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Assigning tasks to people

From: Delegating Tasks to Your Team

Video: Assigning tasks to people

We're now going to look at how you make assignments. We'll be using everything you've done so far. So first, take your task analysis form where you identified projects or tasks to be delegated. Next, you'll want to transfer these items onto the potential delegations form in your packet. List the skills needed to do each task or project in the column provided. For example, perhaps the project requires accurately editing text, working quickly, or designing graphics. Now compare your list to your evaluating people forms.

Assigning tasks to people

We're now going to look at how you make assignments. We'll be using everything you've done so far. So first, take your task analysis form where you identified projects or tasks to be delegated. Next, you'll want to transfer these items onto the potential delegations form in your packet. List the skills needed to do each task or project in the column provided. For example, perhaps the project requires accurately editing text, working quickly, or designing graphics. Now compare your list to your evaluating people forms.

You'll want to start by looking for any obvious matches based on skills or experience. For example, if Anil is the only one who knows graphic design, then he should get the design assignment. But if more than one person can do it, use other criteria to make the assignment. It's best to assign someone who can learn and grow from the opportunity. In fact, intentionally look for opportunities to develop their weaknesses, instead of just playing to their strengths. When making assignments, it's not just about getting the job done. You'll want to think strategically about how to cultivate each of your employees.

Down the line this process builds your staff's skills and increases the productivity of your entire team. As they grow, this also can create new opportunities for you. You may even want to share the options with your team and seek their input about which projects they would like and why. This would not only bring great transparency to the process, but would allow you to gain even more information about what motivates your staff. As you identify people for each task, write their names on the potential delegations form. You can also consider delegating a task to more than one person.

The team approach can help you balance individual strengths and weaknesses, but it requires good teamwork and communication among the members. If you have a more complex project to delegate, consider different ways to assign the work. Option one is to give a delegate a complex project that they oversee all the parts to from beginning to end. This option allows an employee to gain a wide range of skills over the longer process of the project but can also create challenges if that employee is weak in an area.

Option two is to cluster similar tasks together, even if they're related to different projects. This option allows each employee to develop deeper expertise by working in the same area again and again, but this can also breed boredom. However, they get to work together as a team, and this can also create opportunities to cross-train to learn other areas. Next, turn to the delegation assignments page of the handout. This is where you finalize your decisions. Note the person who is getting the task, when the project will occur, and any notes that you want to address later.

There is no right or wrong way to make assignments, but you do want to think through the pros and cons of each potential delegation. One final and very important consideration is to look at the overall pattern of assignments once you've made them. Make sure that each employee gets a similar balance of assignments. They should each get some that are easy or even boring, as well as those that will challenge them to grow. Make sure that each employee has at least one task that helps them develop professionally. You'll want to build a multi-skilled team over time.

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Delegating Tasks to Your Team

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Britt Andreatta
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