In order for an organization to reach its goals and objectives, the workload should not land solely on the shoulder of one person or only a few committee members. The overall success of the club relies on the active participation of each person involved — whether an officer, member or volunteer. As such, leaders should know how to properly delegate the various tasks in the organization.
The Importance of Delegation
Aside from lightening your load as officers, there are several more reasons to pass on a particular task or responsibility to other members of the organization:
Saves time - Smaller, tedious, and repetitive tasks can be time-consuming. Most often, these do not require a lot of skills and can be easily delegated. These may include answering general inquiries, scheduling meetings, or sending out announcements.
Helps develop the skills of your subordinates - For tasks that entail more skill, a little time invested in training could save you much more effort in the future. In doing so, other officers or volunteers gain new knowledge and become more valuable for the organization.
Displays a sign of respect and trust - When you delegate tasks, it shows that you believe in that person’s ability to fulfill the responsibilities you have entrusted to them.
Makes more people feel involved - As members and volunteers feel that they are respected and trusted with a certain task, it’s more likely that they will have a higher level of commitment towards the organization.
Nonetheless, even with these advantages, some leaders still find it difficult to delegate effectively. Among the misconceptions about delegation is that it shows weakness or inability to complete the task at hand. Another common line of thought is that leaders may believe they can do it better, so they are hesitant to let go of control. In addition, some may even say that delegating could eventually take longer than just doing the work themselves.
It’s then important to remember that as leaders or board members, you can’t do everything by yourself. This is true not just for the President who oversees the organization as a whole, but for board directors and committee heads as well, who are responsible for specialized aspects of the organization.
While it may take you a while to give instructions as you delegate the task for the first time, you may not have to dedicate so much effort to this area of work over time — allowing you to focus on other important matters. Furthermore, involving more people in the processes opens up the floor for new ideas and possibly better ways of doing things. For this, you have to keep in mind that like you, your team also would like to see the organization succeed.
How to Delegate Effectively
Leadership and effective communication are key when delegating work, so keep in mind the following points as you delegate tasks:
Communicate Your Objectives
To keep everyone on the same page, you will need to explain the importance of the task you are delegating and what the organization is trying to achieve. Also, in most cases, it’s necessary to explain why you’re delegating. This makes them understand the context as to why you’re giving them a particular responsibility.
Choose the Right Person
A significant part of the decision to delegate is to whom you will be delegating. As a leader, you should be familiar with the strengths, weaknesses, skills, and preferences of your members or other board members. If the task requires an understanding of finances, you should choose someone with that kind of experience, while if the task requires heavy collaboration, you may have to choose among your volunteers with the best people skills.
Provide Sufficient Instructions, Training, and Resources
To ensure the success of your appointed person, they will need ample instructions for the task. It would be helpful to recall how you learned a particular task so you can teach it to them effectively. In some cases, they may also need formal training or at least some time to observe how the job is done. If the task requires tools or supplies (such as gym or office equipment, files, emails), they should have access to these as well.
Delegate the Authority
Along with the instructions on how to do the task, it’s also important that you authorize the persons you are delegating to. This empowers them to make decisions and to take the necessary actions towards the completion of their responsibilities. It will also afford them the respect of the other members. Without this authority, they may have to consult with you at every turn, defeating the purpose of delegation.
In essence, accountability should go both ways. Even though you’ve already delegated the task, you should still check up on how it’s being accomplished and provide timely feedback. It’s also a good practice to advise them beforehand on how you want to be updated on their progress on the task.
This will ensure that you identify potential problems that your appointment person may not have foreseen and provide corrective actions before it’s too late. It’s also equally important to review the finished task upon submission to check for the quality of work done. When you’re fully satisfied, take the time to acknowledge and appreciate what your subordinates have accomplished.
Delegation is essential in order to avoid overburdening anyone in the organization, and so that leaders can focus on higher-value activities. Through proper delegation of work, you can improve the productivity of board members, motivate your volunteers, and develop the skills and increase the commitment of members.