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Am I Delegating Enough?

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Written by  Andy Trainer – Tue 29 Jul 2014

Delegating is one of the most challenging skills for new managers.

Too many new (and experienced!) managers struggle to give up work and find themselves stressed and overworked.

Is this you?

Effective delegation is essential for effective management.

In this post I'm going to run through some classic signs of poor delegation and help you overcome them.

If you're struggling with your new management role or want to upskill before making the leap, come on our Management Skills for New Managers course which includes a session on delegation.

You're Stressed and Overworked

The most common effect of poor delegation is too much work, which leads to stress. 

You have the constant feeling of too much work to do and don't think that you can rely on anyone else - even though that's usually not the case.

This is especially hard to overcome if you've recently come from a team-member position where you're expected to complete every task you're given and not reach out for help.

The role of manager is different - it is your job to delegate the tasks to your team in the most effective manner.

Trying to complete all the work yourself can lead to mental and physical distress.

Delegate tasks so that your workload is manageable.

You're Not Meeting Deadlines

Regularly missing deadlines on projects? This is a classic sign of poor delegation.

By taking control of too many tasks on a project you are putting the project at risk.

At the start of the project you might think you can handle all the work and often think you're the best person for the job.

As other tasks get in the way and work piles up you start missing deadlines.

When starting a project (or simply assigning work for the week), make sure you're not piling too much on your plate.

New managers are prone to the expression 'eyes bigger than your stomach' which can seriously affect the quality of their work.

Delegate jobs so that projects can be completed within expected timeframes.

You're not Challenged

Moving up the career ladder is not just about job titles and pay.

You should be challenging yourself with new tasks and responsibilities.

If you stick to easy work instead of embracing new management challenges then you won't be learning and will find it hard to progress to the next level in your career.

Take the time to improve your Leadership Skills and ready yourself for the next step.

Delegate the work that you find easy and challenge yourself.

Missed Opportunities

It is likely that part of your role as manager is to seek new opportunities for your business.

If all of your time is spent on tasks that can be delegated then you will be missing a lot of opportunities.

This will be noticed by upper management and could seriously impact any future progression.

Delegate easy tasks so that you have time to seek opportunities.

Your Team is Underworked

A clear sign of an overloaded manager is a bored team.

You best staff will feel underappreciated and look for new opportunities elsewhere while other team members will be content with a free ride.

Your role is to keep your team motivated and the best way to do this is to keep them working and trust them with tasks that you would prefer to do yourself.

Unless your team is working at 100% capacity then you should never be overworked yourself.

Delegate to underworked employees to keep them motivated.

Your Team is not Challenged

It can be hard to trust your team with important tasks (especially as a new manager) but it is vital for encouraging team development.

You can quickly lose your best team members by keeping the most important and challenging tasks to yourself - especially if they see you struggling.

Another reason for not challenging team members is that upper management will see their progress and your job will be at stake. But remember, it's your job to nurture them and show off your skill as a manager.

Delegate important work to show that you trust and value your team.

Do you have personal experience with poor delegation? Tell us your best stories in the comments below!

If you're looking to improve your management skills then take a look at our wide range of management courses for all levels of management.

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