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14 Ways To Delegate Work More Effectively And Get More Done

Delegating work to others can hugely benefit your companies productivity, but you’ve got to do it the right way.

There is more to delegating than simply asking other people to do your work, if you want to delegate correctly you need a level of mutual respect between yourself and the delegatee. You need to receive feedback and have the right tools in place to monitor quality. Here are 14 ways to delegate work more effectively and get more done right from the mouths of industry leaders.

#1 Only assign tasks to one person

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Don’t assign a task to a group, assign it to an individual. When we added the “Next Steps” feature to our meeting agenda app (it allows you to assign an action item and deadline to a meeting participant), we considered whether we should make it possible to assign an item to multiple people. The overwhelming response from our employees and customers was that any task should only ever have one owner.

Why? Because handing something off to more than one person means that you’re diluting the responsibility, meaning there’s less of a chance that it will get completed on time. If you really aren’t able to assign a task to one person, it likely means that task needs to be broken down into more tasks before it’s assigned. Take another look at the project itself before you delegate it out. You’ll be happy you took a little extra time.

Contributors: Brennan McEachran from SoapBox

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#2 Use Standard Operating Procedures

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Whether delegating work to an employee, Virtual Assistant (VA), or volunteer providing a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) with a standardized set of instructions will make the delegation easier particularly if the SOP contains step-by-step details and screenshots on how to perform the task(s). Use the SOP as a training tool and reference until the task becomes rote. 

Contributors: Melissa St. Clair from Paper Chaser

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#3 Use the power of the internet to delegate more

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That’s right. A global independent workforce is emerging and making their services available through online marketplaces. Harness the talent from different markets by delegating through professional services marketplaces.

Contributors: Tom Ray from MeasureMatch

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#4 Write-On Glass

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Sometimes, the simple options are the best. A lot of offices make use of glass panels that employees and employers can write on. We, for example, use write-on glass panels to assign tasks to each member of the team! All we need to do when we want to track what is happening? Look at the board and ask the employee or employer in question. 

Contributors: Ryan Jones from Advanced Commercial Interiors

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#5 Online Software

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Online software is a great way to delegate work as it allows companies to track who has been given what work, the time and date they were assigned each task, as well as the task they have done. There are great free and paid options out there such as Trello. Companies can set up teams, and even an entire company hierarchy to allow them to set, monitor and complete tasks. All from the comfort of their internet browsers! 

Contributors: Ryan Jones from Advanced Commercial Interiors

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#6 Know Your Team

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Delegation is an important strategy to efficient project management, but it's not the only step. It's not enough to simply delegate tasks. When you get to know your team you're able to asses different team members skills, preferences, weakness' and efficiency rates. From there you are able to allocate tasks to the best candidate, rather than the closest person next to you at the time. This not only means that these tasks will be performed to their fullest potential, but it also allows you to work to your best, knowing that your delegated tasks are in good hands.

Contributors: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

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#7 Social Media

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Whilst it might seem a very unusual idea, social networking and messaging sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp can make it very easy for companies to delegate work more effectively. WhatsApp is a great example as it allows companies to set up groups of people such as… Projects Team, Line Managers and Accounts. You can then simply message members of the team tasks. That way, everyone who needs to see it can see it. 

Contributors: Ryan Jones from Advanced Commercial Interiors

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#8 Create an internal structure

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It is important to create an internal structure when delegating tasks at your business. Set forth a strong hierarchy for your employees as far as the assignment of tasks go and be sure to utilize a management software such as JIRA to keep track of issue progression. Upper levels of the hierarchy should only be finalizing tasks and completing issues that only they are able to handle.

Contributors: Michael Freedman from DialMyCalls 

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#9 Learn To Trust

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In order to delegate work more effectively, it is important to learn how to relinquish control of certain tasks. This will require you to learn how to trust people to get the task done right. This trust can start by creating some type of priority system for the tasks that need to be completed. Some tasks you will keep on your plate and the rest can be delegated to trusted workers. Finally, when delegating tasks make sure you are using your worker's strengths and avoiding their weaknesses. 

Contributors: Andrew Rawson from Traliant

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#10 Create a Measurable System

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Once the employees have been selected and the tasks have been delegated, the last step is to create a system that will allow you and them to track progress. Set milestones that are challenging but attainable and don’t forget to show your appreciation when they are successful. Incentives are a great way to reward your employees when they go above and beyond to help you out. One way to show your appreciation that is sure to drive production is to bring in an outside service like a masseuse or a personal trainer for a day.

Contributors: Stuart Ridge from VitaMedica 

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#11 Personality Assessment Tool

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The best way to delegate work is to assess your employees. A personality assessment tool will help you recognize their strengths and their weaknesses. Giving a task to a person who has no strength in that task is useless, so imagine then tapping into a strong strength of a person and seeing outstanding results, you will then rely on that person for that type of task more readily and have faith it will get done correctly.

Contributors: Lisa Gessert from Organizing.Buzz 

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#12 How, what, why approach

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To delegate tasks and initiatives effectively to my team members I use the how, what, why approach. It's important to start with why Why am I asking you to do this? Why does it matter if we can't effectively and what is going to happen to our company if we can't? It's important to start with why because when people understand why they are doing what they are doing trust emerges across the team.

When trust emerges so does discretionary effort and accountability across your team members. Then I explain how and what the task entails and lay out a clear set of expectations and tactical means to execute the initiative that I am delegating to them. That way everybody is clear as to what you're trying to accomplish, how we are going to accomplish it, and why we are doing what we are doing.

Contributors: Zach Hendrix from GreenPal

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#13 A Step by Step Process

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Step 1 - Create A Short Outline: An outline may take a little extra time upfront, but it is absolutely worth it to make sure the project is done right the first time. Also, if done correctly, you won't need to make an outline next time because your team will already know what to do! Instructions: Lay out all sections of the project, and how you expect them to be completed. Adding details such as tools, sources, and references are very helpful! Keep it short! It should only take you 15 minutes to make a successful outline.)

Step 2 - Let The Team Take Responsibility: Once my team has the outline, I let them divvy up the work themselves. Not only does this help them learn independence, but it forces them to work together. I find that this approach aids in team building, creates office rapport, and in the long run saves time because when this type of project comes up again, your team already knows how to execute it!

Contributors: Lauren Deutsch from Cars2Charities 

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#14 Provide Training

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Provide enough training so that those employees can achieve success, but do not be overbearing. An occasional mistake must be expected and tolerated. 

Contributors: Timothy G. Wiedman from Doane University

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Written by Zak Parker

Article Writer, Pianist, Internet Marketing Enthusiast; I delve into a variety of creative mediums and take advantage of what they have to offer. With experience in SEO, Dropshipping, Affiliate Marketing and Advertising, I'm a plethora of general marketing knowledge and enjoy helping those new to the game get their foot through the door. I'm always excited to hear of the latest method, or if the chance presents itself, create my own.

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