Delegation is the Missing Link to Leadership
New leaders often find themselves in a peculiar limbo—stuck between rolling up their sleeves in their new position and getting work done, and determining what team members can be tasked with moving certain projects forward. It is not unusual to see new leaders opt to prove themselves by simply completing assignments and "getting the work done", rather than delegating tasks.
While the transition may be a challenge, new leaders might step back and look at their position—and the team—from another perspective, determining what members can take over certain projects to further the team goals.
WHY IS DELEGATION ESSENTIAL?
To put it simply, delegation promotes efficiency.
The notion that delegating work equates to passing off unsavory tasks to someone else is dead. With increasing workloads, smaller teams and changing work environments, delegation is key to ensuring that the team is as efficient and streamlined as possible.
New leaders who are concerned about task distribution find that delegation can free up their schedule for the high priority projects that are often passed over much to quickly due to workload. Long-term projects such as strategic planning, internal audits, brand development and other critical activities tend to fall to the wayside when confronted with more pressing day-to-day tasks that require immediate attention.
Through task delegation (of routine tasks in particular), leaders can reduce their workload enough to tackle larger tasks at hand. In turn, leaders can further identify the strengths of each team member, further informing them of where to delegate future projects and ensure maximum productivity.
Delegation strengthens teams and develops individual members.
Collaboration is a huge component of every successful team. When employees and colleagues are delegated tasks from their team lead, not only are they empowered in their position, but they are able to work with each other (and the team lead) to complete the project, gaining knowledge along the way.
According to a survey conducted by PwC, 77% of global workers are ready to learn new skills. Leaders can meet this desire for knowledge through delegation. As employees are presented with tasks that align with their position, team members continue their paths of professional development, learning new skills and taking on challenges that garner resiliency. It is ideal to have several team members that are knowledgeable about a broader spectrum of tasks to avoid disruptions due to absences, promotions, and department changes.
Delegation increases motivation.
Employees want leaders who have confidence in their team. Entrusting team members with consistent projects and important deadlines offers reassurance that the work they do has value and motivation to keep the status quo. When employees are offered the opportunity to take ownership of their work, leaders can find that not only does productivity increase, but job satisfaction amongst their team members increases as well. A motivated team is a happier team.
Delegation is a critical skill of new leaders and is an essential ingredient to their success. While the unknowns may be abundant in a new leadership role, stepping back to assess your team and placing high importance on delegation can yield efficiency and increase team strength and motivation.