Understanding Delegation

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Understanding Delegation

Published on March 29, 2024.

The ability to effectively delegate is a crucial skill for supervisors, potentially enhancing productivity and fostering team growth experiences. It goes beyond task assignment, involving a deliberate process of empowering individuals with specific responsibilities. Effective delegation requires time, commitment, and a well-thought-out approach. This month’s issue explores why you might be hesitant to delegate and delegation best practices.

The Why Behind Delegation

It’s common for supervisors, especially those new to the role, to struggle with delegation. Shifting from accomplishing tasks independently to driving their completion through others is a significant leap. It demands trust in your team's capabilities and a willingness to let go of personal achievement in favor of collective success.

It's a shift from being the expert to leading experts, a transition that requires you to express confidence in others and willingness to get outside of your comfort zone. Internal doubts about time (“I don’t have time to train them,” “I can do it faster myself”), the team’s commitment (“They don’t care about this as much as I do”) might unintentionally reinforce a belief that others cannot be trusted to deliver. However, clinging to tasks only stifles team initiative and compromises collective progress. 

Despite potential concerns about work visibility, trust, time constraints, or workload, effective delegation offers significant benefits including:

  • Enhanced Supervisor Skills: Distributing work efficiently enables supervisors to focus on higher-level tasks while refining coaching and communication skills.
  • Employee Development: Delegation empowers individuals which often leads to greater job satisfaction, confidence, and skill development.
  • Departmental Success: Delegating tasks promotes employee engagement leading to higher motivation, innovation, and improved coordination between departments and teams.