Delegation In Leadership

Delegating tasks is one of the most valuable skills you can have as a leader, and it's also one of the most complicated skills to master. If delegation in leadership is not done correctly, it can lead to disaster for your business and your team members' morale. This blog post will discuss how delegating tasks effectively impact success rates in various industries, why delegation in leadership is so vital for company growth, and some effective delegation strategies that leaders can use to make their lives easier.

So, what does delegation mean to you? For some, delegation is the idea that leaders must "give up" tasks or responsibilities to allow someone else to do it. However, delegation means empowering team members and employees by giving them more responsibility. Often, it means that your employees and team members are given a chance to shine as leaders themselves, while your managers, supervisors, etc., can focus on other important tasks.

As a leader, the delegation process can be complex due to our fear of not knowing what will happen if we let go of the reins or the feeling of passing the buck to someone else. Appropriately done, delegation in leadership can help build successful teams, bring about new ideas, and empower your workforce! When you delegate effectively, the desired outcome is achieved; the tasks are completed, and you allow an opportunity for learning new skills and developing team members. Managers can focus on their team as a whole and can solicit feedback from employees.

At IRI, we have decades of experience helping companies with management consulting, solving employee engagement challenges, increasing employee retention, and building positive employee relations strategies to improve workplace culture. We've seen the positive impact that a strategy for successful delegation in leadership can have on an organization. Let's dive in.

Empowering Employees vs. Overworking

There is a direct correlation between delegation and business success. According to the 2016 State of Workplace Productivity Report, 94% of employees want their leaders to delegate tasks that don't require specialized skills or training, like data entry and scheduling meetings (PowerTeam International). Suppose delegation in leadership is done incorrectly. In that case, it can lead to disaster for your company's growth because you will constantly be overloaded with work and dealing with burnout from overworking yourself and your team members. The ability to delegate tasks effectively empowers others on your team by giving them opportunities they might not have had otherwise.

Delegate early and often so everyone knows what needs to get done without putting everything on one person's plate. Some examples of delegating tasks include having an assistant or schedule meetings, book travel, and create presentations for you. You want delegation in leadership to be a win-win situation where everyone benefits from the delegation process.

Work-Life Balance Improves

Delegation can lead to a better work-life balance for employees and leaders at all levels. When tasks are appropriately allocated amongst the team, it's less likely that any one person feels more stress or that they have too much on their plate or too much responsibility. While managers can focus on a project that requires special knowledge or expertise, another person can complete a task, while staying motivated. It's important to walk the line between over-delegating and failing to keep employees engaged and productive. That's why it's so important to speak to each employee about their career development and take the temperature of your workplace with regular communication, opportunities for feedback, and even employee engagement surveys

The Importance of Delegation in Leadership

Delegation is one of those skills that has to be developed over time with practice and patience. Great leaders must delegate tasks well in order to focus on higher-value responsibilities without being bogged down by trivial work or simply work that can be handed to another employee to help them build confidence. It's also important because it saves them time and helps build others' confidence and overall morale when given opportunities that wouldn't have been available otherwise. According to survey results reported in Forbes, employees are more likely to remain loyal towards companies whose managers give clear instructions about what needs to be done while delegating tasks across team members.

delegation in leadership

To improve delegation in leadership, some executives have found it beneficial to hire a personal assistant who can handle administrative tasks for them so they are not overloaded with work that doesn't require their attention or special skills/expertise. Others find delegation more effective when they set specific goals and milestones for team members and deadlines on certain projects instead of giving long-term goals without specific dates attached. Leaders should also make sure delegation is done fairly across the board by allocating assignments based on employees' strengths, skill sets, and interests. They can maintain an open-door policy that frequently solicits employee feedback. This open line of communication between managers and employees helps to ensure that each person is on the right path for their professional and personal development.

Delegation, when done successfully, empowers others while empowering yourself at the same time. It's one of the most effective examples that leaders can give their team members and employees to help them grow without having too much responsibility on one person's plate. It fosters a strong sense of trust among teams and helps to build authentic leadership skills while motivating employees at all levels.

#Delegation - when done successfully - empowers others while empowering yourself at the same time. #leadership

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Examples of Delegation Leadership

Delegation in leadership benefits everyone, especially with certain statistics that show how delegation is good for business growth as well as helping company morale rise when tasks are delegated effectively and according to specific goals set by managers/leaders. Leaders should also look into delegation strategies to know what works best based on personal preferences and comfort levels and overall efficiency gains resulting from delegating responsibilities effectively across teams or within specific departments under their supervision.

