A New Way to Look at the Skill of Delegating for New Managers

A New Way to Look at the Skill of Delegating for New Managers
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

The Skill of Delegating for New Managers
A crucial but often avoided leadership competency is the skill of delegating for new managers.  New managers are often so anxious to prove their worth and so accustomed to acting as an individual contributor that they are apt to hoard too many of their team’s responsibilities for themselves. Additionally, many new managers report that they don’t have enough confidence that their employees will perform the tasks to high enough standards — this is a normal fear of delegation.

The consequences of not delegating as a manager are often negative.  Taking on too many of the team’s tasks shows a lack of trust in your team’s capabilities and, in addition, overconfidence in your own ability to handle potential burnout and stress.

Instead of thinking of delegation as ceding tasks to others who may not do it “your way,” think of delegating to train your staff and build team trust.

Delegating Simplified in 8 Steps

  1. Identify Suitable Tasks
    First, think of the tasks that can be off-loaded and then of employees who are ready to handle more responsibility.
  2. Find a Match
    Then, try to match the job with the employee’s special talents and interests. It’s important that the chosen employee sees the job as a career growth opportunity, not as a punishment.
  3. Ease Into It
    Start off slow and begin with a job at which they are likely to succeed and enjoy.
  4. Break It Down
    Break the task down into workable chunks.
  5. Be Crystal Clear
    Give them clear directions, success criteria, scope, and agree upon a deadline by which the task should be completed.  Make sure that goals and accountabilities make sense.
  6. Offer Support
    Don’t over-supervise them but make sure they know that you are available to help if they have any questions or run into any problems.  Remember, even when you delegate work as a manager, you are still accountable for the final results.
  7. Ramp It up
    Step-by-step you can increase the job complexity and provide any additional training that is needed for the employee to succeed.
  8. Reinforce and Encourage
    Be encouraging, give constructive feedback, monitor and recognize progress through predetermined checkpoints to minimize surprises, and manage expectations.

The Goal for the Employees
What’s in it for employees in terms of delegation?  As employees take on more responsibilities and learn new skills, they grow in value to the team and to the company.  What too many new managers fail to recognize before they take new manager training is that the best managers provide ongoing learning opportunities so their employees are fully engaged in their work and satisfied with their career development.

A happy team is a productive team.

The Goal for the New Manager
All managers should strive toward building their team’s capabilities to do more.  Ask your team what problem they are to solve and what alternative approaches could make sense.  The more you can help your team to think through things on their own, the more you can trust them to handle meaningful jobs and additional responsibilities.

Little by little, your team should gain in stature and value to the business.  And this will ultimately reflect positively on them and you as a new leader.

The Bottom Line
The best new managers learn how to effectively delegate.  This allows them to spend less time “doing” and more time “leading.”  Isn’t that what you have been asked to do as a new manager?

To learn more about how to be a great new manager for your team, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance