I’ve been getting asked a lot in the past few weeks: OK, how do I delegate effectively? On today’s show, how to delegate work and the seven steps you should follow if you want to get the best results for your team and the organization.
I spoke about the broad framework for empowering others back in Episode #53: Get Results From People With Three Simple Steps
Broadly, three areas we need to consider in delegation:
- Planning/expectation setting (what this show and the seven steps below are about)
- Regular check-in/accountability
The Seven Steps of Delegation:
1. What does success look like?
- Time = define the deadline and major milestones
- Cost = staff time, budget, and resources
- Quality = what the customer (internal or external) expects the work to produce
2. Who is the right person?
- Who is the best person for the job?
- What kind of resources do they have?
- Who do you need to develop? Think succession planning.
3. Communicate expectations
- Speak in detail to the three areas from step one: Time, cost, and quality.
- Put it in writing, especially if someone is new or doesn’t have lots of experience.
- The amount of visibility and complexity of the project indicates how much time you’ll spend here.
- Error on the side of too much communication, when in doubt.
4. Staff member plans project
- They need to have ownership over their work.
- Autonomy is key for engagement. See Daniel Pink's book Drive* for background on why this is critical for engagement.
- If there’s a way it has to be done, get them the training on how that is done.
- If not, let them come to you with the plan.
5. Review the project plan
- Review to see if it meets the three outcomes you established in step #1 and communicated in step #3.
- If there are major gaps, address those.
- If there are minor issues, resist the temptation to make the plan better, unless asked.
6. Establish milestones
- What’s going to make you comfortable as a manager?
- Factors you will want to consider: size, scope, visibility, and experience level of the person.
- Your goal is to hit the sweet spot between micro-management and county-club management.
- No feedback is worse than negative feedback. See episode #79 for a detailed explanation from Michelle Smith from O.C. Tanner on why this is the case.
7. Provide access to resources
- What budget do they need?
- Who do they need to be connected with?
- What internal politics do you need to help them navigate?
- What equipment, rooms, resources, and lab time are necessary?
- At the very least, make them aware of gaps, even if you can't address or fund every resource.
Welcome to those from the Lift Coaching Plan: Become A More Respected Manager
Thank you to Jewel Gaspard, William Leighty, Einar Lund Sorensen, Hal Plitt, Ian Williamson, Russell VanHoose, Karen Sato, Kristie Moore, Sumedha Arya, Alecia Yancik, Angela Robb, Caroline Doran, Luca Gandolfo, Thomas Rackman, David Jones, Tara Carlson, Jose Torres, Kumar Vs, Lisa Beaty, Paco Lolo, and Ted Wawrzyniak who’ve subscribed to my weekly update this past week.
A special thank you to Jaime Sosa for your very kind written review on iTunes. If this show has been valuable to you as well, please leave a written review on iTunes or Stitcher by visiting coachingforleaders.com/itunes or coachingforleaders.com/stitcher