Navigating the competitive and complex IT industry requires mastery of many various skills, as channel leaders must balance numerous responsibilities and challenges day in and day out. On top of that, only 25% of respondents in The State of Organizations 2023 report by McKinsey say their organizations’ leaders are engaged, are passionate, and inspire employees to the best-possible extent. 

One of the tactics to adopt in order to increase engagement is how to effectively delegate—doing so can optimize resources and ensure a focus on high-priority initiatives, team development and instilling a culture of trust within the organization. 

However, delegation is not an easy or simple skill to master. Many individuals in management positions find it difficult to hand over tasks, regardless of how small or simple they may be. There are many reasons for this, such as lack of trust in co-workers or improper expectations. 

Whatever the hurdle is, being able to overcome it and successfully delegate can enable members of leadership to redirect their time and energy towards strategic planning, innovation, negotiation and customer relationship management. Managers can also empower their team members and promote a sense of ownership and responsibility. This not only helps in building a more efficient and productive workforce but also creates opportunities for growth and development within the organization. Ultimately, mastering the skill of assigning tasks is crucial for anyone who wants to maximize their impact and contribute to the overall success of the company.  

What Are Some Common Challenges? 

The fear of losing control or authority is one of the top reasons individuals do not hand over responsibilities to others. The concern that their colleagues might not perform tasks as proficiently (potentially leading to mistakes or damage to the company’s reputation) comes from a distrustful mindset and can harm team morale if it continues for too long. 

Doubting the team’s skills out of fear that they will not meet the organization’s expectations or adhere to its standards creates a negative environment and an endless loop of disappointment and frustration. As a leader, it is crucial to instill confidence and offer support to the team; do not insist on doing everything alone. Managers who don’t delegate send the message that they don’t trust their team, don’t think they’re capable or smart enough to handle the task, or that they anticipate failure unless they do it themselves. This type of message is demoralizing to employees and can make even the best workers feel unimportant and undervalued. 

Grappling with finding the right balance or level of delegation can also cause members of leadership to avoid assigning jobs to others entirely. It can be difficult and stressful to ensure that employees are neither overloaded nor underutilized. Excessive delegation may result in micromanagement, while insufficient delegation may lead to neglecting essential tasks. Finding the balance depends on many factors. 

How to Overcome the Hurdles 

Delegation should not be done haphazardly. For example, a stressed supervisor barking at an employee to handle a job by a certain date and then storming off will likely not result in satisfaction on either end. Clear communication, trust and understanding each team member’s capabilities and workload are crucial. It is also important to provide guidance and support throughout the process, ensuring that employees have the necessary resources and skills to successfully complete their assigned tasks.  

Prior to delegating, leaders should assess both the nature and complexity of the task and the readiness of their team. Clear communication of expectations (including purpose, goals, scope, boundaries, available resources and evaluation criteria) is essential throughout the process. 

Additionally, managers should empower and support their colleagues throughout task execution. Providing autonomy and decision-making authority—coupled with guidance and feedback when needed—is vital. Recognition and rewards for the team’s efforts and achievements can contribute to a positive delegation experience. 

Most importantly, having an “open door” communication policy (and actually sticking to it) can make the difference between a successful delegation process and an unsuccessful one. Think about it: an employee who is asking questions and trying to get the job done correctly will quickly stop if she is met with irritation or constant dismissal. 

Smart Decisions Contribute to Success 

Delegation is a useful and smart skill to master, but keep in mind that it takes a lot of thought and preparation. Movies, TV shows and books make it seem like managers just point to employees and tell them to get a certain job done and everything works out. But that isn’t reality, it’s a guaranteed path to failure. 

But by making careful and thoughtful choices about who to delegate to and what tasks should be entrusted to others, leaders can successfully manage their time in order to focus on long-term projects and goals. By adopting best practices and concentrating on assessment, clear communication and support, managers can leverage delegation as a powerful tool for organizational success. 

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