The Delegation Step Most Managers Miss Out

Training Courses

The Delegation Step Most Managers Miss Out

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into this often-missed step and provide actionable insights on how to master delegation for improved team performance and leadership effectiveness.

Delegation in the workplace

by Benjamin Child (

Understanding the Basics of Delegation

Before diving into the often-missed step, it’s essential to grasp the basics of delegation. Effective delegation involves assigning responsibility and authority to team members for completing specific tasks. It’s not just about handing off work; it’s about empowering others to take ownership and deliver results.

Delegation, when done correctly, can also be a powerful motivational tool. By entrusting team members with critical tasks, you signal trust in their capabilities, which can, in turn, increase their commitment to the organization and the quality of their work.

Benefits of Effective Delegation

  1. Time Management: Frees up managers to focus on high-priority tasks, which is crucial for effective leadership and organizational success.
  2. Team Development: Helps team members develop new skills and grow in their roles, which can lead to better team performance and individual career progression.
  3. Increased Productivity: Distributes workload more evenly, leading to higher overall productivity and a more efficient team.
  4. Improved Morale: Empowers employees, boosting their confidence and job satisfaction, which can result in reduced turnover and a more positive workplace culture.

Delegation is not merely a way to reduce a manager’s workload; it’s a strategic tool that, when used correctly, can enhance the capabilities of the entire team and lead to significant organizational improvements.

The Crucial Delegation Step: Follow-Up

Manager following up with team

by John Schnobrich (

The step many managers miss out on is follow-up. Delegation is not a “set it and forget it” process. To ensure tasks are completed correctly and on time, managers need to follow up with their team members regularly.

Follow-up is the safeguard that ensures delegation turns into a developmental opportunity rather than a missed chance. It involves monitoring the progress of tasks and is a critical component of the delegation process that confirms understanding, provides an opportunity for re-direction, and offers a chance for feedback.

Why Follow-Up is Essential

  1. Accountability: Ensures team members are accountable for their tasks and aware that their performance is being monitored.
  2. Support: Provides an opportunity to offer guidance and support if needed, which can help prevent minor issues from becoming major problems.
  3. Feedback: Allows managers to give constructive feedback and recognize achievements, which is vital for continuous improvement and motivation.
  4. Course Correction: Identifies any issues early on, allowing for timely interventions and adjustments to keep projects on track.

Without follow-up, delegation can quickly become ineffective, leading to misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and a lack of development opportunities for team members.

How to Implement Effective Follow-Up

1. Set Clear Expectations

When delegating a task, be explicit about what needs to be done, the expected outcome, and the deadline. Clear expectations form the foundation for effective follow-up and ensure that everyone is on the same page from the start.

Setting clear expectations also involves explaining the significance of the task within the larger project or organizational goals. This helps team members understand the impact of their work and the importance of meeting expectations.

2. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

Manager scheduling check-in

by Smartworks Coworking (

Set up regular check-ins to discuss progress, address any challenges, and provide support. These can be brief meetings or quick check-ins via email or messaging platforms. Regular check-ins not only facilitate communication but also build relationships and foster a culture of openness and collaboration.

It’s crucial to respect the time and autonomy of team members by keeping check-ins focused and purposeful. This demonstrates that you value their time and trust their ability to manage their tasks effectively.

3. Use Technology to Track Progress

Utilize project management tools like Trello, Asana, or to monitor task progress. These tools provide visibility into the status of delegated tasks and facilitate follow-up.

These platforms can also streamline communication and collaboration among team members, making it easier to share updates, documents, and feedback in real-time. By leveraging technology, managers can maintain oversight without being overly intrusive.

4. Provide Constructive Feedback

During follow-ups, offer constructive feedback to help team members improve. Recognize their efforts and achievements to boost morale and motivation. Constructive feedback is a critical component of professional development and helps team members understand what they are doing well and where they can improve.

Feedback should be timely, specific, and actionable. It should focus on behaviors and outcomes rather than personal attributes, to ensure that it is received as intended and leads to positive changes.

