You might have heard the best way to get something done is by doing it yourself. While this is a piece of good advice for some aspects of life, you will find that always sticking to it at work can be counterproductive.
Project managers generally have a lot of things on their plate. They negotiate with clients, ensure timely delivery of the products, and try their best to achieve success without any issues. In these circumstances, project managers need to prioritize and focus on the most critical tasks and reduce their burden by delegating tasks effectively.
By handing over the responsibility of non-essential and repetitive tasks to the team members, you can focus on the important stuff and train future managers at the same time.
Eli Broad, the only person in the world who built multiple fortune 500 companies says: “The inability to delegate is one of the biggest problems I see with managers at all levels”. Also, the Institute of Corporate Productivity carried out a study where they found that about 46% of the surveyed companies showed concern about the delegation skills of their managers and feel that it’s crucial for productivity.
It’s not uncommon for bosses to refrain from delegation due to a bad experience in the past. Many managers feel that they can’t trust their employees to work independently and stay committed to producing satisfactory results. By having an effective system of accountability and assigning responsibilities, managers can rectify this situation and ensure everyone remains involved.
In project management, Delegation does not mean that you let go of every aspect of the project and start depending on the team members. Instead, it means that you empower your team and build their confidence by making them responsible for a small part of the project. It can be a repetitive task or something you feel a particular member is better at. However, delegating too much can make your final product incoherent so you must know where to draw the line to maintain control.
If you don’t know whether you are delegating enough, don’t worry. You are not alone. We have compiled a list of general questions you must ask yourself that will help you realize the current condition of your team when it comes to task delegation.
If you answered yes to the above questions then you may not be good at task management or delegating tasks effectively. Now that you are aware of the problem, there are certain steps you can take to keep your team engaged by delegating more tasks.
Task delegation is an important skill for any effective project manager. Here are some tips on how to share your workload with the team and increase the overall productivity.
Experienced managers match the level of responsibility with an employee’s expertise. They know their team members and understand their preferences. When team members are assigned tasks they’re interested in, they are sure to perform better than expected.
While delegating a task, make sure that you are focusing on the results you need rather than micromanaging the whole thing. George S. Patton, a celebrated US Army General said: “Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with results”.
As the project manager, you’ll obviously have the final say in the direction of the project. It is, however, a good practice to involve the team in making some decisions. Even if they suggest a different approach than what you had in mind, appreciate their input and be flexible enough to accept better suggestions.
You must have had tasks where you felt that your hands are tied because you couldn’t make any decisions. Avoid making your team feel that. If you are delegating a task to your team, give them enough authority to make decisions and take the necessary steps to fulfill your demands.
An empowering environment is a sufficient motivator for team members that encourages them to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Decide with your team and put aside some time every week to check the progress of your team. Talk to them about the problems they are facing while completing the given task and suggestions on how they can proceed.
It is a given that motivated employees will be more productive. As a project manager, you can motivate your team by offering them certain incentives. Have a monthly performance review and recognize your top performers. Recognition is a great motivator that ensures consistency and fosters healthy competition within the team.
By delegating tasks, you train your team members to be future managers and leaders. Teach them and be a proper mentor. Even if they mess up, don’t belittle them and offer constructive criticism so that they can improve in the future.
There is nothing worse than a team that feels underappreciated. When a member successfully completes a task you delegate, be sure to show genuine appreciation and point out the things they did right. This will inspire loyalty in your team and provide them with the validation they need to continue performing splendidly.
By delegating tasks effectively, you make sure that you are free to focus on more important things about the project and have enough time for yourself. It also significantly improves the overall productivity of your team and allows you to build trust and commitment with your team members which can keep you on the right track.