How to Delegate Work so It Gets Done

Successful delegation is one of the most critical skill sets a Supervisor or Manager needs to develop. Yet, many Managers and Supervisors resist delegating. Learn some of the principal reasons for this resistance, and how to provide your Supervisors and Managers with the tools they need to delegate effectively.

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Successful delegation is one of the most critical skill sets a Supervisor or Manager needs to develop. Being able to delegate successfully helps you tap into the potential of your staff.  It helps you accomplish much more than you could working alone, and allows you to devote your time and efforts to your most critical tasks, or things you do best.  Put simply, being able to delegate successfully is one of the keys to a successful career in Supervision or Management.

Yet, many Managers and Supervisors resist delegating.  Common reasons include:

  • Fear of loss of control.
  • Don’t feel that their staff has the ability to do the work.
  • Tried to delegate before but it didn’t work
  • Staff resists the idea of taking on more work

The good news, however, is that there are solutions to these factors.  For example you can:

  • Delegate at a level you’re comfortable with.
  • Delegate a small portion of a task initially, and use that as a way of building your delegating skills.
  • Use specific strategies for overcoming staff reluctance.
  • Follow an effective 3 stage process to plan what to delegate, make the delegation and conduct the needed follow-up so you know where things stand.

Because be able to delegate successfully is such an important skill, KAW Consulting developed “DELEGATING FOR RESULTS”, an electronic handbook that will help you learn these vital skills. You’ll learn how to effectively:

  • Identify what tasks to delegate.
  • Identify the right people to delegate to.
  • Identify the level of delegation that you’re comfortable with.
  • Determine what the person doing the task needs, so they can deliver the results you expect.
  • Hold effective delegation meetings.
  • Conduct the needed follow-up to stay on top of the person’s progress.

Unlike most books that describe the delegation process in general terms, “DELEGATING FOR RESULTS” walks you through the process step by step, helping you think of the key ingredients to make your delegation successful, and avoid the common problems that crop up in unsuccessful ones.  We’ve even included forms to help you analyze your major tasks and identify which ones are excellent candidates to delegate, furnish the person you’re delegating to with the important information they need to understand about the task, and a checklist to make sure you’ve considered the vitals steps when planning your delegation.

Like any great handbook, “DELEGATING FOR RESULTS” is something you’ll want to use over and over again..  And unlike paper handbooks, that get lost easily, it’s an electronic book in PDF format, that you can store on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to use it.  Just call it up and it’s ready to use. If you want hard copy, you can print what you need.  To save you time, we’ve even included hyperlinks in the Table of Contents so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $15.95.

Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $14.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Note: Available to only U.S. customers at this time.

How to Give Your Managers and Supervisors the Training and Tools They Need To Succeed, and Get Them To Use Them

Learn how to provide your Managers and Supervisors with the training and tools they need to succeed in 6 critical basic skill areas.

Summary: This post provides U.S. training consultants with a low cost way of providing Managers, Supervisors and other Leaders with low cost electronic handbooks that help them develop the skills needed to meet 6 of their most fundamental day-to-day challenges.

In today’s turbulent economy having effective Managers and Supervisors is key to your organization’s survival.   Managers and Supervisors are being called on to take on much larger challenges than many are used to such as dealing with larger staffs, taking leadership positions on special projects, and dealing with increasingly heavier demands on their time from both above and below.  And many are being asked to do so without the training and support they need to know how to deal effectively with these challenges.

To succeed in this type of environment, Managers need to master 6 basic skills.  These are how to:

  • Design and Run Effective Meetings
  • Hold Effective Team Discussions
  • Delegate Work Successfully
  • Manage Projects
  • Manage Their Time
  • Coach Employees

While desperately needed, too often attempts to provide Managers and Supervisors with training and/or resources in these important areas fail.  Some of the common reasons are:

  • Available training is too expensive, so none is offered.
  • Available books and resources on the subjects provide too much information, and no real “how to” application tools.
  • Materials are too hard to get to when you need them.

To correct this, KAW Consulting developed the “Manager’s Toolkit“,  a set of electronic handbooks  that guide Managers and Supervisors step by step through each of the processes used in the 6 basic skill areas.

Unlike most books on the 6 key skill areas, that are too complicated and hard to understand, the “Manager’s Toolkit” handbooks are exactly the opposite. They’re written in easy to understand language that walks the Manager or Supervisor step by step through the processes needed to apply each of the 6 key skills.   Many even include sample forms and checklists.

