One of the most interesting things about learning how to delegate (and why, so often, delegation doesn’t work as well as it should) is that managers forget to tell everyone who is affected what has happened. When you have gone through the process of delegation (see some tips in my blog ’10 Quick Tips for How to Delegate’) and your employee is ready to get started, you need to tell everyone who needs to know about the changed circumstances
In short, you need to make sure that everybody is clear about who is doing what!
How to Delegate:Telling the World
It may be as simple as sending an email to your colleagues saying:
‘As from 1 July Carol Morgan will be dealing with employee queries on expenses claims. Please ensure any queries are sent to Carol either by email at CarolM@whatever.com or telephone Carol on ext 2256’
For a more complex delegation (for example you may be delegating some client management task to your employee) you may want to call the client to explain; what you are delegating, to whom, why and how this will affect them
The obvious intention here is that people will go directly to the employee for information, with questions, with data etc. They will then leave you alone, allowing you the time and space to get on with the kind of work only you can do
How to Delegate: Walking the Talk
There’s little point in delegating a task (and ‘telling the world’ about it) if, when someone mistakenly contacts you instead of your employee, you become involved in that task
Let’s say, shortly after you delegate the expense claims queries to Carol, Jim (Sales Manager and good buddy) pops into your office to ask you why his expense claim has been held up. You might be able (with a little poking around) to answer Jim’s query and it’s tempting to do so – but you shouldn’t. What you should do is refer him to Carol. Why?
Because involving yourself in a task you have delegated gives mixed messages:
- To Jim and anyone else he talks to – ‘Don’t bother going to Carol. I know she’s supposed to be looking after expense claim queries now but if I were you I’d still go to Andy – he’ll sort it out quicker’
- To your employee Carol –‘I don’t know why Andy bothered delegating dealing with expense claim queries to me. People are still going to him with queries and he’s still dealing with the queries. What was the point of all that then?’
How to Delegate: The Easy Trip Ups
It’s so easy, when we’re learning how to delegate, to get tripped up – to either forget to tell the people who need to know about the delegation or to get involved in a task you have delegated. As ever, with people management, it’s about adopting good practice – and then sticking with it!
Then why not take a look at my kindle book ‘Learn in Just 10 Minutes…How to Delegate. A step-by-step guide to effective delegation’
‘I would recommend this book to all new managers who want to learn how to delegate and experienced managers who want a quick refresher’ (Nora K)
This book is for managers who want a proven step-by-step guide to effective delegation – and who only have 10 minutes to read it! Check it out on Amazon HERE