Allocating Work To The Team – You’ve Got This!
You should NEVER be doing the work of the staff that report directly to you – this is a Cardinal Sin in management as you are paid to allocate and direct the work of those who you manage!
That said, allocating work to team members is not always a quick and easy decision to make and does require some considerable thought and preparation.
The following 10 Pointers should help you in getting this right, first time, every time.
- Allocate tasks according to the resources you have available and the skills of the staff: match these very carefully to the job that needs to be completed. If there is a mismatch here the work will have to be done again, adding cost but no value.
- Clearly define team and individual responsibilities and limits of authority: make sure that staff understand their own responsibilities and exactly how far their authority stretches in completing the task. This will avoid any possibility of conflict, duplication or omission of important responsibilities.
- Set up learning and developmental opportunities for the staff doing the task allocated: focus upon new skills that need to be developed so that they can be used on other tasks and projects in the future. Work carefully and systematically towards up-skilling the team at every opportunity.
- Brief staff in the most effective way possible: make sure that every team member really understand what is required as any error at this point will only lead to bigger errors further along in the task.
- Encourage clarification: there can never be enough of this!
- Provide access to people who can help with the task: the team and individuals may need to get advice from other people including managers, colleagues, experts and specialist advisors to help get the task completed correctly. Make it very clear who such people are and how they can be contacted.
- Provide the right level of supervision: some staff will need much closer support, supervision and observation than others so factor this clearly into your planning.
- Make sure that work allocations are realistic: carefully calculate the time, cost and importance of each component of the task to make sure you have given the right level of resources to get the job completed in the way you need it to be completed.
- Reallocate work tasks when necessary: if the way that the task was planned proves to be unrealistic or problematic, review and refresh the way the task has been set out, making sure that the impact on time and cost is minimised.
- Review the experience: what have you learned from the process and how might you do things differently next time – we can always do things better and honest, self review should be a regular feature of a professional manager’s approach.
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