Like any great handbook, the handbooks in the “Manager’s Toolkit” are something meant to be used over and over again.  And unlike paper handbooks, that get lost easily, they’re electronic books in PDF format, that Managers and Supervisors can store on their computer so they have them accessible each time they need to design a meeting, hold a team discussion, delegate a task, manage a project or coach an employee.  Just call up a handbook and it’s ready to use.  If they want a hard copy, they can print what only they need.  To save  time, we’ve even included hyperlinks in each handbook’s  Table of Contents, as appropriate, so they can jump right to the page or section they need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

To view samples of each, and to learn how to purchase copies, click here.

Note: PDF Versions Available to U.S. Purchasers Only. Non U.S. Purchasers can purchase Kindle Versions.  Click here for information on how to do so.

How to Stop Having Bad Meetings

70% of employees feel the meetings they attend aren’t productive. Learn how to design and run meetings that work.

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People spend a lot of time at work in meetings.  And according to surveys, 70% of employees feel that the meetings they attend aren’t productive—in short a waste of time.

If you’re one of the majority that feels this way, this comes as no surprise.  You know the feelings of frustration all too well.  As well as the financial cost.  If  4 people each earning $40,000 a year attend a 2 hour meeting that goes nowhere, that’s a cost of $152  of wasted time just for that meeting.  Not to mention the incidental costs such as travel. Take those costs and multiply by the number of meetings you feel are a waste of time over a year and you are getting some real money.  In this day and age when organizations are facing enormous budget constraints, and are  looking hard at all their cost elements, improving meeting quality jumps out as a “no brainer”.

Yet there is often little analysis of why meetings fail, or what needs to happen so they succeed. Here are some of the common reasons things go wrong that you can measure against your own experience.

●    Meeting leader is unprepared and tries to “wing it”

●    There’s no formal agenda

●    Everyone disagrees on the meeting’s subject

●    The expected desired results are not defined

●    People critical to meeting’s success:

–     Don’t Show Up

–     Weren’t Invited

–     Come late or leave early

●    Participants don’t understand their roles

●    Unfocussed discussion

●    Results are not accurately recorded.

●   Other reasons that you’ve experienced

On the other hand, meetings that work usually contain the following elements.

●    Meeting is well designed:

–  Has a purpose statement with agreed upon meeting subject and desired results

– Has an agenda that clearly specifies topics for discussion, timing, participant expectations, etc.

        –  Provides participants with needed background information

–  Determines needed pre-work by participants.

–  Uses effective group discussion processes such as brainstorming, problem solving, decision making, etc.

        –  Determines needed meeting logistics

●    Meeting starts and ends on time

●    Meeting Leader is prepared

●    The critical people are in attendance

●    Participants understand their roles and participate appropriately

●    The meeting’s discussion focuses on the topics at hand

●    Pertinent discussion and results are captured and used going forward as needed.

Because holding better meetings is so important, KAW Consulting developed “Meetings That Work”, an electronic handbook that shows you step by step how to design and run effective meetings.   Written in a clear, easy to use format you’ll learn:

  • What makes meetings succeed, and why many fail
  • The crucial roles that need to be filled in each meeting
  • The 8 Steps for designing Effective Meetings
  • Tips for Running an Effective Meeting
  • How to deal with potential problems you may encounter such as:

                  – Stares and Silence

                  – Negative Remarks

                  – Separate Agendas

                  – One person trying to dominate the discussion

  • How to use effective group discussion processes to:

–  Generate Ideas by Brainstorming

–  Solve Problems

–  Make Better Decisions

–  Plan Tasks

–  Set Goals

What’s more, because it’s an electronic book in PDF format, you can store it on your computer so you have it accessible each time you need to design a meeting!  We’ve even included hyperlinks so you can jump right to the page or section you need without having to spend time scrolling through unneeded pages.

You can buy single copies for the low price of $21.95.

Sharing with additional users is also easy–just purchase additional licenses at $19.95 per user.

To view a sample and instructions on how to purchase online click here.

Note: Available to U.S. purchasers only.

Training on a Shoestring

Learn how to provide your employees with the training and tools they need without spending a lot of money by creatively using what most of you already have at your fingertips to develop high value training materials and application guides that you can put on your employees’ computer desktop by simply sending them out as e-mail.

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KAW Consulting · Wilmington, DE ·  302-479-7855 · kawconsulting@comcast.net

Training on a Shoestring

Note: For examples of materials developed in the format discussed below, see www.kawconsulting.com and click on any of our Manager’s Toolkit offerings.

During periods of economic stress, your organization’s success is extremely dependent on your employees’ use of key business skills.  Yet, even though critical, during an economic crunch, many organizations cut their training efforts dramatically due to the belief that spending money on training is far too expensive and an unjustifiable use of limited resources when the organization is looking to cut costs as much as possible. 

