Delegating effectively gets the work done faster and sets everyone up for success.

This holds true no matter what your industry may be. For example, in 2019 a pilot program had nurses in teams with non-RN home care aides. In the program, nurses were encouraged to delegate certain medical tasks to the aides.

First, aides executed delegated tasks while nurses supervised. Then, nurses could delegate tasks, after which both nurses and aides could work independently. 

The pilot study was a success. The patients the delegating nurses served had 8 percent fewer emergency room visits than the control group patients. Control group patients had nurses who could not delegate medical tasks.

Moreover, 60 percent of the aides in the study reported earned wage increases, improved client relationships, and increased job satisfaction.

How can leaders learn to delegate in a way that gets those kinds of results?

Cultivating a delegation method can be complex. Fortunately, it's possible to delegate well by applying these five core principles.

5 Simple Principles of Successful Delegation

There's more than one way to learn how to delegate. But all strategies have certain principles in common. Here are the five mandatory principles at the heart of successful delegation.

1. Clarify the Task(s) You Want to Delegate

Choosing the right task is the first key to successful delegation. Get a clear concept of the task's parameters and processes, and understand why it’s being delegated.

You need to have a metric that establishes what successful completion of the task looks like. The SMART principle can help:

  • What is the specific task that you want to delegate?
  • How will you measure success?
  • Who is best equipped to act on the task and what resources will they need to complete it?
  • How is this task relevant to the company's medium-term and long-term goals?
  • What time and date should the delegate complete the task?  Should the delegate give you updates throughout the task's stages, or only at specific points?

Once you clarify exactly what the task is and your rationale for delegation, you've got the first principle squared away.

2. Choose the Right Delegate for the Task

Who is the right person for the job? Consider the skills the task requires, and who on your team already has them.

This may require systemic evaluation of your team's skillsets. Specifically, look at the quantifiable results of each team member's work. Don't overlook soft skills (like persuasion) in your evaluation.

After skills, consider your team member's existing responsibilities. If there's already too much on their plate, they may not get the task done on time.

Then, consider the employees' career goals. An employee who wants to move in a particular direction will approach tasks in that vein with passion.

3. Communicate Thoroughly

It's important to communicate your task delegations in a setting where the delegate can ask follow-up questions.

Be sure to assign tasks both verbally and in writing. The written document gives the delegate a point of reference as they complete the task.

4. Make Sure Your Delegate Has Necessary Authority

Delegates need to be able to access the resources to complete the task. This may be account information, personnel, or specialized machines.

Grant the delegate the authority they need to progress. This lets you take your mind off the delegated task to focus on other work.

5. Give Praise and Feedback as You Go

Don't micromanage. Instead, have periodic check-ins with your delegate. Make sure to offer praise and encouragement regarding the parts of the task that are going well. Make sure feedback is concrete.

Successful Delegation Can Be Taught

Delegation doesn't have to feel overwhelming. Ultimately, successful delegating comes down to core principles:

  • Conceptual clarity
  • Thoughtful consideration
  • Communication
  • Authority
  • Periodic feedback

Learn task delegation strategies – and more leadership skills – with us. Leadership is a learned skill and something almost anyone can become good at. Would you be opposed to finding out more about being a great leader?

Why not set up a time to talk? We’ll help you discover ways to grow into the leader you want to be. You’ll take away excellent insights and understand a great deal more about what it takes to be a good leader.

Best of all, the only cost is a few minutes out of your time. Get in touch: Brian Tracy USA: 877.433.6225 Email Me