Are you coordinating all the daily tasks you support team members do? Then you are being the team manager and that’s not sustainable. The first step to stepping back and becoming a leader and not a manager is to delegate responsibility for coordinating these daily tasks.
But that’s not easy is it. What if they stuff it up? Isn’t it more trouble getting someone else to do it right than it is for you to do it in the first place?
Sometimes that’s true in the beginning. But delegation is a long term strategy. It’s way better in the end than having to manage everything yourself.
And won’t I lose control over things? Delegation does not mean abdicating. You can still have control over the quality of the outcome without having to manage how the task is done.
Are support workers allowed to do non face to face support work? If you directly employ or contract your staff you can negotiate what work they do with them. Delegating shouldn’t be about getting someone to do tasks they don’t want to do, have time to do or don’t have the skills to do either. But if you have a team member who is keen, delegate!
Some of the factors that increase the likelihood of supports staying the long term are when they feel:
- On a mission
Delegating leadership of tasks can achieve all of these things.
So here are some top tips for delegating tasks:
1. Describe why the task is important
Explain how the task relates to the vision for the good life of the person being supported. Knowing why will give the staff member understanding of the bigger picture and help them see how they are making a contribution which is highly motivating.
2. Define roles and authorities
Let the staff member know if they should
- Wait to be told what to do?
- Ask what to do?
- Recommend what should be done, and then act?
- Act, and then report results immediately?
- Initiate action, and then report periodically?
3. Be clear on your expectations
Let your supports know what an acceptable standard looks like, what a great standard looks like and what unacceptable looks like.
4. Align tasks with staff abilities and interests
Find out what they
- Don’t know
- Can’t do
- Would like to learn to do better
5. Set deadlines and check in on progress
Agree the regularity of how and when you will check on their progress, and stick to it.
What’s the deadline?
When will you check in?
6. Manage the risks
Help them to identify what scary situations could arise? (Risks) and how these will be prevented or managed.
7. Start by delegating low risk tasks
Ask yourself what is the impact if a particular task isn’t done well. If the impact is relatively low, start there and work your way up to the more important tasks that require more experience and more of your trust.
Download my free Task Delegation Plan
Are you exhausted from managing the daily activities of support staff?
Are your support staff reliant on you for almost everything? Want to build your team’s capacity to make decisions and manage their own work while you oversee at a distance?
The Lead Your Team Project will guide you step by step in how to go from being the team manager, to the team leader and allow you to free up your time by empowering your team.