How to Delegate Tasks

Every manager will be relied upon to effectively delegate tasks to his/her team members. The manager has the authority to delegate tasks, however in many cases, especially for new managers, it can be challenging asking another person to complete a task based solely because of your management position/authority.

The following steps can be used to delegate a task. The common foundation for these steps to succeed is to establish a productive relationship between manager and employee.

1) Identify the Task and Estimate Length to Complete

The first step is to clearly identify the task that must be completed. The supervisor should estimate the time length needed for it be finished, the resources required, and the priority for the task to be completed in.

2) Identify the Specific Employee and Review Current Workload

Before asking the employee to complete the task, the supervisor should be aware of the current workload placed onto the employee. This is important to avoid burdening the employee and adding stress.

3) Clearly Define the Task and Ask Employee Estimated Completion Time

Once you have selected employee based off perceived availability, approach the employee (preferably in person), clearly explain the task and then ask the employee when you can expect it to be completed by. Instead of providing the deadline immediately, this gesture shows that you are aware of the current workload, and it gives the employee an opportunity to demonstrate ownership of tasks. Use personal judgement after discussing the task to establish priority of the new assignment and current assignments.

4) Follow Up with Employee

Every task is different and based off the deadline established it is important to regularly follow up with the employee to track the progress. This prevents the employee from forgetting about the task and allows the supervisor to adjust resources as necessary if original timeline for completion was not accurate.

5) Thank the Employee and Recognize the Work Completed

Although it may be part of the job responsibility, employees are more willing to offer assistance if they will be recognized for the work. By thanking the employee for taking on the additional task, the employee will be more inclined to help in the future as well.

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