Tips on delegating responsibilities to team members

When you delegate tasks or jobs that you do not need to be doing, it frees you up to focus on delivering on other areas. 

Too often, people end up spending time on tasks that they should no longer be doing, perhaps because they think they are the only person who can do them or maybe just because they like doing them.

Benefit 1: Opportunity for staff development

Few people want to turn up at work and do the same thing day after day for months or years on end. They like to be stretched and challenged, and delegating tasks and responsibilities is an excellent way of doing this.

Benefit 2: Opportunity to develop your skills

Delegation is not just about telling someone that you are no longer doing something and telling the other person that they are now doing it. You need to plan the handover, brief the person, check their understanding, set review points, and give feedback as a minimum. In other words you are getting the opportunity to develop key management skills like communication, planning, and monitoring.

Benefit 4: Increased motivation

When staff know that there are going to be opportunities to take on new tasks, responsibilities and learn new things, they will be more motivated to do a good job. Delegating gives a powerful message to others that you trust them, are interested in their growth, and want to help them to progress.

Let us now look at a simple model to use when delegating a task to a team member;

1. Define the task

Confirm in your mind that the job is suitable to be appointed. Does it meet the criteria for delegating?

2. Select the individual

What are your reasons for delegating to this person? What are they going to get out of it? What are you going to get out of it?

3. Assess ability and training needs

Is the person capable of doing the task? Do they understand what needs to be done? If not, you can’t delegate.

4. Explain the reasons

You must explain why the duty or responsibility is being delegated. And why to that person? What is its importance and relevance? Where does it fit in the overall scheme of things?

5. State required results

What must be achieved? Clarify understanding by getting feedback from the other person. How will the task be measured? Make sure they know how you intend to decide that the job is being successfully done.

6. Consider resources required

Discuss and agree what is needed to get the task done. Consider people, location, premises, equipment, money, materials, other related activities.

7. Agree on deadlines

When must the job be finished? And if the task is complex and has parts or stages, what are the priorities?

When you are thinking about delegating tasks and responsibilities to a team member, keep in mind that to truly delegate effectively to team members they need to have both COMPETENCE , i.e they know how to do the task and they need to have CONFIDENCE, i.e the ‘want and commitment to do the task. If they lack the skill to carry out the task you may need to plan for time to upskill them. If they require confidence, you may need to work closely with them or ask another team member to buddy up with them during the implementation of the promotion to reassure them.

The ARA Retail Institute runs multiple workshops on a variety of topics from management to organisation, and merchandise planning. Click on the link below to find the perfect course for you and your employees. 



About the ARA Retail Institute: ARA Retail Institute is Australia’s leading retail training provider for both accredited and non-accredited learning programs. For more information, please visit:

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