Delegation is a great time management technique. It can free up your time for more important things.
Or does it.
How do you ensure you are actually saving and managing time effectively?
1. Work Well as a Team (and respect your team members)
Delegation works best when you have a streamlined team to support you.
So start by delegating to the right person. There are some jobs that should automatically be delegated simply because someone else knows how to do it easier and better than you do. Or you employ them to do it. Have a system in place. If there is certain work that you delegate time and time again it will become routine (for both of you).
However, you should not delegate where you can eliminate. And don’t forget to respect the time and abilities of your staff – if you simply dump the garbage jobs, you won’t have a good working relationship and your staff won’t go out of their way to help when you need it.
2. Make sure you are helpful from the outset
If you are delegating make sure YOU are helpful and consider what the other person needs to do the job efficiently. There is no point in delegating if it will take them all day to find the relevant information or they keep coming back to ask more questions when you could have outlined everything they need quickly in an email, dictation or memo.
Think long-term – Consult with your staff or team first. Select people you think are both capable of doing the job and would like to do the job, and if they don’t already know how to do that particular job then train them.
3. Set aside time to talk (or check in)
If it is the type of task where your assistance may be required book in a slot to discuss or review the work that suits everyone so you don’t have numerous and unnecessary interruptions. For example, explain that you are doing a lot of work but you will check in at 4.00pm if they could have everything ready with a list of queries if any at that time.
4. Delegate the whole
Other people can get more involved when working on something as a whole rather than being micro-managed through every step. If appropriate delegate a full task and let the individual work on everything building up their experience as a whole. Next time round you will save time as they can take the initiative and get stuck in.
5. Delegate to a variety of people
Delegation is a good way to teach and train your team. Don’t always give the work to the stronger team member or the most efficient team member. Again, think long-term – you should try to train up your staff equally and do not play favourites.
Any tips to add? Share them in the comments.