The whole purpose of having a hierarchy (managers and lower-level employees) at the office is so leaders can have help in getting work done.
One of the most essential tasks of any successful leader is the ability to delegate.
If that is the case, why are so many managers not able to delegate their workload?
Whether they are scared to hand off the responsibility or simply don’t have the skills to delegate, failure to do so can significantly impact your work and life.
Here are 3 telltale signs that you need to delegate more:
You Work Longer Hours Than Your Staff
“A classic sign of insufficient delegation is that you are working long hours and feel totally indispensable, while your staff isn’t terribly energised and keeps strangely regular hours,” according to says Carol Walker, the president of Prepared to Lead, a consulting firm that focuses on developing young leaders.
By collecting information from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and the Labour Force Survey (LFS), one source found a big gap between UK workers in elementary positions, who worked roughly the same hours as they were paid for, and managers, who worked an average of 7.6 hours more per week than they were paid to.
While it’s wrong to ask your staff to work longer hours than you, remember that you are a team.
If you find yourself at the office every day when everyone else has gone home, it’s time to hand off some of your tasks to others.
You Always Offer Help
While it’s true that a manager should be involved in their employees’ tasks, there is a level of involvement that is healthy, and one that is unhealthy.
By deciding which tasks would suit which employees, providing clear instructions and checking in regularly, you empower your staff to be accountable, think on their own and be responsible.
However, if you are the type of manager who is constantly saying, “I can help,” or “Let me know if you have questions,” you are likely not delegating efficiently.
Instead of providing answers to your staff, challenge them to think on their own and present their ideas to you.
Soon, they will feel confident enough to tackle their own challenges and leave you free to concentrate on more pressing tasks.
You Don’t Trust Your Staff
Ask yourself whether you truly trust your staff or not.
One barrier to effective delegation is the thought that it’s easier to do it yourself.
However, this is a wrong attitude to take.
If you don’t think your staff is capable of doing their job, you need to train them or find new staff.
A manager without a trusted team is no manager, they are simply another employee that adds work on to themselves while their staff sits around disempowered and bored.
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 11 August, 2017