Delegation is a crucial management skill. When done effectively, it frees up more time to focus on higher-priority projects and paves the way to developing your team’s strengths and improving overall productivity. However, delegation is not always easy, and many leaders struggle to do it effectively. 

In this blog post, Will Cotter, a seasoned digital entrepreneur and owner of FreshSpace Cleaning, his newest home cleaning company, shares his fresh perspective on the challenges of delegating tasks to team members, plus his five tips that may help you do it more effectively.

What’s Stopping You From Delegating?

There are many different factors why some managers hold back from reassigning tasks to other people in their team, including:

  • Perfectionism – Having a particular way of doing things and not being satisfied when others do it or thinking they’re the only ones who can do the job right.
  • Lack of Trust – Thinking it would be more time-consuming to explain or train someone than handle a task themselves. 
  • Sense of Ownership– Sometimes, managers find it hard to let go of tasks they’ve been doing for a long time because they’ve developed a sense of ownership or genuinely love what they’re doing.
  • Want to Feel Indispensable – They think they’ll be less valuable to the organization if they have one less thing to do.
  • Guilt – They do not want to overburden their team members with additional work.

Delegating Tips and Why They’re Worth A Try

Despite the many things that make it challenging, delegation is so important because it prevents you from getting burnout and eases up the pressure and stress from unrealistic expectations on your part. But more importantly, learning how and when to delegate tasks to your employees is also essential to stop them from getting bored with their jobs and remain optimistic about their future in the company. 

  • Identify which tasks to delegate. Obviously, not just about every task can be reassigned; some major ones still require a leader’s expertise, experience, and specific skillset. As per Asana, the best ones to delegate are recurring tasks or ones that a team member seems interested in or that will lead them to grow professionally. 
  • Find the most suitable person for each task. Take a step back and have a closer look at each of your team member’s strengths, interests, and professional goals. Observe them, take a survey, ask them during 1:1 meetings, and then match them with a corresponding task compatible with them.
  • Empower your team with ample support and resources. – Create a supportive work environment and set your team up for success by investing in high-quality training, learning materials, professional guidance, and anything else they might need to achieve their targets.
  • Maintain healthy and open communication. – Make yourself approachable and available if they have any questions or clarifications. Offer feedback and constructive criticism, so your team has an idea of areas they need to improve on and the necessary steps to take on how to do that.
  • Concentrate on the results. – Once you’ve delegated a task, learn to let go and trust your team to do their best, given the proper resources. Do not micromanage. Be at peace knowing that they might do things differently from you to achieve the set goals. Use it as an opportunity for them to showcase creativity and resourcefulness.
Will Cotter is a young entrepreneur who made the transition from a desk job as an engineer to running his own startup from home. I started a local cleaning service called HappyCleans ( a few years ago. The idea was to save time and create transparency for consumers (particularly for tech-loving millennials) by making it possible to get an instant quote and book a clean online from a trusted professional in just 60 seconds. HappyCleans has created hundreds of jobs and allowed Will to pursue his goals of traveling and working remotely.