 As typical as this reaction is, it ignores the reality that during such times employees at all levels often face new challenges requiring new skills—from employees who need to work more collaboratively with other group members or colleagues from other sections, to Supervisors and Managers who suddenly face a whole new host of problems due to dealing with larger staffs and increasingly heavier demands on their time from both above and below. 

 As a Training Manager/Learning Director this presents you with quite a dilemma.  How do you provide your employees with the support they need to learn and apply these new skills in their day to day jobs without spending a lot of money?   The answer lies in creatively using what most of you already have at your fingertips to develop high value materials that you can put on your employees’ computer desktop by simply sending them out as e-mail.  Here’s how:

 Step 1: Think Like an Employee—What Would You Want if You Were in Their Shoes?

As a first step, start by pretending that you’re the employee facing new job expectations, and are looking for something that would not only teach you what you need to know about the key new skills you need to use, but also provide you with tools you can use to apply these skills each time you use them. To find the right solution, you’d probably ask yourself the following types of questions:

  • What am I expected to do that’s different and challenging?
  • What new skills does that take?
  • What do I need to show me how to use these skills in my job?  

 The answers usually cause you to look for something that “shows me what I need to do, the steps I need to take, and has some application tools handy to refer to each time I need them.” 

 That’s why employees have always loved checklists, “cheat sheets” and simple handbooks outlining the critical steps to apply a new procedure.  That’s why so often these items are the most popular take aways from a formal classroom training program.  As a Training Manager, you can take advantage of this natural tendency and develop materials in this format.

 Step 2: Ask People What They Are Dealing With and What Do They Need  To Know?

The best way to find out what challenges people need help dealing with is to ask.  Get some people in similar positions together and ask them questions like:

  • “What’s changed about your job during the last few months?”
  • “What things are the most challenging for you?”
  • “What’s the most frustrating?”

 Their answers will quickly point you to some common skills that people in that type of position need help with. 

 For example, ask a group of Supervisors or Managers the above questions and you may hear answers like:

  • “I have to spend most of my time in meetings, and many aren’t productive.”
  • “I’m not supposed to do the work myself, but I’m responsible for making sure it’s done right.”
  • “I’m on all these special project teams, and we’re struggling getting things done.”
  • “I’m split in 50 different directions.”

 Answers like indicate that you should concentrate your efforts on providing support with things like:

  • Designing and running better meetings
  • Basic delegation skills
  • Basic team project skills
  • Time management

 If you do this for each of the major types of positions in your organization, you will soon have a good handle on the most important type of support you can provide each group.

 Step 3: What to Put in Your Materials

As mentioned previously, employees put a high value on easy to use checklists, and simple handbooks that show them how to do their challenging tasks.   Consequently, you want to develop your materials in this type of format.  Possible topics to include are:

  • Basic information on the skill such as a definition, when to use it, etc.
  • Basic success ingredients and pitfalls to avoid
  • Frameworks or checklists that cover the basic steps to use each time they apply the skill. 

 Step 4: Format Your Materials So They Are Very Easy To Use. 

Write in simple easy to understand language.  Make liberal use of lists and bullet points, so the information can also serve as an application guide. Include a separate section just for forms and checklists. Be sure to include a Table of Contents.  Include hyperlinks to take employees directly to the material they need.

 Most materials can probably be developed using your company’s word processing program. You can protect their integrity by putting them into a PDF file.

 Step 5: Distribute via e-mail.

Many trainers overlook how easy it is to get materials in the hands of employees.  Simply send them out via e-mail with the appropriate cover letter containing instructions on how to use and store them in a dedicated folder on their computer’s desktop for easy access.  Once they have a folder set up, you can add additional materials as needed.  You could, of course, also have the materials accessible on your organization’s intranet if you have one.

 Step 6: Use Materials as the Basis for Further Training

Once distributed, you can also use the materials as the backbone for further training.  One easy way to do so is to conduct any needed sessions by conference call or web conferencing software.  Participants can access the materials on their computer during the session.  For example, you might conduct a session with a group of employees on how to use the materials in some real life situations they face and bring to the call. You can also conduct sessions for Managers on how to coach their reports on how to use the materials on a day to day basis.

 In sum, these methods and some creativity on your part can help you avoid the “we don’t have any money” trap that derails so many training efforts, and start providing much welcome support to your organization’s employees during very difficult times. 

Copyright © 2009 by KAW Consulting.  All Rights Reserved.