Updated: Mar 23
Delegating tasks to your team can improve workplace productivity by leaps and bounds. But why is it so difficult to do sometimes? Learn about the barriers business leaders face when they want to delegate, and the benefits you’ll realize when you do delegate.
Trusting your team can lead to better outcomes, but why is it so hard?
Learning to trust team members to take on new tasks is one of the hardest things to do for leaders of all experience levels. As responsibility grows, there’s a tendency to try to hold onto it even tighter. Eventually, there’s a point at which delegation becomes necessary to get more done. Delegating isn’t just telling people what to do or handing them a checklist. It requires understanding yourself, communicating clearly and knowing your team.
So why is delegating so difficult? Read on to find out and to get tips on how to delegate effectively to reach the ultimate goal of increased productivity.
Before we get into the challenges posed by delegation, it’s important to understand why overcoming them is so worth it.
What are the benefits of delegation?
The main reason leaders want to delegate is to improve productivity. Leaders may feel that they’re the best person for the job because they know what to do or have been performing a given task for longer. Even if the team member assigned that task isn’t quite as productive on that specific task, overall productivity can still improve through delegation. It can allow the leader to focus on higher-level priorities, which can cancel out any presumed inefficiency in the long run.
Delegation helps teams develop and grow. The more new skills they master, the more productive the entire group can be as a whole.
Delegating also builds trust between the leader and their team by showing everyone there’s belief in their abilities. And it empowers them to take ownership.
Higher retention is a byproduct of all of this, which in turn can improve productivity because there’s less time spent finding new employees and training them.
If delegating has so many advantages, why do leaders have such a hard time with it? Is it all about learning to trust? Is it because they’re not sure exactly when to delegate? It’s important for leaders to understand what factors hold them back so they can seek ways to overcome them.
Barriers to The Delegation of Work
There are many factors that hold us back from delegating. Some may be more valid than others, and every business is different. Every leader has their own traits and external factors to consider. By and large, these are the most common roadblocks to managing delegation we come across:
Barrier #1: I don’t have time to delegate this task
Ironically, one of the most common reasons for not delegating is that you feel like you don’t have time to. It will take too long to provide others with the information they need. Then I’ll still have to keep an eye of the work and possibly correct it.
Barrier #2: It is faster if I do it myself
When you think of all the information that you have, and consider how long translating that to someone else will take, it’s understandable to think that you might as well do it yourself. Technically that may be true, but it comes at the cost of taking time you could’ve used to focus on other tasks. And it ignores that people will improve.
Barrier #3: They can’t do it as well as I can
You’re the expert. Even after training, will they be able to do the task as well? What if they do it even better?
Barrier #4: You just forgot to delegate
There’s a lot to do and you were in the flow of all your tasks. When you finally looked up you realized some things could’ve been handled by your team instead.
Not delegating due to these barriers can lead to bandwidth overload. At best, this is an inefficient use of valuable time and resources. At worst it can lead you to become overwhelmed or burnt out.
How to Delegate
The barriers to delegation are perfectly natural, but the benefits are too. By taking the steps to hand off the right tasks, businesses can be set up to enjoy more and more efficiency and success.
If that’s something you want for your company, we’re happy to help get you there.
To learn more about how delegation can boost productivity in your workplace, how to put delegation into practice and when you should delegate, read our e-book “Boost Productivity through Trust & Delegation.”
Or, if you want to discuss team trust, employee experience and other ways to make your workplace more productive, contact us today.
Download a free copy of the ebook.
Brilliant Workplaces is your solution to elevating your leaders with Everything DiSC®. Unlock engagement, inspire collaboration, and ignite cultural transformation with this innovative program. Participants receive personalized insights that deepen their understanding of self and others, making workplace interactions more enjoyable and effective. The result is a more engaged and collaborative workforce that can spark meaningful culture improvement in your organization.