5. Be Available for Support

Make it clear that you are available to help if needed. An open-door policy encourages team members to seek assistance when they encounter challenges, fostering a supportive environment.

Being available also means being approachable and responsive. Team members should feel comfortable coming to you with questions or concerns, and they should expect to receive guidance or resources to help them address their challenges effectively.

Real-World Examples of Effective Delegation and Follow-Up

Example 1: The Marketing Campaign

Imagine you’re a marketing manager delegating the creation of a new campaign to a team member. You set clear expectations, provide all necessary resources, and schedule weekly check-ins. During these check-ins, you offer feedback on the campaign’s progress, address any roadblocks, and adjust the strategy as needed. As a result, the campaign launches successfully, and the team member gains valuable experience and confidence.

This real-world example demonstrates how follow-up can turn delegation into a powerful developmental tool. The team member not only completes the task but also learns from the experience, improving their skills and confidence.

Example 2: The Software Development Project

Software development team meeting

by charlesdeluvio (

As a tech team leader, you assign a critical module of a software project to a developer. You set up bi-weekly meetings to discuss progress and use a project management tool to track milestones. Through regular follow-up, you identify a potential issue early on and provide the necessary support to resolve it. The project stays on track, and the developer appreciates the guidance and learning opportunities.

In this example, regular follow-up allows for early detection of potential problems, which can be crucial in a fast-paced and complex environment like software development. It also illustrates how follow-up can enhance the learning experience for team members.

Overcoming Common Delegation Challenges

Challenge 1: Fear of Losing Control

Some managers fear that delegating tasks will result in a loss of control. However, effective follow-up ensures that you stay informed and can intervene if necessary without micromanaging every detail.

To overcome this fear, managers should focus on the results rather than the specific methods used to achieve them. This allows team members the freedom to approach tasks in their own way while still meeting the desired outcomes.

Challenge 2: Lack of Trust

Building trust within your team is crucial. Start by delegating smaller tasks and gradually increase responsibility as trust develops. Regular follow-up helps reinforce this trust by showing that you are involved and care about the success of both the task and the team member.

Trust is a two-way street, and as team members prove their reliability, managers can gradually delegate more complex and critical tasks. This process helps build a strong foundation of trust over time.

Challenge 3: Inadequate Training

Ensure that team members have the necessary skills and training to complete delegated tasks. Follow-up provides an opportunity to identify skill gaps and offer additional training.

Inadequate training can lead to frustration and poor performance. Managers should assess the skills and knowledge of their team members before delegation and provide the necessary training or resources to fill any gaps.

The Long-Term Benefits of Mastering Delegation and Follow-Up

Team celebrating success

by Louis Hansel (

Mastering delegation and follow-up not only improves immediate task completion but also fosters a culture of accountability, continuous improvement, and professional growth within your team. Over time, this leads to:

  • Enhanced Team Performance: A well-delegated team operates more efficiently and effectively.
  • Leadership Development: Team members develop leadership skills, preparing them for future managerial roles.
  • Increased Innovation: Empowered employees are more likely to contribute innovative ideas and solutions.
  • Higher Job Satisfaction: Employees feel valued and trusted, leading to higher job satisfaction and retention.

Delegation and follow-up are not just about getting tasks done; they are about building a strong, capable team that can adapt and thrive in any situation.


Delegation is more than just assigning tasks; it’s about empowering your team and ensuring their success through effective follow-up. By setting clear expectations, scheduling regular check-ins, utilizing technology, providing feedback, and offering support, you can master this crucial step and transform your team’s performance.

Remember, the key to successful delegation lies in the follow-up. Don’t miss out on this essential step, and watch your team thrive under your leadership.

Implement these strategies, and you’ll not only become a more effective manager but also foster a culture of empowerment and continuous improvement within your team. The benefits are profound, leading to a more productive, innovative, and satisfied team ready to tackle any challenge.

Manager and team high-fiving

by Randy Fath (