Learning how to delegate effectively is the key to leveraging yourself and multiplying your value to your company. Delegation allows you to move from what you can do personally to what you can manage.

What Does Delegate Mean?

The verb “to delegate” means to assign the responsibility for doing something, such as a task or project, to another individual. Delegating common time-consuming tasks to lower-level employees or contractors is a common practice among efficient entrepreneurs, business owners, and managers as it allows them to focus on more impactful tasks that require their full attention.

Why Is Delegating Tasks Important?

Delegation is one of the most important and effective management skills. Without the ability to delegate effectively, it is impossible for you to advance in management to higher positions of responsibility.

Develop Your Management Skills

Learning how to delegate is not only about maximizing your own productivity and value; it is also about maximizing the productivity of your staff. Your job as a manager is to get the highest return on the company’s investment in people.

The average person today is working at 50 percent of capacity. With effective management and delegation skills, you can tap into that unused 50-percent potential to increase your staff’s productivity.

 Effective Management through Task-Relevant Maturity

The task-relevant maturity of your staff—how long they have been on the job and how competent they are—determines your method of delegation.

Low task-relevant maturity means they are new and inexperienced in the job. In this case, use a directive delegation style. Tell people exactly what you want them to do.

Medium task-relevant maturity means staff has experience in the job; they know what they are doing. In this case, use the effective, management by objectives delegation method. Tell people the end result that you want and then get out of their way and let them do it.

High task-relevant maturity is when the staff person is completely experienced and competent. Your method of delegation in this case is simply, easy interaction.

How to delegate the right tasks to the right people

Seven essentials for effective management and delegation:

Pick the right person: Picking the wrong person for a key task is a major reason for failure.

Match the requirements of the job to the abilities of the person: Be sure that the person you delegate the task to is capable of doing the job.

Delegate effectively to the right person: This frees you to do more things of higher value. The more of your essential tasks that you can teach and delegate to others, the greater the time you will have to do the things that only you can do.

Delegate the entire job: One hundred percent responsibility for a task is a major performance motivator. The more often you assign responsibilities to the right people, the more competent they become.

Delegate clear outcomes: Make them measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Explain what is to be done, how you think it should be done, and the reasons for doing this job in the first place.

Delegate with participation and discussion: Invite questions and be open to suggestions. There is a direct relationship between how much people are invited to talk about the job and how much they understand it, accept it, and become committed to it. You need to delegate in such a way that people walk away feeling, ‘‘this is my job; I own it’’.