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Lead Your Team Leadership

3 Types of Tasks You Should Be Delegating

3 Types of Tasks You Should Be Delegating
Credit: Shutterstock/Marvent

As a manager, you have countless responsibilities. It might be overwhelming at times, but you have a team for a reason: You don't have to do everything on your own.

Many new managers struggle with this transition, feeling that they still must perform every minor assignment on their to-do list, but it's important to learn how to delegate. Your job is to oversee your workers' performance and lend a hand when needed. The higher-level strategic planning you're responsible for takes time and energy, and you won't have either of those if you're bogged down with busywork.

Whether you've just been promoted or been managing a team for a while, you should distribute the following types of responsibilities among your staff members.

Everything you and your team members do is important to the overall function of the business. But things like supplies shopping, data entry, file organization, clerical work and other administrative tasks aren't what really drives growth for your company. These are typically simple assignments that don't require much experience, and while you could easily complete them yourself, you'll save time by delegating them to your workers.

"Part of my job as a manager is to ensure the workload is spread evenly to deliver results on time," said Dan Westmoreland, director of inbound marketing​ at Deputy. "The No. 1 delegation mistake managers make is not delegating enough."

However, he added, this does not apply to more complicated, role-sensitive tasks, like hiring new talent or overseeing financial affairs. Delegation will help you save time for those responsibilities.

"Always keep the big picture in mind when deciding which tasks to delegate to your team," said Michael Parrella, CEO of iLoveKickboxing. "Tasks that require a large portion of your time can distract you from doing the things only you can do to grow your business."

When you were at a lower level than you are now, you likely had certain tasks that you weren't motivated to do. Since you've paid your dues, you may now look to your team to take on those same assignments.

"As the visionary, it's my job to stay passionate and drive that passion to the team," Parrella said. "Doing things I hate impedes that excitement that affects both the people and bottom line of my business."

However, you don't want your employees to feel drained either. While you might pass some of these duties off to your staff to alleviate mental and emotional strain, make sure you aren't also passing the stress to them.

"If you aren't sure who to delegate the task to, present the task to a group of your co-workers, and openly ask who might be the best to handle it," said Westmoreland. Different workers have different interests; what's demanding to one person might be a walk in the park to another.

Being a leader doesn't automatically make you the right person for a project. Your staff members have their own talents, some of which can fill in your gaps, so you must be humble enough to see and admit that someone else might be a better fit for a task than you are.

"Your job as a manager is to develop people," said Westmoreland. "Delegation is the means by which you bring out the very best in the people that you have. Each employee has their own unique skill set, personality and strengths. Making good use of their unique working personalities will result in more overall efficiency, and people excel at work they enjoy doing."

Additional reporting by Nicole Fallon. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela has always loved words. When she isn't working as a Purch B2B staff writer, she's writing (and furiously editing) her first novel, reading a YA book with a third cup of coffee, or attending local pop-punk concerts. The only time Sammi doesn't play it safe is when she's writing. Reach her by email, or check out her blog at sammisays.org.