Empowering Your Team Through Delegation

Delegation is one of the best ways to empower your team, if it’s done right. Only handing off your to-do’s, then micromanaging the completion of the project will overload your employees, decrease their feelings of autonomy, and prevent them from developing their own leadership skills. For delegation to truly help in your team member’s development, some authority must be delegated along with the project or task that must be completed.[1] Delegating authority can be hard, but it can free team members to find new and possibly more efficient ways to get the job done.

The first step in empowering your team through delegation is to determine what you can delegate. This requires taking a step back and reassessing your assumptions about your responsibilities as well as the capabilities of your team. Some of the questions to ask yourself when you’re determining what to delegate are:  What tasks do I have that someone else can do? Is this a task that someone on my team could do better than me? Will this task provide a team member an opportunity for growth? Are there recurring tasks that I am doing that take up too much of my time that could be done by someone else?[2] Once you have asked yourself these questions, you should have a good idea of what you can delegate. Now, you must determine who will receive which tasks through delegation.

There are two important factors when determining who to delegate work to. The first is to determine who has the appropriate skill set to complete the task efficiently. This requires leaders to understand the strengths and weaknesses of their team members and delegate different tasks to different members based on their abilities. Delegating without considering how compatible tasks are with team member’s abilities can possibly lead to frustration. The second factor in determining who to delegate work to is knowing the development goals of your team members and delegating tasks in a way that helps employees further these goals. If a team member is looking for more responsibility, allowing them to take ownership of a task will not only develop necessary skills needed for advancement but help them feel empowered and satisfied in their job. The common thread in both factors is having a positive relationship with your team members. This allows your delegation to put them in a position to succeed and grow their abilities.

Delegation is a great way for leaders to grow their teams and reduce their stress and workload at the same time. One of the biggest pitfalls to avoid is micromanaging a task once it has been delegated. Doing this only frustrates team members and negates the benefits of delegation for both the leader and the employee. If you really want to show your team members you value them, delegating well is a great way!

-Andrew McCreary, Member of the 2023 Emerging Leaders Cohort

[1] Delegation of Authority: How to Empower Employees – Primalogik

[2] How to Decide What to Delegate — Impactful Coaching & Consulting

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