There’s a lot of work to do before the quarter closes, and your team is stressed to the max. But stress doesn’t negate the need to hit your targets, so you have to find a solution. What’s the best way to drive your team toward success without exacerbating burnout?
Top leaders know that the secret to success on even the leanest teams is task delegation. With thoughtful planning, awareness of your colleagues’ strengths, and a well-considered approach, you, too, can reap the rewards.
1. It Lets Team Members Share the Load
The “many hands make light work” adage is as applicable during the workday as it is while volunteering on the weekend. Things are just easier when you don’t do them alone.
Aside from the obvious advantage of having more hands and brains on the job, colleagues can keep each other on task. Accountability through visual cues, shared deadlines, and true two-person efforts can help maintain project momentum.
Insightful project management requires leaders to be aware of how best to structure project teams and breakout groups. Pair a senior developer, marketer, or salesperson with a junior one to encourage peer training and hands-on learning. Junior employees can improve their skills while valuable institutional knowledge can be passed on as the work is completed.
2. Everyone Can Play to Their Strengths
Certain types of work just come easier to some people than others. A communications professional may thrive when tasked with creating lively copy, while a business analyst shines when digging into details.
Your team members can do more and higher-quality work when you take their strengths and aptitudes into account as you divide the workload. Use your regular one-on-one meetings to better understand your team members’ core interests and career goals. When you have a clear understanding of their workplace superpowers, you can delegate tasks that play to their strengths.
Consequently, team members will likely have an easier time completing their assigned work since it’s a better match for their skills. While a perfect fit isn’t always possible, aim to pair team members with work that helps them grow. Be transparent about why and how you’re making assignments and celebrate meaningful contributions and growth.
3. Even the Busiest Teams Can Avoid Burnout
Hiring is tough right now. Many organizations are working with a fraction of the team members they’re used to, and people are feeling it. While the best solution would be to immediately bring top talent on board, this may not be not realistic. You might have to resign yourself to making the best use of the employees you have.
Part of this involves making task delegation as friction-free as possible. With project management software, you and your team members get an at-a-glance view of project tasks and who’s responsible for them. In a few clicks, you can spot overlapping priorities, potential roadblocks, and over-scheduling.
This allows you to adjust workloads with ease, communicating updated due dates without sending another email. Team members can more confidently elevate scheduling risks when all deliverables and milestones are made clearly visible. When teams have transparent scheduling and delegated tasks, they can easily shift even when staffing is tight.
4. Final Products Reflect Your Team’s Collaboration
The group project you ended up doing all by yourself in high school shouldn’t be a scenario that’s repeated in the workplace. Instead, teams with delegated work can enjoy the results and successes of a true group effort. After all, aren’t the individual skills each person contributes the reason they’re on the team in the first place?
When teams collaborate, the final result is simply better. Tired eyes may miss a bug, while fresh ones can identify errors that could otherwise jeopardize your delivery date. When you delegate work among your team, point out this added benefit and how it can help all of you win.
Once you’ve met your delivery date and gotten your customers’ seal of approval, you’ll know whom to thank. Your cohesive team, which has collaborated and shared the responsibility of the project, will be reflected in the end product. When members share the workload, they also feel a greater sense of ownership and pride in their accomplishments. High morale, trust in their team, and the momentum gained from a job well done carry over to what’s next.
Fine-Tune Your Delegation Skills as You Lead Teams and Projects
Leaders develop their skill sets just as their direct reports do — over time and through shared experiences. As you integrate into managing your team and their projects, lean on trusted leaders within your organization. While there’s no “right” way to delegate work, there are best practices that your colleagues can offer. Take time to understand their approach, what’s worked, and what you might apply as you develop your style.
When you’re ready to launch your new delegation techniques with your team, share your goals before assigning work. Bring them into the conversation about what you hope to accomplish and how you’ll check the effectiveness of your approach. Leave plenty of time for questions and conversation, as your team members’ input can offer new insight. Treat this adjustment as a strategic organizational change, with opportunities for feedback and enhancements over time. When your team buys in, they’ll confidently take on their assignments, contributing to your team’s success.
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