How to Effectively Delegate Tasks in Your Project Team

Leadership skills are crucial for managing a team, yet many leaders are uncomfortable with the job aspect of delegation.

Your team looks to you for guidance. They rely on you to ensure they’re on the right track and catch them before they get too far off the project’s scope. But how can you delegate effectively without crossing the line into aggressiveness — a quality of some managers that never works in the long run?

There’s a fine line between assertive leadership and controlling delegation through demand. Here, we’ll break down the masterful skill of leading a team by effectively delegating tasks efficiently and strategically.

project team

1 It Starts With You

To have a positive, productive team, you must be a leader who emulates and encourages those skills. Studies show that workers who feel valued are more likely to go over and above in their job, stay in the company longer (reducing turnover,) and are more likely to take direction well.

How are you showing your team that you respect their work and their opinions? Are you open to communication, even if it’s negative feedback about you? Do you ask for and implement solutions to workflow or process problems? Are you understanding when personal lives interfere with the job occasionally?

These are all valuable skills a leader has, and they’re the most essential part of delegating. If your team doesn’t feel respected, they aren’t going to give you their best, no matter how much you demand it.

2 Know When to Delegate

The second step of an effective delegation strategy is knowing when to assign tasks and when to hold onto them until later or do them yourself. This step involves keeping your eye on the pulse of your team’s bandwidth.

You may assume that a new task is easy and the individual you’re eying to do the job should be able to handle it with no problem. But maybe they’re already over their heads with their current workload, or another team member has asked them to help while they’re sick. Giving this person one more thing, no matter how small, could be the straw that breaks their back.

One way to get a quick overview of what each person is working on is to use a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. As explained in this article by Accelo, a CRM combines data on your team members’ previous, existing, and future workloads to help you evaluate their performance.

This feature tells you what your team is doing well, what they may need help on, and if they’re likely to be open to handling more work. If they seem to be at max capacity, consider waiting until a better time or, if it’s an urgent task, taking care of it yourself.

3 Have a Clear Process

When you’re ready to delegate a task, include clear and concise instructions that guide your team. In many cases, the work isn’t hard — rather, the expectations and outcomes are unclear, causing the team members confusion.

Having a process in place that everyone can refer to for clarification helps you avoid repeating yourself and provides the structure necessary to do the job. However, if it’s an entirely new part of the project, be sure that your team knows that you’re available and open to questions.

4 Know Your Team’s Strengths and Weaknesses

The final nuance of effective delegation depends on how well you know each person in your team. As a leader, you can tell anyone you’re in charge of to do a task, and they should listen. But your job — and theirs — becomes much more efficient if you choose the right person to delegate to.

Not only should you pay attention to the bandwidth of the person you’re considering for the job, but you should also recognize if there is someone else on the team who may be better suited. If it’s a manual task that is simple enough to train a new member, it could be an opportunity for them to grow. This change would also take the load off of a higher performing team member’s shoulders, making them feel less pressured and more valued.

Conclusion

Ultimately, delegating as a leader includes a level of authority mixed with respect, communication, and knowledge of your team. When you ensure you’re providing clear, concise outcomes to the right individuals who are ready to take on more work, the execution of your project takes off seamlessly, and all you have to do is trust your team to do the job and monitor for insights.

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