There is often an underlying fear of delegating responsibility in the workplace. This can be due to a manager's concern that the work would not be executed in the “right way” if they did not do it themselves, or they believe the it will take too much time to train employees to perform a new task.
Concerns about delegating exist at all levels, but it is important to remember that delegating is essential for every organizational leader. Leaders can easily take on too much responsibility themselves by either under delegate or not delegating at all, so it is important to embrace the need for delegating responsibilities, and here are six reasons why:
1. Two heads are better than one
When you delegate tasks, more folks are looking at the tasks being performed and in different ways. This means organizations find more insights into how best to achieve tasks, and improved processes are championed without the need for leadership involvement.
2. Leaders have time to develop their own leadership skills
Delegation affords leaders more time for themselves and their roles, which can be converted to meaningful and impactful use of their time. Such as to create and manage strategic plans and maintain a broader organizational vision.
3. Increased organizational communication
Delegating greater levels of responsibility broadens employee perspectives within the organization, allowing them to communicate to leaders more effectively. When leaders explain tasks and share ideas, they lessen the distance between employees and leadership, benefiting the entire organization.
4. There is a stronger sense of collective success
Collective success comes from a goal being achieved through the contribution of everyone and not just an individual. This makes employees feel part of something bigger within the company, rather than just a number. This sense of belonging encourages employees to take on more responsibility for the success of the organization.
5. Effective means to motivating employees
Leaders who delegate make their employees feel more important and increase employee confidence in themselves. Employees want to be stimulated at work, and delegating more responsibility can keep them motivated to achieve. This also increases their loyalty and lowers the risk of looking for jobs outside the organization.
6. Delegation teaches leaders how to lead employees effectively
If you are not confident in leading a team, delegating might be the way to start. After all, building trust is an essential step towards becoming an effective leader, and delegating is an excellent way to tell your employees you trust them. It is important to be mindful of not only the type of tasks delegated, but the way tasks are delegated. It is easy for leaders to come across as incompetent or lazy if they do not include employees in this process. Instead, consider asking employees about the level of responsibility and the type of tasks they want to perform and try to align their interest with the work that needs to be delegated.
Before you start delegating your daily to do list, make sure you take the time to understand what tasks are best delegated and exactly what outcome you expect so you can communicate those expectations clearly. Another thing to consider is your employees' skill set to ensure you are selecting someone who is capable of getting the job done, who is enthusiastic about the task, and willing to address any skill gaps needed to take on additional responsibility.
It is also essential that leaders show confidence in their employees' abilities to perform the delegated tasks. Employees can be quick to stress and worry over tasks if they feel inadequate or ill prepared. By reiterating why the employee was selected to complete the task in the first place, and supporting their training needs to overcome the challenges of learning new things, leaders can find more success when delegating tasks.