What Can You Delegate to Others?

efficiency leadership people development productivity work Jun 29, 2023

As a leader or anyone looking to maximize productivity without sacrificing quality, the key to success is delegating tasks to others. Knowing what and when to delegate is essential to become successful. While it can be challenging to let go of control, learning to divide tasks and work with others can unlock growth potential. Delegation is thus an essential part of any leader's toolkit, and understanding its importance is the first step towards mastering this invaluable skill.

The importance of delegating tasks

To delegate means assigning tasks to others. Learning how to delegate effectively is an essential skill for leaders or anybody who needs to work with others to accomplish a job that requires effort and time from more than one person. There are various benefits one can gain when delegating effectively, such as:

  • Gaining more time to do other things
  • It gives you more opportunities to focus on what you need to do.
  • It builds trust between people.
  • You can gain more peace of mind knowing that someone can be relied on to do some of your tasks in case you are absent or there is another thing to attend to.
  • Fosters growth and development for people so that they can step up someday and do the same tasks as you
  • Lessens your workload
  • It gets everyone involved, so people can think they are contributing to something and they matter to the organization. Everyone levels up their skills and knowledge, making the whole organization grow.

Why don't others delegate effectively?

Despite the many benefits of delegating, others still don't practice it. There can be different reasons for not delegating, such as:

  • Fear of relinquishing control to others
  • Lack of trust that another team member or person can't do a task on the same level and efficiency as you
  • Some may want to hold on to their authoritative power and hesitate to let others grow, fearing that they may overtake one's leadership position.
  • Training somebody to do a task can be time-consuming.
  • Others may worry that people can see them as abusing their power or are lazy when they let other people do some of their jobs.
  • Some may have a mindset that, as a leader, you need to do everything by yourself.

As somebody in charge of working with or supervising others, you must overcome or change your mindset if you have any of the reasons we stated above that tell why you may hesitate to delegate. There is no guarantee that you can always be available to do all the work you need to do, and there may be other matters that need more of your attention instead of trying to do everything by yourself. The benefits of delegation outweigh any reason you may have for not delegating.

Tasks that you can delegate to others

Now that you know how beneficial it is to delegate tasks, the next step is determining which duties can be assigned to others. In the workplace, there can be guidelines that show the work scope and responsibilities a particular job title has. However, this may not always be present, and sometimes, duties can overlap. In a more informal setting, it may not be clear what tasks someone should do, and as somebody who may supervise others, we can do something to ensure everybody is doing something. As somebody tasked with leading or working with others, certain tasks can be better assigned to others, giving you more room to lead people and manage projects.

  • Small and easy tasks that others can easily do are suitable to delegate. These can include reading e-mails, inputting data on spreadsheets, making reports, delivering things, etc. While they may be small, they can exist in numerous amounts and accumulate enough to take your time, so it can be better to assign them to others.
  • People have different specialties, so delegating jobs to people best suited for their skills and knowledge will be good. You can be assured that good quality outputs will be delivered, and they can be more efficient in doing it too.
  • Repetitive and routine tasks are another example of jobs you can give to others. You must do these tasks daily or at least occur several times within a given period. Examples include typing documents, replying to e-mails, updating data on spreadsheets, uploading or submitting files to clients, etc. If somebody is already doing these types of work in your team, delegating these jobs to them can be better.
  • Tedious tasks or anything boring or stressful can be delegated to others. It's possible that you may not find them enjoyable or fulfilling to do, but others can.
  • Jobs that can help others grow are good candidates for delegated work. This is particularly helpful if you want to promote certain people in the future. Give these people tasks that can help them prepare and learn what they may do in the future. If you are looking for somebody to replace you in case you want to shift careers or move up higher in the hierarchy, it would be good to teach somebody the same things you do in your current position.
  • As a leader or manager of a project, you are more concerned with managing people and looking at the bigger picture of things. Ideally, production-related tasks should not be included in your work anymore. However, it can't be helped that sometimes you still need to do these jobs because of a lack of people that can do them or there's too much work to do. Therefore, if you want to delegate responsibility, production work should be done by others while you focus more on how best they can achieve what they need to do and create goals to move the team or organization forward.

Assigning tasks to others is good.

Delegating work to others doesn't mean you are lazy and just passing work to others. Done right, it is something that can utilize the strengths of everybody, so all will grow and develop their skills, and everybody can benefit from moving forward together. Successful delegation involves choosing the right people for the job, explaining why you are delegating, and providing the necessary resources and training for others to do the delegated task. The delegation process is like choosing the proper role for each person, leading to greater efficiency and better achieving the desired outcome for the group that benefits everyone. Effective delegation aids in the professional development of everyone by giving them the right tasks. At the same time, you free up more time for yourself as a leader, so you can focus more on work that benefits others and moves the group as a whole.

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