the same priority systems

All team members should understand the clear connection between departments so projects and office checklists run more efficiently with the workload being distributed more evenly. Align team goals with the company’s objectives to ensure all team members are prioritizing their tasks efficiently and effectively. Encourage teams to allow extra time for important deadlines to refrain from anyone feeling rushed at the end of a deadline. Create a delegation system that works for individual teams. When something isn’t working as efficiently as it could be, encourage employees to speak up and find a solution.


3. Hire the right management team

When hiring or promoting managers, upper management should focus on candidates who are already experienced and comfortable delegating tasks. When it comes to small businesses, proper screening saves a lot in recruiting costs. Many small businesses are not as confident when it comes to pre-employment screenings. The hiring staff should try to see all the positives that can come from screening employees before allowing the process to overwhelm them. Taking the time to properly hire a strong team could be the beginning of some strong initiatives for smaller businesses.

4. Learn to challenge and play to your employees’ strengths

Team leaders and managers should know the individual strengths of their team members. Knowing both the individual strengths and weaknesses of team members will help leaders understand which leadership resources employees need in order to succeed. It can also help managers understand which employees will step up and challenge themselves to further develop themselves professionally. Once managers understand which employees are capable of multitasking while still delivering their individual results, will help point out standout employees within the team. This will help diversify the number of people that are available to give advice to others.

5. Share rewards and give appropriate credit to team members

Recognize team members for their work and thank them for completing the job successfully and in a timely manner. It is also more enjoyable to reward an entire team rather than just one person. If employees receive any accolades or rewards from their management for a successful project, make sure to encourage them to share their mini success with everyone who contributed.

6. Get out of the way

Once managers delegate a task, check in periodically to make sure everyone is on the right track without being intrusive. Instead, be patient and make extra time available if employees have any questions.  Provide employees with soft skills and online training to support them along the way. Anticipate mistakes and build in extra time in the schedule to allow for any delays. If the project isn’t up to standards and isn’t progressing, don’t take control of the project right away. Work with the employee and provide advice on improvements. By letting the employee make changes, managers are then able to teach accountability.   


7. Set aside adequate time to improve current delegating processes

Encourage team members to speak up about improving a delegation process that might be failing. Offer examples through direction and actual context, enabling team members to take ownership and responsibility for team improvements.

8. Obtain Feedback for future delegation enhancements

Allow employees the opportunity to voice concerns about their workload through an anonymous feedback survey. Employees will feel more comfortable sharing their pain points anonymously. Managers can’t see everything going on within the team so the surveys will help make changes to ensure work is shared more appropriately.


Delegation does not always come naturally or easily to most managers but it is a necessity to be a great leader. Delegation requires practice and you need to understand all the work will be completed if delegate it out. Don’t look at delegating as abdicating your responsibility. Instead, consider how sharing responsibilities creates a sense of community within small businesses and leads to remarkable success.

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