The six steps of successful delegation

As a manager of a team of people, you understand the importance of good delegation. But to reap the rewards of successful delegation you need to know when and how to hand over responsibility for tasks.

Our six steps are designed to help you successfully delegate the right tasks to the right people, in the right way – whether it’s in the office or at home as a working mum. So your team (or family) feel empowered and motivated, and you can relax and focus your time and energies elsewhere, knowing you can trust them to do a good job.

Six steps of delegation

To successfully delegate tasks to members of your team:

  1. Choose the right task and prepare it for delegation – make sure you choose a task that someone else can do, will help free up your time and that you can pass over in a state that someone can easily pick up, understand and complete.
  2. Explain the task clearly – when handing over a task, explain what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and when it needs to be done by. Give advice and tips if necessary, and outline any expectations you have.
  3. Check they understand – before leaving your team member to complete the task on their own, make sure they’re completely clear about what they need to do. Ask them to confirm the deliverables and ask if they have any questions or need any further clarification or help.
  4. Hand over responsibility – when you delegate a task you need to hand over individual responsibility with it (even if you, as their manager assume overall responsibility). So you also need to be clear that they are committed to the success of the task and understand what is expected of them.
  5. Give help if needed but don’t ‘undelegate’ – if a team member gets into difficulty with their task you can step in with help and support, or give them access to more resources to help them, but don’t just take the task back off them. Not only will this leave them feeling demoralised and worthless, but it robs them of a chance to learn new skills, and you of the opportunity to train a team member who can help you more in future.
  6. Reward success – when your team member successfully completes a task, acknowledge their achievements and highlight the skills and experience they’ve gained as a result. Share any rewards or praise that come as a result and build on their success with increased responsibility where possible and relevant.