Delegating effectively - checklist

Reviewed by Astan Morarji, NewCoLegal.

Delegating effectively - checklist

It's not possible to do everything yourself - and it isn't good for employee satisfaction either. Here's how to delegate tasks successfully.

  • Review each task on your to-do list. Consider the objectives and deadline and whether the task is part of a broader role or set of recurring tasks you wish to delegate.
  • Aim to delegate a complete activity, which will motivate an employee and produce job satisfaction when successfully executed.
  • Assess the skills, knowledge, resources, influence and any other requirements for the task.
  • Consider the strengths, weaknesses, aspirations and existing workload of employees - choose the employee to delegate to.
  • Identify the benefits for that employee - for example, learning new skills, added variety in the workload or a step up in career progression.
  • Assess the drawbacks of delegating the task - or example, the time you will need to commit to handing over and supporting the task, and the risk of failure.
  • Sell the benefits of undertaking the task to the employee, explain the objectives and specify your requirements, address any concerns.
  • Agree the extent to which you will be involved, and clarify where responsibility lies. Note that you retain ultimate responsibility.
  • Agree the schedule and deadlines. Clarify to what extent, if any, you will need to review work in progress or be involved in decisions.
  • Provide any support and resources the employee requires, such as training or access to information.
  • Inform other relevant employees; explain that the employee will be acting on your authority and solicit their cooperation.
  • Liaise as the task progresses; encourage the employee to approach you with any problems, but avoid unwanted interference.
  • Review the completed task; assess what the employee has learnt, and any weaknesses which have been highlighted and should be tackled.
  • Review how effective your delegation skills were; identify and improve your contribution to any problems (eg poor communication or support).

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