In the business world, there are going to be lots of instances where you find yourself in charge of a number of people. Whether you’re a project manager or the CEO of a company, it will be your responsibility to accomplish a task (or number of tasks) with the team that you have available. Leading those people and delegating tasks to them is what separates good managers from poor ones, so it’s important to have the ability.
1: Take stock of your team
When you are given your team, it’s up to you to figure out what their strengths and weaknesses are. To put it in the simplest terms possible, think back to your schooling and the group projects that you had to do for certain classes. The person with the neatest handwriting was typically in charge of writing everything down, etc. Things are no different in the business world- find out what each individual team member excels at, and give them tasks that play to those strengths.
2: Have a meeting
Once you have determined your team’s strengths and weaknesses, get everyone together for a meeting. While you are giving one individual a task, the rest of the team should know about it so that everyone is on the same page. This also gives your team an opportunity to chime in on your decisions- if an individual feels he has more experience in a certain area, and the rest of the team agrees, you may want to give him a different task that plays more to his strengths.
3: Check in regularly
It’s important to keep up with your team and check in with them regularly to ensure that everything is going according to plan. You should let them know that they can come to you at any time with questions or clarification, and you should make yourself available at all times to take care of their needs. Having regular meetings with the whole team gives everyone a picture of where the project is and ensures that everyone is still on the same page.
4: Give your team good incentives
It’s been proven time and time again- everyone responds positively to incentives. If you want your project done right, give your team members plenty of incentives. Give them a timeline and reward them with something good if they complete the project within it, reward the team member that finishes his task first, etc. And remember to make the incentives good- a five dollar gift card isn’t the best reward for an individual that’s been working around the clock to help you finish a project.
5: Ask for feedback
You’re never too old to learn something new, and the feedback that your team gives you about the project can help you immensely in the future. If an individual complains that his task was too hard while another claims that his was too easy, you can use this information to help you better delegate tasks in the future.