Knowing how to delegate effectively is what sets apart stressed, overworked, and uninspiring leaders from those who love their jobs and motivate their teams to achieve great success.
As a leader, there’s always far more requests demanding your attention than you have time to do. If you feel like you’re the only ones who can tackle your workload, inevitably some things will slip through the cracks.
However, if you delegate tasks that don’t require your expertise and/or authority, you can focus on your most critical initiatives while ensuring that all of your miscellaneous projects and tasks get done. This creates five powerful benefits of effective delegation.
1) Grow Your Business Faster and More Reliably
Gallup found that leaders who are effective delegators achieved 112% higher growth rates than those who don’t delegate at all or who delegate poorly. Effective delegation provides such a huge advantage because it:
- Enables leaders to focus on the strategic activities that drive business growth
- Increases employee engagement by empowering junior employees to play a role in supporting key company initiatives
- Encourages employees to engage in continuous learning which boosts their morale and effectiveness
Together, the benefits of effective delegation create a company culture that motivates everyone to contribute their best work to the company.
Don’t know how to delegate effectively or what types of tasks you should offload? Download our free guide How to Use Delegation to Become a More Impactful Leader:
2) Focus on the Activities that Matter Most
A survey of 500 managers found that 36% of them spend an average of 3-4 hours per day on admin and other lower-level tasks including scheduling meetings and travel, generating reports, filing expenses, organizing their inbox, coordinating key parties, and doing other tedious tasks. An additional 23% of managers spend 5+ hours per day on those tasks.
This is a huge loss of productivity since that time spent on urgent but unimportant tasks pulls you away from the strategic activities that drive your success.
Effective delegation enables you to maximize your success since, instead of wasting time on admin tasks and low-value projects, you can focus on the strategic activities that require your expertise and authority.
Even if you only delegate half of your admin work and lower-level projects, you’ll still save an hour and a half to two hours per day which can translate into significant productivity gains.
Worried that your employees are too busy for you to delegate tedious tasks to them? Consider hiring a virtual assistant. They can reliably tackle all of your sudden and ongoing admin-related tasks so that you never have to worry about doing them.
Download our guide to learn how a virtual assistant can help you:
3) Create Learning Opportunities that Improve Retention
Sitel Group’s Future of Work and Employee Learning Report found that 37% of employees would quit their jobs if they were not given opportunities to learn new skills. Delegating new tasks is an easy and effective way to retain your growth-driven employees since it gives them the experiences they’re looking for and requires minimal effort on your part.
Most managers avoid delegating higher-level tasks to employees because they’re afraid that the individual is going to do it wrong and they’ll have to spend more time fixing the mistakes than they would have if they completed the task themselves.
However, if you give clear guidelines about what you’re looking for and delegate to dedicated employees, they’ll likely succeed. The same report found that 83% of employees prefer learning through hands-on experiences and will teach themselves the skills they need to tackle new projects.
So, whenever you need extra time to focus on a critical initiative, offload some of your smaller projects to junior employees who are eager to learn new skills and prove their value to the company.
4) Assess Your Team’s Promotion Potential
Choosing who to promote can be extremely challenging because being successful at one position often isn’t a reliable indicator that an employee will be successful at a different one.
Delegation can solve this issue by giving you the opportunity to test multiple employees’ skills prior to entering the selection process. The key is to have all of the senior members of your team delegate small projects to your junior team members on an ongoing basis.
Doing this ensures that as soon as one of your senior employees leaves, they can make an objective recommendation for who is the best fit for replacing them. It can also minimize some of the politics surrounding promotions.
Be aware that your senior employees may not know how to delegate effectively. Before you instruct them to start delegating to junior employees, coach them on the following:
- What kinds of projects are appropriate to delegate
- How to give clear guidelines for projects
- Who they should delegate to
- How often they delegate to each junior person (make sure they delegate equally to everyone)
The upfront work to coach them will be well worth the effort since not only will it give you a plan for when your senior employees move on but, it will also empower them to be more productive since they can spend less time on lower value tasks.
5) Improve Your Relationships with Employees
Often, delegation is just viewed as a way for leaders to reduce their workload. However, it’s also a powerful way for leaders to improve their relationships with employees. People crave validation that their managers respect them and entrusting people with key tasks and information is a great way of doing that.
Not only does the validation from delegated tasks improve morale, it also makes them more receptive to their managers.
Research shows that when managers effectively delegate tasks on a regular basis, employees are more likely to seek feedback and act on the advice they receive. This behavior is driven by employees’ desire to meet their managers’ expectations so that they are continuously trusted to handle important work.
Become an Effective Delegator
Download our free guide How to Use Delegation to Be a More Impactful Leader to learn:
- What kinds of tasks you should delegate
- Who you should delegate too
- How to set up the people you delegate to for success
About the Author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.