Delegating tasks is one of the most important tools that the manager has, regardless of the industry in which he operates. In the event industry – in the process of organizing conferences, training courses, workshops – skillful delegating can be very beneficial. The time pressure, the variety of tasks ranging from event planning, marketing activities, managing registration process, to strictly organizational tasks – those are variables that – if not well managed – can make the risk of mistake significant. By wise delegating tasks, you can decrease that risk. The sooner you master this precious art, the more successfully you can cope with the challenges.
What is “delegating”?
Delegating tasks means that you give your co-worker/employee the task (or a part of it) to perform. Delegating, you select the right person to perform the task, provide the necessary information, as well as evaluate the progress and effect of the work. But you should remember that the responsibility for the comprehensive effect of the actions is still on your side as the delegating person.
To whom to delegate work?
Tasks should be delegated according to the employee’s abilities and capabilities. So don’t throw an inexperienced person in the deep end, you can only discourage him! Think about what competencies are needed to complete the task and look for people who have them on your team. If you know the person is a genius with the event marketing stuff, but not necessarily in direct contact with the event participants, don’t propose him/her the frontline work. Delegating tasks above the employee’s capabilities can lead to unnecessary tensions and frustrations, and worse – to fatal mistakes. At the same time, however, it is worth believing in the capabilities of your team members. Ask your subordinates what their ideas are, how they would approach the task – it gives you a chance to pick out people who are open to development, even in an area that is not fully familiar for them. In this way, the task delegating can become a great way to develop and motivate employees.
Which tasks to delegate?
Indisputably, you should delegate tasks that your employees can perform better than yourself. The next step is to delegate tasks that are time-consuming and tedious, and at the same time don’t require specialized knowledge (eg. verifying data from the online event registration system, mailing about the event details). It is also worth delegating tasks that are new challenges for your subordinates – you may find that real hidden talents surround you. Always you have to ensure your colleagues that they can count on you in case of difficulties. In this way, you will encourage them to develop, and at the same time, you will gain new competencies in the team.
Which tasks NOT to delegate?
Delegating tasks means that you share responsibility with your team members. As a manager, you can’t, however, share responsibility for strategic tasks, eg. achieving the assumed revenues from ticket sales for cyclic events.
Be precise while communicating
Delegating tasks is closely related to the precise communication within the team, about which we wrote earlier in a previous post. By delegating, you send a message. It is important that your co-worker understands your intentions fully. Explain the purpose of the task – sometimes what seems absolutely necessary to you, doesn’t make any sense to your employees until they fully understand your intentions. By giving the full information you will avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and discouragement. How to make sure you were understood? You can ask the employee to express in his own words what task is in front of him and what ideas he has for its implementation. In this way, you will check whether you both are on the same page.
Stop thinking “It’s easier just to do it myself”
Who doesn’t delegate tasks, although he has the opportunity, exposes himself to risk of overwork, delays, and mistakes. There is more to it: subordinates of such manager never will be independent. Not knowing whether they can make their own decisions, they will always ask for permission or ask for advice. That means millions of phone calls, emails, meetings dedicated to the most trivial problems, which could be solved immediately if the potential of the employee was released. Excessive duties and the feeling that “I have to do everything myself” is frustrating, it can also be a serious reason for quick burnout. The “do-it-myself” model in management is also ineffective – “two heads are better than one” (aren’t they?). The team will perform tasks faster and more effectively than you alone acting on your own.
Although seemingly full control gives a sense of control over the project, it can be an illusory feeling. Overload with the excess of duties related to less important matters makes us vulnerable to the mistakes in the essential ones.