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10 Steps to Delegation

Good delegatory skills have lots of advantages. However poor delegation increases stress levels, fuels dissatisfaction and low performance can result. Very often it is the lack of delegation skills that is the root cause.

The 10 steps to delegation can be a useful tool when passing on tasks to others. Staff may not thank you for it but they will appreciate the fact that you’ve taken the time and trouble to get it right.

1. Identify the task

Be clear about what you need to delegate and if it’s a big task it may need to be ‘bite sized’.

2. Who will be delegates to?

Consider if they are right for the task at this stage. What’s their level of skill, motivation and experience? Balance the advantages of delegation with how much development (and your time) they might need.

3. Specify the task

A clear explanation of the task itself. Think what you need to tell them up front.

"Nothing is particularly hard if you divide it into small steps”


4. Explain why

Sell the benefits to the delegatee. What will they gain from the task? How will it help you and your department? Even if it’s a boring task, tell them how appreciative you will be.

5. Specify outcomes

What will success in the task look like? How will they recognise this?

6. Establish completion date

Agree  a target date/ time, stressing any mini targets for more complex tasks

7. Discuss how it will be achieved

Involve the delegatee if appropriate. Ask them what their approach will be. It can get more buy-in from staff members. Also discuss any barriers to achievement and how these can be overcome. For example you may need to extend deadlines on existing tasks to allow for this new one; or perhaps some of their work needs to be re-allocated to others.

8. Identify resources required

9. Decide how/when progress will be monitored

This may depend on the difficulty of the task and the chance of it going wrong. Key ‘milestones’ could be identified to review task progress.

10. Establish who else needs to be informed

Use the 10 steps as a template to ensure that effective delegation takes place. Best of luck in your delegation!


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