Business School | To Delegate Successfully, Make Expectations Clear

| October 6, 2014

HBR940Harvard Business Review:

To delegate an assignment, you need to describe the job as thoroughly as possible. But another crucial task is clarifying your expectations to hold the assignee accountable. Once you’ve gone over the details face to face and identified available resources and support, you need to establish a feasible timeline with agreed-upon deadlines. Make sure he or she agrees that the timeline is doable. Establish how much authority you’re granting by laying out clear guidelines for when the employee can act independently – and when consultation with you is required. Agree on standards of performance, measures of success, and levels of accountability. And determine a process for follow-up and feedback. Explain that you want progress reports every week or every month, and decide if these will be via an email, a staff meeting, or a one-on-one with you.

Adapted from Delegating Work (20-Minute Manager).

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