When delegating work to your employees, it is essential to understand the time constraints they face. As a leader, you should understand how long jobs realistically take to complete and acknowledge the needs of your employees including their current workload, changing demands from others and potentially even their circumstances outside work. This may mean you need to spend time with them to understand their world. Here are a few tips to help:
- Set and agree a plan
To give your employees something to work from, it may be an idea to write up a plan on the tasks which need to be completed both regularly and any one-off projects. Time is crucial to the successful completion of any task, yet understanding how tasks can be managed within certain time frames needs to be looked into. Tasks shouldn’t be piled onto employees regardless of deadlines which need to be met or you could be facing rising absence rates due to stress and eventually higher turnover.
- Extended hours
Don’t expect your staff to work extended hours if there is no real need to do so. Presentee-ism has little benefit and can be very damaging. Remember that employees have families and other commitments outside of their workplace which also require their time and focus. In the modern world of flexible working, it is very easy to demand responses at any time of the day or night. However, if you respect their time outside of work and only disturb them when really necessary, then they will be more willing to put the hours in when you need them, providing you explain your reasons clearly.
- Change is constant – and that needs to include expectations and outputs
Organisations are always looking for ways of doing things better or more cheaply. It is a fallacy to think that you can strip layers or resources out of an organisation and get the same or more work out of it.This is an ideal opportunity to focus on what is really important to the whole organisation, stop doing things that add no value and start doing things more effectively that do. Encourage your team to identify pinch points for delivery and suggest changes that will make their jobs easier and more efficient.
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