Delegating Responsibilities

Many community groups, businesses, boards, committees and partnerships know the feeling that comes with having too much to do and not enough time. Or not enough people to help.

Often there is a small number of committed people doing most of the work.

The art of delegation takes some learning, patience and practice, but it makes for a healthier environment in which your partnership can grow and operate.

Delegation is about being effective with your time

  • There are only so many hours in the day so if only one or two people are doing the work, there is a limit to what can be achieved.
  • If work is delegated in a planned and prepared manner, your partnership can get things done quickly and move on to the next challenge or project.
  • The more people who know what to do and how to do it, the better your organisation is able to continue to operate smoothly when one or two people leave.

Seven Steps to Successful Delegation

1. Be clear in your own mind about:
  • what needs to be done, and
  • the level of responsibility and accountability that will be delegated to the person given the task.
2. Find the right person &ndash they will have a suitable mix of availability, skills and motivation.

Not everyone will do it your way but they can add their own touches within set boundaries.

3. Take the time to properly brief the person on your expectations and ensure they:

  • are clear about exactly what is needed, and
  • have enough information and background to be able to make the best decision.
4. Work with them to determine whether they need any extra training, mentoring or education to get the job done.

5. Work together to establish a reasonable timeframe for completion of the task and a reporting process so you can provide feedback along the way.

6. If you have delegated responsibility, then allow people to make decisions.

  • By all means offer them guidance when they need it and praise when they do a good job.
  • But don't cause them or yourself unnecessary stress by looking over their shoulder too closely - you have delegated to them some responsibility, so allow them to complete the task.
7. Continue to expand people's delegated responsibilities so you are able to gradually build their role within the partnership. Encourage them to also try and responsibly delegate so you have three people doing the work previously done by one, and so there is a culture of delegation established in the partnership.

For more tips on helping out your partnership in busy times, refer to the Sharing the Load Help Sheet, available at the Community Business Partnerships Brokerage Service section of the of the Our Community website.