Many people hang onto jobs that they could easily delegate. The first step to improve your skills is to recognize which jobs these are and to think about who could possibly do them. You can call this the “What jobs I could delegate” list.
To produce the “what jobs could I delegate” list write down the ten jobs that you do regularly each week on the left-hand side of the page. Then place five columns to the right, the first headed “name,” the second “without training” and the third “with training,” the fourth “training details” and the fifth “time saving.” An example of the layout of the list is given below.
“What jobs could I delegate list”
Consider each job you have placed on the list. Is there any member of your team who could be delegated part or all of that task either right away or with some short term training? Be honest. If there is, write them down in the “name” column next to the relevant job. If they could take responsibility at once, check the “without training” box or, if they require some short-term training, check the “with training” box. The “training details” is to give you an indication of how long the training may take to raise the person to the right level and who will do it. Will it be you, more experienced team members, or will you send them to a training seminar?
Finally, indicate the number of hours each week that this task takes you and therefore the number of hours saved by delegating it.
When you have run through all the regular jobs you do, see which you could delegate and add up the total time that could be saved. However, remember that you can only delegate if they have time to take on the extra responsibility. You will probably have found that you can delegate about 10 percent of your total workload – if the figure is lower, you need to delegate more; if it is much higher, either you are working effectively or you aren’t being as honest as you should be!
You can do this exercise on a regular basis – possibly annually or every six months – because as your team develop, they learn new skills and build up experience, so in time you should be able to allot more tasks to them. This exercise can be particularly useful if you have a team made up of some experienced members and some inexperienced ones.
What about tasks that you already delegate? Are you delegating effectively by using the right style for the situation? In practical terms, do you give the person performing the task the maximum responsibility that they can take for that job. If you aren’t, you may be wasting time and demotivating them by over-supervising them. We all tend to over-supervise, even if it is only because the individual was inexperienced at first and we have not realized that they can now do the job at hand without our constant guidance.
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