17th April 2020

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Categories: Engage for Success Blog

How to Delegate Tasks and Become a Better Leader to Your Team

Do you appreciate the potential of your employees?

According to the statistics by Bloom Leadership, 79% of employees quit due to ‘lack of appreciation’, by which they mean:

  • Lack of opportunities to grow professionally
  • Absence of the opportunities to voice their opinion on the company matters
  • Managers not delegating tasks to the employees, thus disregarding their potential and not allowing them to take part in managing the company

In leadership, there’s a popular idea that a good leader is also a good delegator. A good leader knows and recognises the potential of the employees, therefore knows, which employee will be able to cope with a task and benefit from it in terms of professional growth.

But this is only in theory. In practice, delegating and distributing tasks among the employees is far more difficult. Especially, if you’re a young leader, only starting your leadership journey.

So, let’s take a look at some tips to help you learn how to effectively delegate tasks and become a better leader.

  1. Study Your Workers’ Strength

Delegating starts by studying the strengths of your employees. Otherwise, how will you know, which employee will cope with the delegated tasks the best?

Studying the strengths of your employees helps you better understand their personalities. Richard Branson once said:

“Most entrepreneurs are already driven personalities themselves. But if you want to overcome challenges, you need the force of more than one personality.”

As a young leader, you are often presented with a lot of challenging tasks. The best way to cope with them is to delegate some of them to your employees, thus, benefiting from the teamwork.

How do you unveil the strengths of your employees?

  • Ask. Have a conversation with your staff members and ask them directly, what they think their strengths are and how these strengths can contribute when dealing with challenging tasks.
  • Analyse experience. Resumes of your employees often have extensive information about the challenges they had to deal with at their past jobs.
  • Observe. Take a closer look at how your employees behave when presented with challenging tasks.

A strength-based approach is a part of positive psychology. And, to become a better leader, you can apply different tests that use a strength-based positive psychology approach to learn how to delegate effectively. Resources like High5Test (learning about strengths) or Truity (a comprehensive Myers, Briggs & Jung test) offer leaders an opportunity to test their employees and get acquainted more with their personalities.

  1. Be a Mentor, not a Tyrant

Steve Jobs was not only one of the most prominent leaders around the world, but also one of the most vocal advocates of being a mentor to the employees. In one of his early interviews, Steve Jobs mentioned the importance of mentoring, reiterating that

‘…unveiling the potential of each employee is the main task of a great leader’

Video: Steve Jobs interview

Video credit: Evan Carmichael

Indeed, the goal of a good leader is to become a coach and a mentor for the employees. True leaders know that respect and trust of the employees is earned not by authoritatively managing them, but by being a mentor to them.

Coaching and mentoring are also important when delegating tasks. When delegating tasks, you, as a mentor, should:

  • Not be afraid to teach new skills. Delegating tasks is often about trusting the potential of an employee rather than the skills they have. By delegating a task, you allow an employee to grow professionally and teach them new skills. But you should also be prepared to teach them these new skills.
  • Include step-by-step instructions. If you want an employee to achieve a particular result, be as clear and thorough about task instructions as possible.
  • Trust your employees but verify the work process. Especially when you delegate a task as a learning opportunity, verifying the work process is important to achieve the desired result. But don’t be condescending – trust your employees and their potential.

As a leader, you should remember that there’s a learning curve about every job that exists. You’re learning to become a better leader right now. So, be a patient mentor to your employees as well.

  1. Establish a Liaison

A feedback culture is what many companies lack. Leaders in such companies believe that employees should not bother managers with work-related questions when a task has been delegated to them. But great leaders know that feedback is a key to success in the employee-employer relationship (and also a key to reducing high staff turnover).

Establishing a liaison is another step you as a leader should initiate when it comes to delegating tasks. Richard Budrik, HR manager at the international real estate company Flatfy, shares his experience with task delegation:

“By letting your employees know that they can come to you at any time with asking for or giving their feedback established a connection built on trust and respect, letting employees feel more empowered”

There’s no other way of establishing a liaison with your employees besides simply telling them that they can ask and give feedback. Feedback establishes trust, and in the future, it will be easier for you to delegate tasks, and for your employees to feel more confident about working on them.

So start with feedback culture right away.

Appreciation of Employees Is Not Always About the Money

The statistic that was mentioned at the beginning of the article also says that about 79% of employers think that employees are unappreciative of their job because they always want more money.

Not only is this untrue but this statement also completely disregards the fact that employees have a lot of potential. And, when given opportunities, they use this potential for the benefit of the company.

Your task as a leader is to be open to delegating tasks that unveil this potential. Surely, it is easier to do everything by yourself. But then the question is: are you truly a leader?

Hopefully, this article will inspire you to trust the potential of your employees and, in a teamwork, overcome the challenges and become a better leader.

Author: Kate is a passionate writer who likes sharing her thoughts and experience with the readers. Currently, she works as a digital marketing specialist, you can check her website. She likes everything related to travelling and new countries.

Photo Credits: Jehyen Sung on Unsplash