Are you delegating work efficiently? Are your managers? What are the factors that lead to poor delegation habits and what can be done to more effectively empower others to get things done, boost team productivity and free up your time for higher value uses?
Delegation Hesitation Kills Productivity
An astounding 46% of companies fail to maximize the power of delegation according to a survey conducted by Institute for Corporate Productivity. Without delegation, resource, and productivity bottlenecks arise that limit the growth and profitability of your business.The survey cited a lack of encouragement and training to delegate as a primary contributor to lost productivity and the inability to scale the business. Nearly 50% of the companies surveyed were not confident about the way their teams handed delegation, yet less than 30% provided training to encourage and improve delegation skills.Without a culture of delegation and the accountability and support to necessary tackle delegated work, managers tend to get stuck in a cycle of bad habits that limit business growth. For example, a team leader who can’t accurately assess or develop the skills of their team might habitually assign the same work to the same person. And while that person has likely proven they can accomplish what needs to get done, repeatedly delegating to the same person comes at a cost. While short term productivity gains are realized, in time team members who do the same thing over and over develop work fatigue and performance suffers. Worse, failing to delegate the same kind of work to many people misses the opportunity to help others develop the necessary skills and confidence to handle the work–and that limits the ability to grow.Managers suffer too without many resources trained to execute certain tasks. If there’s only one person who can do the work, and that person is busy or out of the office, the manager must take on that work at the cost of other responsibilities and objectives.
The Delegation Tax
Delegation is intended to reduce bottlenecks and the effort put on an individual by distributing that work to others to perform. However delegation itself takes extra effort and time– a “tax” on delegation. Having the right tools to delegate work can help efficiently keep track of what’s been delegated and create a culture of accountability. The wrong tools for delegation can frustratingly eat up valuable time.Email or team messaging apps makes it very easy to delegate work. Just send a message. However email and messaging apps were never designed for task tracking or following-up on what’s been delegated. Sure, you can use them that way, but time gets quickly wasted hunting through old messages or sending new ones asking for status updates. Often managers will resort to manually tracking task status and project progress in a separate document or spreadsheet. However, that only adds more time and effort to the chore.Project management tools and task list software are efficient at tracking tasks. However, these often require additional effort on the communication side as they do less of a good job keeping everyone informed and in-sync as work progresses. The cumbersome workflows of these tools can be a chore unto themselves and not only eat up time, but create an overhead “tax” on delegated work.
Ease of Delegation and Task Tracking
It’s been our mission at TeamworkIQ to help managers and teams coordinate such work more efficiently. In fact, our original customer research asked one simple question: “How do you delegate work and track progress to make sure things get done right?” (BTW–that question was inspired by The Checklist Manifesto). Customers across many industries told us they were looking for a better way to do this. Email was not built for tracking work. Project management tools were too tedious and time consuming for everyone to use.Today, TeamworkIQ combines the ease of email to delegate work with the task tracking of project management tools and to do list apps — but it does it all in a smarter, simpler way. You simply type up who needs to do what and send it out through either the TeamworkIQ web app or by cc’ing TeamworkIQ on your email. Then, TeamworkIQ coordinates the rest, start to finish, delegating work, tracking progress and moving things forward while keeping everyone up to date on progress.With the “Delegation Tax” eliminated, it’s far less time consuming to realize the full benefits of delegation.
TeamworkIQ’s smart checklists also support business growth by providing teams and individuals with simple descriptions of business processes. The checklists not only serve to automatically coordinate and track the work, they also serve to document the steps to get something done. The checklist easily outlines standard operating procedures or steps in a recommended workflow to get things done and done well. Who needs to do what when and in what sequence is clear for all to see and understand. When processes are delegated to teams to execute, everyone can work from the same page and things go much more smoothly.With a culture that empowers managers and team members, clear communication and smart software to take the inefficiency out of delegation and clarity about what needs to get done, the business can grow more efficiently.