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Grow your skillset: become a master in delegation

While operations managers have a long list of important responsibilities necessary for the successful optimisation of business operations. There’s one crucial responsibility! That of delegating work and responsibilities appropriately between team members for effective operations management.

Therefore we’ve developed a set of useful tips and techniques you can apply immediately within your role as an operations manager. Get ready to learn useful tips and techniques across a variety of industries; beginning with operations management.

As we have mentioned in previous posts, a strong operations manager will quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the individuals within their team, and will delegate levels of authority; or tasks, according to this measurement. This approach works because strengths are aligned to the responsibilities of a given role, or the tasks at hand, resulting in operations being more effective and efficient. It’s more likely that operations will be carried out successfully; tasks will be completed timeously, with less error and therefore at less cost if strengths are deployed.

The art of identifying strengths, and delegating skill-fully; comes with time, however, there are a few techniques managers use to assist them in this important function.

1. Identify strengths through collaboration

Team collaboration and communication is incredibly important – and thus extremely useful to you as the manager. Your team is made up of diverse individuals with diverse talents; therefore the only way to find out what these talents (and useful resources) are, is by encouraging your team to share their ideas; prompted by their skills, expertise and ultimately, strengths. The best way to get to the bottom of your team members’ strengths is by asking questions – questions such as ‘What do you think about…’ or ‘How would you handle this situation…?’, or perhaps ‘How would you delegate these tasks amongst yourselves?’. Most times the answers to your burning questions lay within your team, all it takes is effective communication to unlock them.

2. Provide clear instructions and expectations

Once you have identified the strengths within your team and have delegated accordingly, make sure you provide clear instructions; covering all the responsibilities associated with the role or task at hand, as well as what is expected of the individual or the team. Here again, communication plays a key role in the success of your delegating approach. The more transparent you are, the better the execution. It’s also important to remember that while you hand over the responsibility in a full capacity, you as the manager still need to offer support at times, and guide where necessary.

3. Evaluate progress

To validate your delegation decisions, it’s critical that you evaluate whether or not progress is being made. The main objective of delegating is to optimise business functions and processes; to improve operations and streamline practises. If this is not being achieved even after you have mapped out clear instructions and expectations then perhaps you need to consider alternative solutions. By keeping an eye on the results you’ll be able to swiftly develop an alternative approach. With this being said, it’s important to remember that progress takes time, and achieving great results is not an overnight development.

4. Get personal feedback

A great way to achieve effectiveness, efficiency and achieve operational success is through getting feedback from the very person/people involved in the day to day business operations management. Although operations are broken up into smaller tasks. Individuals or teams handling them directly will be able to spot weaknesses or inconsistencies in the chain. In fact, sometimes quicker than even you as the manager will. To create a culture of constant improvement, it’s important that you ‘get your hands dirty’; ask the right questions, find the areas of concern and make changes accordingly.

Delegation does not end with the allocation of tasks and responsibilities – it’s an operation that demands insight; through communication, support and evaluation.

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