Guide: Empower your team

Delegate effectively

Delegating the right projects to the right team members can be tough. The research team found that delegating, or giving authority, responsibility, and decision-making control to an individual or a team, is a behavior of high-scoring managers. Google uses these delegation tips to help managers scope work for delegation, support their team members, and follow through to ensure completion and recognition:

Look at the goals. What is the final objective and what results are needed to achieve it? What parts can be delegated?

Look at yourself. What tasks can’t you delegate, and why? Which tasks play to your own strengths and weaknesses?

Recognize the right person for the work. Who has the right skills to do the work? How might this task help them develop?

Delegate. Have a conversation with the delegatee:

  • Give an overview of the work, including the importance of the assignment, the resources at hand, and why you have chosen the delegatee.
  • Describe the details of the new responsibility. Define the scope of the role, and set performance standards and intended results. Set clear expectations but avoid prescribing how the assignment should be completed.
  • Solicit questions, reactions, and suggestions. Make this a dialogue.
  • Listen to the delegatee’s comments and respond empathetically. Make sure they understand what is expected of them.
  • Share how this impacts the team. Help establish priorities and relieve some of the pressure by getting someone else to share some of the delegatees routine tasks for the duration of the assignment. Make sure to notify those affected by the delegatee's new project as well.
  • Be encouraging. Express confidence in the delegatee’s ability.
  • Establish checkpoints, results, deadlines, and ways to monitor progress. The entire discussion should be a collaborative process.

Stay in touch. Keep in contact with the delegatee and observe the checkpoints you agreed to at the outset. Remember, delegating means letting go.

Recognize and reward. Acknowledge the delegatee for successful completion of the assignment.

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