Discover how to construct the correct assignment description for effective management by delegation.
Delegate effectively with the “HOW” technique.
Managers can easily miss the boat in delegating important tasks and assignments to their team because of the “How” segment of your communication. This often leads to employee confusion and work results that fall short of expectations. The “how” technique in effective communications is one fo the key tools at a managers disposal to improve understanding in delegating important work.
When delegating an assignment to a member of your team, making sure you detail the exact “how to” in your delegation will assure you of the best delegation result.
First, let’s look at the basic building blocks of the “how” element of your delegation. The “How” element refers to all the specifics that will clearly describe how the employee needs to complete the assignment. The “How” statement can encompass any of the following:
- That method the employee should use to complete the task. This could include specific resources to use, whether collaboration with others may be required and any established procedures for this type of assignment.
- It may involve what “type” of media is to be used. For example, does the assignment call for a specific type of document (such as a report template or designated outline)? Would specifying a “Power Point” presentation or Video be required?
- If design work is required, be specific as to exactly what this entails and any specific details such as; size, color, material, software, etc.
The key point here is to be very specific in your delegation and complete in your description of how you want the work completed. Here’s a basic example:
“John, I would like you to prepare a presentation for this month’s staff meeting covering the new training program on team building. (HOW)…The presentation needs to be done in Power Point, using the Training Template we have set up. In addition, a training handout covering the Key points in the Power Point presentation needs to be prepared for copying in a Word Document. Please consult with (name, mentor, subject expert, etc.) to get the key points for the PPT. I need to see a draft of both the PPT and the handout by next Friday morning. John, what else do you need to know that would help you here?”
The clarity of you delegation communication needs to leave nothing to chance. You will create clear understanding of the assignment people on your team are receiving. In many cases the problem caused by lack of clarity is either too much assuming by the manager or to little discussion by the employee. Employees do not want to seem foolish or admit they are unclear about the assignment. It is incumbent of the manager to provide clarity. This is a key management skill to master and an effective tool in the managers kit.
The act of providing exactly “How” an assignment is to be completed both simplifies the communication and does everything possible to frame the particulars of how the manager wants the assignment completed. Managers who apply this technique will create better performance and a much higher likelihood that the assignment will be done right the first time.
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