How to Improve Productivity through Delegation 

How to overcome your barriers to delegating

Improve delegation skills and become more successful!
Delegate tasks to improve efficiency

Delegation: dishing out the jobs, assigning people to tasks, entrusting a task to someone else where you remain accountable. Everyone seems to agree that delegation can be extremely beneficial for all concerned: the delegator, the delegatee and your organisation. Not only does it improve the efficiency and productivity of your team, it significantly expands the flexibility of operations leading to higher profitability.

So, having established that, why don’t we do it? During training, I usually ask 2 questions: who, in their current role, has the opportunity to delegate tasks (many hands raised)? And who actually does it (not so many hands this time)?

Why the reluctance?

Let’s take a look at some classic get-out clauses offered up when you know you should be delegating:

I can do it quicker myself

If true, it’s a very short-term truth. How does anybody learn to do anything? Given the opportunity to practice, the new skill becomes embedded and we pick up the pace.

I can do it better than you

Nice try! As above, with practice and repetition, not only will someone’s speed increase, but also the level of quality.

You might do it better than me

Some people are terrified of being embarrassed, but who cares who gets the job done, as long as it’s done well? It’s a team effort isn’t it? Identifying someone better than you to do it just makes you a good delegator.

It’s risky – you might do it wrong

Do we delegate the task, then abandon the staff member? No, we just need to agree on the monitoring/review process. Shall we meet up once a day for 5 minutes, to see how you’re doing? Agree on the process and stick to it. That way we can minimise the potential for disaster or catastrophe.

I won’t be needed any more

Some people believe they can delegate their way out of their job. Will their boss think they’re not needed anymore if they delegate all their tasks?

Which leads to an important question – should we try to delegate every item on our to do list? Of course not – the theory is to delegate everything that can be, so we can focus on those tasks which cannot. This includes anything for a manager’s eyes only, like who gets promoted, who gets a pay rise, planning, disciplinary matters, setting goals etc.

I’ll be unpopular – only dishing out the dull jobs

Dull according to whom? Usually the manager, who has had to do the job every 10 minutes for the last 3 years and is sick of it. Don’t assume too much here – your team may be keen to try some new jobs, so always have the conversation and discuss possibilities.


If you were feeling like the most reluctant delegator ever, you might give the above reasons to justify your lack of delegation. But all these arguments can be overcome by adopting a different, more positive perspective.

Overall, and if done correctly, the process of delegation can be extremely beneficial for everyone involved. Give delegating a chance, and you will see productivity wins immediately!