How to Delegate – Getting Started

how to delegateDo you want to delegate but you’re not sure how to get started? 
In my blog ‘What is Delegation?’ I explained that some managers don’t delegate because they don’t see the value. Some managers tell me they do see the value but they don’t delegate tasks as often as they’d like because they just don’t know where to start
Here’s a 3 step ‘how to delegate‘ process that can help to identify:
What you could delegate
Who you could delegate to  
How much of a task you could delegate
(Because half the battle of working out how to delegate is just making that start!)      


The first step in how to delegate is to identify the tasks that would be suitable for delegation. Try this exercise:  
1. Make a list of all the tasks you currently perform
2. Delete from the list the tasks you must do yourself
These may be tasks which:
Are a requirement of your job which no one else can do 
You are ‘legally’ responsible for carrying out
Only you have the expertise and experience for and it would be impossible or      impractical to help your employee’s to gain that expertise and experience.
3. The tasks that have not been deleted from the list are those that you potentially could delegate totally or partially
4. Ask this crucial question:
Which of these tasks, if delegated, will free up the most time, so that I can concentrate on those tasks only I can do?  


The second step of how to delegate is to identify the employee who would be best suited to undertake the delegated task 
In identifying the most suitable employee may want to use some of the following selection 
Spare capacity (i.e. they’ve got some spare time)
Best fit – in job terms (the task would be a logical extension of their current work)
The employee has a special interest in the task
The delegated task may help to meet one of the employee’s development needs
The employee already has the skills/knowledge to complete the task.


Many of the managers, team leaders and supervisors I work with have been taught that the only way to successfully delegate is to delegate the task, the whole task and nothing but the whole task. The idea, I guess, is that unless you delegate the whole task your employee won’t feel responsible for its achievement. The problem is, for some tasks it’s just too risky to do this and so managers don’t delegate at all. Here’s another option
The idea here is to consider the aptitude and potential of your employee and decide upon the degree of delegation. Like this

Degree 1 Full Delegation:

The employee takes over the task fully (the traditional approach)


Degree 2 Shared Delegation:

You and the employee share the task and agree who will be responsible for which parts.  This is useful when the employee is not ready to take full responsibility but can do elements of it now and learn others later

Degree 3 Contributory Delegation:

At this stage the employee is not ready to take on a large part of the task but may contribute to some part of the task 

How to Delegate Summary

Delegation is a very effective way of freeing up time for you so that you can focus on ‘high value’ activities (like the ones listed here). It’s also a great way to develop and grow your employees
Now you’ve got the ‘what’, the ‘who’, and the ‘how much’ sorted out you are well on your way to actually getting started on delegation

Would you like to learn – In just 10 minutes! – some new strategies for how to delegate?

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


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