A Delegator’s Troubleshooting Guide


Delegating tasks is one of the most efficient ways managers can ease their burden and also involve employees in important organizational work. While it is usually out of necessity that managers pass work on to their employees, those employees on the receiving end tend to feel a greater sense of responsibility and engagement – which is beneficial to them, their manager and the company as a whole.

However, as a manager, you may be weary of problems that could arise when delegating responsibilities to your employees.

The below chart provides potential solutions to concerns you may have about delegating important work to subordinates. This way you can delegate strategically and effectively, gain time for other projects, and provide your employees a meaningful opportunity to become involved in important work.


Potential Solution

Delegating small tasks takes longer than completing the task on your own time.

Train a subordinate so that you will not need to deal with the same small tasks in the future. A small amount of training pays off in the future.

You are worried that by delegating tasks, you are opening the way for mistakes and future problems.

Delegating responsibility is meant to be a useful tool through which you can develop your employees. Instead of avoiding delegation, use it in conjunction with feedback and adequate training to prevent future problems.

Delegating tasks to subordinates makes you feel replaceable.

Delegating and motivating employees to accomplish department-wide goals is a skill that is valued in many workplaces. A manager who can delegate effectively is extremely valuable to a company.

You are afraid that you will lose the skills or competencies necessary to accomplish the tasks that you delegate.

Delegating is meant to develop other employees and provide them with the necessary skills that managers previously used to accomplish a given task. Instead of focusing on past tasks, work on developing your own skills as an effective manager.

Some of your employees do not have enough work, while others are often too busy to handle more projects.

You may be delegating to your most trusted subordinates more than other employees. Make sure that you offer all of your employees the chance to prove themselves through delegated responsibilities. This will free up the more experienced employees for the most pressing projects or assignments.

Your employees won't produce the same level of results that you can.

Every employee and manager has a unique way in which they do their job. Ensure that your employees are adequately trained before delegating more difficult tasks. Provide them constructive feedback when they finish so that they can improve continuously.

You were assigned this project directly from your superior.

If your superior expects you to complete an assignment, be sure to do so. Otherwise, check with your boss to see if you can involve other employees in completing the task. Remind him or her of delegating’s efficiency and development potential.

Your employees have problems sticking to deadlines.

Review established procedures for setting deadlines with your employees. Make corrections to the process if necessary, yet hold your employees accountable so that they meet deadlines in the future.