As an employer/supervisor, how do you empower your employees to take ownership of the tasks that they have been assigned? This is a challenging but rewarding aspect of being an effective leader that many people struggle with. By ownership, I mean full and final responsibility for the completion of a task or project. I can assure you that if you can provide this autonomy and your staff willingly embrace it, your organization will be well on the way to success. Every time an employee steps up and takes full ownership of a task, it allows you as the supervisor, the luxury of setting your sights on new and exciting assignments.
Effective delegation is not always easy. It requires a concerted effort, certainly in the early days. Delegation includes both the assignment and the skills to tackle and effectively complete the task.
So how do you get started?
At the start of an assignment, especially with a new team member, it is best to break the assignment down into smaller tasks with deadline dates. You can review these smaller tasks as they are completed but don’t stand over their shoulder. Encourage them to come to you with problems (as well as solutions!) and feedback but don’t check in with them constantly. You have to give your employees freedom to assert the ownership that you are giving them. This is often the hardest habit to break for managers and supervisors.
As the supervisor, you must be prepared to accept and endorse a final product that may not resemble everything you would have included on your own. If we are over critical and/or make a multitude of changes, it will be a demotivating experience for the team member. This is your chance to build up the confidence of your team member and to support their work. This is vitally important in the process of staff development and team dynamics.
Top Delegation Tips
Mastering effective delegation is not easy but it is very rewarding! Here are my top 5 tips to help you build your effective delegation skills.
- Break the assignment down into small tasks with specific deadlines.
- Stick to the deadlines that you set.
- Provide support as required but don’t step in until you are asked.
- Encourage your employee to present solutions for each problem that they bring to you.
- Praise the employee for the work that was delivered – even if it was not how you would have done it!
Micheal Burch, CPA, CA, CFP