Success is often measured by the assets you acquire during your career. But for leaders, success is determined by the strength of your greatest assets: your employees. And while top talent may come and go, one thing that should remain constant in your organization is the culture that cultivates and develops employees, regardless of experience or skill sets. If you’re only as good as your greatest assets, it’s important to ensure your team is motivated and engaged, which will not only build retention but also help the overall success of your workers. Simply put, if your employees succeed, you succeed.
One area of focus that will help your team succeed is empowering team members through delegation and development. A recent study found that 87% of employees are less likely to resign if motivated at work. Another survey found that 79% of employees quit due to lack of appreciation. Employees are more motivated and engaged when they receive appreciation, and one way to appreciate your team is by empowering them to succeed at the office through delegation of responsibilities. Check out these tips to help your workforce succeed in the new year.
Start By Having an Honest Conversation
The old saying “you don’t know what you don’t know” can be debilitatingly true for leaders. You may think everything is running smoothly until the turnover bug hits. Before it’s too late, take time for one-on-one conversations with your staff to see how they feel about where they are in their career, what direction they would like to see their career take, and most importantly, what responsibilities they would like to take on to level up. Assuming that delegation is a cure-all can sometimes hinder your goal of raising engagement and motivation. Some people are content with where they are, so having a discovery meeting is imperative to know what you have to work with and if delegation is right for a specific employee.
Evaluate Interest Level, Skill Set, and Willingness to Learn
Whether an employee has interest in receiving more responsibilities similar to their own role or has aspirations for going outside current experience, it’s good to see where their interest lies. Cross-training, personal development, and career advancement can all develop specific traits and skills needed for delegated tasks. However, choosing the wrong path could be the difference from a reskilled, star employee to a burnt-out, disgruntled worker. Once you determine where the employee’s interests lie, evaluate their skill set for the particular task or role. If you uncover that reskilling or training is necessary, don’t worry. Most professionals need this during the course of their career. If they are willing and up for the task, most likely they will succeed.
Be Aware of the Peter Principle
Developed by Laurence J. Peter, this management concept views promotion for promotion’s sake can be detrimental to a company and its employees. As he states, “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence … In time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties.” This happens when an employee lacks the skillset needed to perform the new role. For instance, an employee is “super competent” in a coordinator role, then gets promoted to a managerial role and is “competent,” and so on until the employee reaches the level of “incompetence.” Avoid this by developing strong training programs and open communication about specific tasks or projects. It won’t help you or empower your employee if you delegate tasks that won’t be completed with excellence.
Don’t Overwork Your Team by Delegating too Much
While delegating tasks can help your employees feel appreciated and motivate them to excel, it’s important to know how much is too much. It’s never a good idea to overload your star employees with excess work while allowing your other employees carry less of the weight. If possible, spread the workload among all employees, selecting special tasks for the employees who have opted for reskilling or specifically asked for more responsibility. During the normal ebb and flow of busy seasons, you may not have the luxury of only delegating to employees who request it. During these times, use discretion to ensure healthy employee morale and avoid burnout.
What do you do to empower employees through delegation? How has delegation helped motivate and engage your team? Let us know in the comments section below!