As the Great Resignation/Great Reshuffle/“Quiet Quitting” trend continues, it is important to look at delegating. It is very common for employees to leave their company due to burnout, or because they feel a lack of ability to contribute. So, where should you start to improve this aspect of the employee experience? The first thing for employees at all levels to consider is what they need to let go of. Then, they should brainstorm why they don’t delegate. 

When deciding to delegate, use the following steps. 

Begin by analyzing your job. Look at your objectives, and what is expected of you and what tasks you actually do that relate to those things you are evaluated upon. Consider if anyone else do the task for the team. Also, for those things you do which no one can do, ask whether a team member could be trained to do it. Discuss this with your supervisor to avoid any areas where they feel it is inappropriate to delegate. 

Next, decide what to delegate. Once you have come up with a list from the analysis above, ask yourself which tasks you engage in most often. The more often you do something (particularly if it is quite routine), the more likely it is that you can delegate that task. In addition, look at areas that make you “over-specialized” and places where your team is more qualified than you are. Look at areas you dislike. Delegation isn’t meant to just to dump it on someone else, but it may be that someone on your team may love to do what you don’t like. Delegate some things that you do like as well. Try to delegate everything that is not a key/high priority for you. 

Now you will need to select the Right Person. Consider each of your team members’ interests, abilities, and developmental needs. Consider their schedules and any areas they have communicated they would like to grow. Consider their interest in this task or project. 

Next, plan the delegation. Before you actually ask the team member to accept this new responsibility, plan the meeting you will have with them. Make sure you have all the necessary details to answer any questions they may have. Be clear in advance on reasonable limits on authority, document the performance standard, and plan what the ongoing feedback loop will look like. Agree on how often you want a report or some kind of update and what should be included in that update. Plan any training or coaching necessary for this team member’s success. 

Finally, make the delegation. This is the meeting where you actually ask the team member to accept the new task or project. Schedule it in advance. Give them the opportunity to verbally commit to the task or effort. Discuss how they will have authority, be responsible, and be accountable. Focus on results versus methods. If you tell them how to do it, they are doing it for you. When you tell them what results are acceptable, you show that you trust their judgment. 

Don’t forget to follow up and celebrate through feedback! 

Keep in mind that there are two types of delegating – for results and for development:

  1. Delegating for results is a realigning of duties to ensure tasks are being completed by the right team member. This allows an organization to prevent burnout. 
  1. Delegating for development allows a manager to delegate in an effort to give an employee a challenge and opportunity to gain experience and knowledge for future growth. This allows an organization to increase employee engagement. 

Changing up tasks can go a long way in keeping employees engaged and helping them to grow. Take a look at opportunities to delegate today – and make some changes with intention!