This week we are sharing with you a quiz and expert advice from our best-selling training tool Bud to Boss™: Essential Skills for First-Time Supervisors. This indispensable toolkit offers first-time leaders everything they need to successfully coach their teams to winning performance.
Answer “Yes” or “No” to the following questions to determine how well you are delegating to your team members.
- I have too much work to do, and, therefore, I typically stay long after others have gone home for the day.
- My team or department cannot function when I am not in the workplace.
- Much of my to-do list consists of tasks that other team members could learn how to do.
- It takes more time and effort to train staff to take on tasks than it does for me to just complete them myself.
- When a team member is failing at a task I’ve delegated, I take it back.
- After I have delegated a task, the person often comes back to me saying that I am more qualified to complete the task.
- When I do delegate things, I often have to nag employees to complete the tasks, and I end up just doing them myself.
- I feel overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do, yet sometimes I catch other team members talking at the watercooler, surfing the Internet or taking long lunches.
If you answered “Yes” to more than three of those statements, you have a hard time delegating tasks. You may not feel confident in your team members’ abilities to manage the new roles, or you may simply feel the need to be in control and do things “your way.” However, your unwillingness to delegate is overloading you, meaning that you aren’t spending enough time on your top priorities. And you are blocking important learning opportunities for team members.
5 Tasks to Start Delegating Today:
- E-mail. Forward all routine inquiries to a designated staff member. Ask that person to take responsibility for all follow-up correspondence as well.
- Agendas. Pick a point person to plan an upcoming meeting. Give that person a list of the items you want to cover during the session, and let the rest of your team know whom to contact to add items to the agenda.
- Staff scheduling. Allow a staff member to take control of this area and you may be delighted to see the creative alternatives the person comes up with. Be sure to specify requirements like core-hour coverage and the results you expect, including minimum staffing levels, and then explain what level of latitude you are prepared to allow.
- Repairs. How often do staffers turn to you when the copy machine breaks, a computer goes on the fritz or a lightbulb burns out? Use your time more wisely; hand over the repair manual and the keys to the supply closet, and teach a handful of workers to take care of those routine problems.
- Research. Outline your vision for a project or recommendation. Then assign a promising and eager staffer to do the legwork for you. Specify a deadline that allows you to review and assimilate the research and write your recommendations.
Key to Success: Delegating a task does not mean you never have to think of it again. Your responsibilities include following up with staffers to make sure that they are performing delegated tasks to your standards.
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