"Delegation – easy in principle, a nightmare in practice. The bane of every perfectionist's working day, having the confidence to delegate properly, and without feeling guilty, is a skill that needs perfecting – especially in remote work," defines Emily Douglas.
"However, when managers delegate, they increase their productivity and focus on the big picture. It also prepares the next generation of managers to gain actual management experience and develop confidence," says Chirantan Basu.
So, why is it so hard to delegate? According to Basu, “poor task definition is one of the obstacles to successful delegation. Lack of experience is another obstacle, especially in small businesses. Lastly, managers are often the obstacles themselves, because they are unable to let go, partly out of habit”.
Thankfully, there are some practices managers can incorporate into their skillset. According to Nathan Ojaokomo, these are the first steps to successfully delegate:
1. Delegate for Career Growth
Some managers only delegate drudge work to employees, and this shortsightedness misses an opportunity to empower workers. Instead, delegate intentionally to help employees improve their capabilities.
2. Don't Micromanage
You can avoid micromanagement by defining boundaries within which your employees can act. Doing this gives a measure of autonomy and allows them to use initiative while ensuring decisions align with company goals.
3. Provide the Tools They Need
Provide tools and resources that let employees solve everyday problems, communicate with each other, and contribute to the organization’s knowledge base. These tools could be from gamification platforms to project management software.
4. Give Genuine and Constructive Feedback
Be specific and tactful about the feedback you provide. For example, telling an employee “well done” doesn’t give them any direction for what to do or avoid doing in the future. Instead, specify what you liked and didn’t like to help give them a roadmap to progress.
5. Accept Ideas and Feedback
Another practical way to empower employees is by involving them in decision-making processes whenever possible. Be open to accepting their ideas and feedback. Not only will this make them feel valued, but it can also provide the company with truly great ideas.