HOW TO DELEGATE
It is the single concept that if you completely understand will change the way you see your company, regardless if you are a worker, a supervisor or the director.
THIS IS HOW RESPONSIBILITY WORKS IN A JOB SITE:
The Labourer is responsible for his work;
The Carpenter is responsible for his and the Labourer’s work;
The Builder is responsible for the Carpenter’s and Labourer’s work;
The Project Manager is responsible for his work and for everybody below his rank. (make it a pyramid vector)
Responsibility list can go on until the last chain in command.
As a general fact, humans tend to hate responsibility (not always). So, if we were to consider the Job site example, the Labourer will naturally avoid the responsibility and will rather blame the carpenter by saying something like “The Carpenter told me to do it”. (I will make it a photo)
For instance, if Apple makes an iPhone that overheats, although the engineers are responsible for the mistake, Steve Jobs will get the blame for not creating a good enough legacy. Yes, even though he is dead.
With this in mind, the first thing to understand is that this idea must be clear in both minds.
SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS
Explain what will be done.
Make sure that
WORKERS TICK “OK.”
Speaking of responsibility, it is safe to say that people do not take responsibility for things they don't understand or agree with.
Workers have to accept and agree to follow some specific instructions regarding their jobs. Only then will they be able to work at their peak. To achieve this, they must be briefed properly in a manner that is clear to them. Therefore, it is essential to check for signs of agreement or disagreement among the workers as you pass the information during the briefing.
Assuming that everyone is on the same page to start with, it is possible that occasionally a worker would change his mind once realising that some variables were not accounted for in the initial brief.
This may develop resentment among the workers and they might get uncomfortable while doing the work. This discomfort is usually common in jobs where the foreman insists upon sticking to all the instructions and procedures.
To avoid such scenarios, I recommend you to talk to your workers and learn their opinions before start as well as during execution.
to their opinions.
(Make it a photo)
Agreement raises Commitment. Getting “them” to say that “they” can do it diminishes the possibility of the responsibility being deflected to someone else.
Note: However, this behaviour is not exclusive to low-rank labourers. We ALL tend to avoid responsibility. And that is another thing you need to remember.
This process is actually similar to the use of the intention method, where you give the workers some form of control. Unlike collective roles, you narrow it down to specific responsibilities. Each man knows what to do and must do it because it is unique to him. Therefore, the success of the entire project rests on each worker and not just on the supervisor. When the workers know that all the roles are individual ones, none of them will want to lag because they know that the team can quickly determine where the delay or setback came from.
The main purpose of always asking questions is to make sure workers understood the task, feel respected and taken into consideration. As much as you can, ask confirmation questions to clear any doubts that may have developed. The workers’ questions will reveal where your briefing needed more information and will also give you a clearer view of how much experience each worker has.
When asking questions, keep in mind that the main purpose is to bring the workers on the same page as you are. The aim of questioning should be clarification rather than cross-questioning or tests. Sometimes, “testing” the workers can have a negative effect on the psychological level, as they fall under doubts. Over questioning and testing might end up causing the exact same confusion that you are intending to avoid.
GOT IT? LETS GET PRACTICAL:
Explain what needs to be done
Determine a time frame
Explain what will be the metrics to evaluate if the job was well done (do you need it done fast or carefully? is there a certain outcome your trying to achieve?
Check if the workers agrees with all the details. If not, seek a resolution and agreement.
Q&A sections. Allow the worker to ask anything and ask questions yourself to check if everything is properly computed and understood
For more dept in the briefing art, check our ebook about briefing here
Sharing responsibility in a team
The same way as delegate tasks to workers, in collective roles, you will need to narrow it down to specific responsibilities of each member. You can activelly divide tasks between team members or let the team organically share the team goal between members, as long as each worker has a level of commitment to the overall goal.. Therefore, the success of the entire project rests on each worker and not just on the supervisor. When the workers know that all the roles are individual ones, none of them will want to lag because they know that the team can quickly determine where the delay or setback came from.
Write a wrap up.