How to Delegate Work Effectively

How to Delegate Work Effectively

Are you a manager, employer, or team leader? Have you been trying to shoulder the responsibilities of the whole team? Quite heavy, right? But you are trying to be a good leader and you might think that doing the bulk of the work means you get to do things your way without distractions. We know you mean well. So that is why we are here to tell you that whilst you are doing a good job, you need to do something about your work situation. If you let your body get so stressed up, it could lead to burnout and that does not bode well for you or the organization. Trying to do everything yourself can also be frustrating especially when you meet a roadblock and have run out of fresh ideas.


What then is the solution? Delegating. Yes, you need to commit tasks to your employees, teammates, or subordinates. No, that definitely does not make you a tyrant. In fact, delegating is one of the characteristics expected of a good leader. Apart from making work faster and more efficient, it builds team spirit and except you are a one-man operation, you need that bonding experience with the team. Also, you know what they say about two good heads. When all hands are on deck on a project and everyone is playing their part perfectly, better ideas arise, and challenges are tackled together and effectively. You can only do as much as one person trying to handle everything. Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success. Transferring some duties to other people will also free up your schedule and help you focus on other things as a team leader, employer, or manager.  So you see, the benefits of delegating cannot be overstated.

If you are already used to doing all the work by now, you might find it a little difficult to loosen your hold on the reins or you probably have no idea how to go about delegating. No worries, we are committed to making your career stress-free and that is why we have curated a list of effective tips that will make delegating effective and as easy as ABC!

How to Delegate Work Effectively

  • Have a Goal and Make it Clear to Everyone: Before you begin delegating tasks, make it clear what you want to be accomplished. If you and a team are about to start work on a project, explain what it is about and what level of success the company aims to achieve with it. That way, everyone is aware of the seriousness of the matter and what type of commitment is expected of them. When you assign roles, make everyone’s part clear. Say what you expect from them from the get-go and also include the timeline and deadline for the assigned tasks. When you do this, you avoid people slacking off on their assigned tasks.
  • Know Everyone’s Strengths and Weaknesses: Every employee or teammate has a strong point, a task they carry out so well and so fast, and on the other hand, weak points they need to work on or improve on. Once you know this, you can assign specific tasks based on their strong points. If Patrick performs task A perfectly, then it should go to him and Susan should handle task B which she has been commended countless times for efficiently performing. This will make it easier, straightforward, and faster to accomplish tasks. If you assign an employee a task they do well and enjoy doing, then they will surely be motivated to give it their best shot. Knowing everyone’s strong and weak points will also help you identify opportunities to help someone work on their weakness. If an employee or a teammate has been in training for some time and is looking for a practical opportunity to show how much they have improved, then delegating will be lending them a big hand and helping them reach their goals. Delegating will help that employee improve their knowledge which leads to the development and growth of their career. You might be worried that since the task is not their strong suit yet, they may not perform expertly. You do not need to be worried. Give them your expert opinion, teach them, and set the stage for them. That is another way of being a good delegator – being a good teacher. Moreover, when you delegate a task to someone who is willing and ready to practice what they are learning, they will be encouraged by the confidence you put in them and will therefore strive to produce the best results. When you delegate according to strengths and weaknesses, it also ensures that you are fair – nobody is doing the barest minimum and nobody is treated as the dog’s body of the team. Everyone will be able to do what they do best.


  • Be a Patient Teacher: Most people shy away from delegating because they think that it will take more time to explain things to others. But look at it this way: When you patiently explain things before assigning tasks, then the delegatee will fully understand and grasp the concept. It is a gift that keeps on giving, an asset with great value because that knowledge if instilled properly, does not disappear. That means that once you have explained what the tasks entail and the employee or teammate gets it, they will be able to carry out the task independently in subsequent times. Even if they have a lot of questions or do not carry out the task as perfectly as you expected the first time, be patient. Make room for mistakes and then do the needed corrections. With time, that employee will get better and it may not even take as long as you imagine. Being a good teacher means that you are open to being asked questions, receiving and giving feedback, and regularly checking up on the person handling the task. Look for teachable moments and make the most out of them. A good delegator does not just assign tasks and blatantly refuses to explain what is needed. If you do that, you will likely not get the desired results.
  • Communicate and Check-in: As we have mentioned, effective delegating requires constant communication in the form of feedback and regular check-ins. Set a comfortable environment where those handling tasks you assigned them can ask questions and tell you what they think. Remember that you are not the only one that has the best ideas or the only one that should have a say. No one has a monopoly on knowledge. Feedback could come in the form of emails or team meetings where you are given current updates. Act immediately on whatever feedback you get. This makes delegating more effective compared to when you give orders, relax and hear from nobody for days and nobody hears from your own end either. Do not let the communication lines grow cold or totally come to a close. Regular check-ins are also necessary but find a balance so you are not all up in people’s space and micromanaging them. Check-in and supervise to see the progress of projects but also give delegates space to do their work. Watching them like a hawk would actually do the opposite of what you intended. It could just make them nervous and this can cause mistakes to happen.


  • Give Commendation and be Polite: Commend employees or teammates who have gone out of their way to ensure the success of a project or an employee who completed a task on time. Remember too, to be polite. Use ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ You are not aiming to build a reputation as a tyrant but as an approachable colleague. Even though there may be a hierarchy and those to who you assign tasks to are your subordinates, treat them with respect and address them in official terms. Recognize the efforts an employee put into an assigned task and even if a project could be teamwork, give credit to whom it is due. Words of praise serve as a morale booster and assurance to delegates that their good work is seen and appreciated. Seemingly little but thoughtful things like a thank you note can go a long way in building and straightening the relationships you have with your colleagues. If you appreciate someone for a job well done, it is likely that they will bring that same energy or even more to the next project.


Final Thoughts

Now you see, sharing the work equally is not as difficult as you think. It might take a little time to get used to but with these five tips, you are sure of starting off on the right foot. Delegating is very efficient and assures smooth running of the affairs of your company or team, presently and in the long run. True, it does not mean that you just kick your feet up and drink tea while other people try to do all the work (we all have that fantasy, right?). You are still involved but you are doing it with other people and at the right time and with the right training, everyone on the team will do their part and produce excellent results.

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