  • Delegate early & often: don't overload yourself--delegate instead!
  • Set clear goals & milestones: delegation is more effective when leaders set specific goals and milestones instead of giving long-term unattainable ones without concrete dates attached to them.
  • Consider hiring a personal assistant: delegation can be enhanced by hiring help who knows your preferences/skills--hire an assistant to handle administrative tasks!
  • Allocate assignments accordingly: everyone will have opportunities without being overloaded. Delegate fairly across the board based on the strengths of members of your team, their skill sets, and interests rather than always doing everything yourself out of fear that giving the responsibility to another employee will cause something negative if it's handled incorrectly.
  • Improve delegation in leadership and empower others at the same time: delegate well for business growth as well as company morale benefits from the successful delegation.

Leaders should look into delegation strategies to know what works best based on their own preferences, assigning the right tasks to the right person for the job, and overall efficiency gains resulting from successful delegation across teams or within certain departments.

examples of delegation in leadership

Why Do Leaders Hold Back From Delegating?

It's not a secret that many managers, supervisors, and leaders at all levels are hesitant to delegate tasks, mainly if they are used to taking care of them personally. Whether it be a lack of confidence in their teams, or a strong desire to accomplish tasks as they have always done so, it can be difficult for a leader to delegate specific tasks that could have an impact on the company as a whole. It's easy for a seasoned manager or supervisor to feel as though they are dodging or shirking responsibilities onto someone else when, in reality, they are working on giving the right task to the right person amongst their teams. This is an essential skill that takes someone who is a manager, and molds them into a true leader.

Ultimately, delegation skills are crucial to being a successful leader. Furthermore, members of your team are likely looking for management to support their careers by providing them with the opportunity to expand their skill set, take on some additional responsibility, and complete tasks effectively. Once you learn how to delegate tasks effectively, the right person for the job can complete what needs to be completed, and it will still lead to success for both the employee and manager. It may take some trial and error to master the skill of letting go, but it is essential to the team that they feel empowered and trusted to handle daily tasks.

#Delegation is vital to business success, and delegation #leadership can help empower team members and employees to take on more challenging tasks!

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Real-Life Examples of Delegation Leadership

Here are just a few success stories of delegation leadership you can learn from:

  •  At Marriott International, delegation has helped the company grow exponentially by developing its culture of empowerment. The company now hires talented people who are eager to take on new responsibilities and challenges so that they themselves have room to grow professionally.
  • Google has led the delegation game, allowing employees much more freedom than other companies would ever dare to give. Whether or not this process is actually working for them remains up for debate (after all, their company culture could be what's holding them back). Still, they definitely deserve credit for trying something different. And success stories like this one make it very clear why the ability to delegate effectively should be part of every leader's repertoire.
  • Apple delegated responsibilities to retail store employees so they could adequately educate customers about products and provide unbiased recommendations, becoming more efficient as a result.

Delegation is vital to business success, and delegation leadership can help empower team members and employees to take on more challenging tasks within their respective organizations. Although it may seem hard at first, it's one of those skills that will come naturally with practice and proper knowledge so long as you're patient and willing to lead by example. Once it becomes second nature for you as a leader, don't be surprised if your colleagues begin coming to you for advice on how to delegate appropriately as well.

What Leaders Get Wrong

The problem with delegating is that it needs to be done correctly in order to be effective. Management can't simply dole out tasks to an employee without providing them with the proper support and having a plan. Here are a few ways that managers and supervisors can derail their progress or delegate incorrectly.

  • They are not instilling confidence in their employees and empowering them to get the work done.
  • Only delegating trivial tasks or not giving employees a new level of responsibility.
  • They are not providing proper tools or resources for an employee to get the task done appropriately or timely.
  • They are not providing an opportunity for their team to ask questions or taking the time to explain how this new level of responsibility should be addressed.
  • They are failing to provide proper support to an employee who is searching for a way to increase their skills and knowledge in order to move forward in their career.
  • Tasks are handed down from an authoritative viewpoint, rather than with the intent to develop an employee's skills or help them expand their comfort zone.

Of course, these aren't the only reasons that delegating may not be as successful as your organization wishes. It comes down to giving the right task to the right person, developing and training employees, and motivating and empowering them to rise to the occasion. 

Teach Your Leaders To Delegate Tasks Effectively

This lesson teaches your leaders the eight steps to delegation. It also includes a guide to how they can share responsibilities with their team members. Help your leaders understand how delegation enables teams to hit their goals on time by increasing productivity and encouraging teamwork!

After completing this training, your leaders will understand how delegation gives employees the opportunity to grow and stretch while allowing them to focus on the higher-level work that deserves their attention and prioritization. You can schedule a demo or chat with our team of experts to add this training to your arsenal. Don't let a lack of skills and expertise be a struggle in your organization. Our team of experts is here to help; we're just a click away!

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About the Author Walter Orechwa

Walter is Director of IRI's Digital Workplace Solutions Group, and the founder of A Better Leader. Walter provides expert advice, highly effective employee communication resources and ongoing learning opportunities for Human Resources and Labor Relations professionals.