Effective teamwork is important in running a successful business. In a leadership role, you need to be able to assign tasks and delegate work to your employees. However, the way you distribute tasks should be fair and well thought out. If you rely on one employee too much, they may get burnt out and decide to leave. If you don’t utilize an employee’s unique skills, they may feel undervalued and unmotivated to succeed. Develop a delegation strategy so that the distribution of work in a team helps your business, and your employees, succeed.
Prioritizing Projects and Examining Availability
Task distribution in a team always needs to consider upcoming deadlines or important project milestones. The priority of the task is the first deciding factor that affects how it should be distributed. When you review the tasks on your list, prioritize them so you have an understanding of which ones are the most important and need to be completed first.
Next, review your employees’ availability. You’ll need to match the priority tasks with those employees who have the availability to take them on. Be careful not to overload one employee with urgent tasks as that can cause stress and overwhelm them.
If you’re planning an important event for your small business, for example, don’t expect one employee to complete all the urgent tasks just because they are available that day. You may need to reschedule some tasks and make room for the priority ones in other employees’ schedules. This will ensure all the event-related tasks are completed first without stressing out one member of your team.
Dividing Work Among Team Members by Skill Set
The distribution of work in a team is also dependent on the skills your employees bring to the table. It’s important to consider each employee’s unique strengths and how they benefit the task at hand. When you consider their skill sets, you set employees up to succeed. If the task matches their skills, you’ll have a higher chance of it being completed accurately and with greater efficiency.
If you have two employees who are available to complete a customer service task, but only one employee brings strong communication skills, it makes sense to assign them that task. That way, you can rest assured that your customers will be well taken care of by an employee who is good at explaining instructions, expressing issues and resolving conflicts through good communication.
Developing Employee Experience and Knowledge
Part of being a leader involves helping employees master new skills, learn new areas of the business and advance along their career track. In order to do that, you need to help employees take on tasks that they may find challenging. By doing so, employees can improve their weaknesses and develop new strengths, which benefit both them and the business.
For example, if you have any employee that lacks bookkeeping skills, you can assign simple bookkeeping tasks to them in order to help them learn more about that area of the business. It’s wise to not assign high-stakes or urgent bookkeeping tasks right away, as the employee needs time to learn, make mistakes and grow their knowledge. Once you’ve seen an improvement in their skills, you can start assigning them more responsibility in that area.
Ensuring Roles and Expectations are Clear
In the distribution of work in a team, it’s critical to ensure employees are aware of what their roles are and what is expected of them in the workplace. When employees have a clear understanding of their job description, they will be able to take initiative and assign tasks to themselves that fall within their role. They will also have a sense of investment in ensuring the tasks that are under their purview are completed properly and on time.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.