Blog A Guide to Startup Delegation: 5 Tips for Leaders

A Guide to Startup Delegation: 5 Tips for Leaders

Nov 16, 2022

5 min read

Effective delegation is a crucial management skill, especially in fast-growing startups. But for many, putting it into practice is a tough row to hoe.

That’s why we are going to walk you through the top 5 effective delegation tips for startup leaders.

But first, let’s get the basics clear: what is delegation? Why is delegation leadership important? And, how can you employ effective delegation as a leader? 

Let’s dive deeper:


What is Effective Delegation?

Delegation leadership refers to how leaders assign specific tasks to their employees. Delegating specific jobs to teammates enables leaders to focus on higher-value activities while maintaining employee engagement through greater autonomy.

Delegating not only helps you accomplish your important work, but it also allows your colleagues to work on interesting projects fit for their skill set. 

In a nutshell, effective delegation builds team abilities and allows individuals to develop new strengths.

But why is effective delegation important?

Why is Delegation Important?

Delegation as a leader is important for 3 primary reasons:

  • Maximize your productivity
  • Increase your trustworthiness and reliance as a leader.
  • Shows your team that you trust them with important work

When delegation is executed effectively, you can accomplish more as a team than as an individual. Furthermore, leadership delegation also helps in preventing overwork load and burnout. 

As a leader, your role is to see the big picture and delegate the right tasks to the right people. Developing delegation skills requires understanding the desired results for a given initiative and allocating work to different team members according to their diverse skill sets.

By delegating tasks, you can enhance team skill sets and keep track of your professional development plan.

So, how to delegate better as a leader? Here are our top 5 effective delegation tips for leaders:

Top 5 Delegation Tips for Startup Leaders

Underlining What to Delegate

Every task cannot be delegated. However, by hiring the right talent and getting to know each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, you can assign deliverables and delegate responsibilities more effectively.

Ask yourself: Are there any tasks you regularly perform even though your team is better suited for the job? Would reassigning the project to another employee benefit them professionally? 

If one of your team members can do the work better or if you think this could be a teachable moment, delegate. This will help you show your team that you trust and value them while you continue focusing on more strategic projects.

Here is some example of delegatable work:

  • Tasks aligned with team members’ interests: If a team member has expressed a desire to learn a new skill or improve an existing one, see if you can assign them tasks to help develop those skills. 
  • Recurring tasks: It is often beneficial to delegate tasks to someone who has the time and energy to handle them. 
  • Assignment of work that relates to a team member’s goals: Delegating work that fits the professional goals of your team members.

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Identify Priorities

Knowing which tasks are most important and how difficult they are will make it easier for you to delegate effectively.

For example, high-priority tasks need to be completed as soon as possible, either by you or by someone else. However, depending on the nature of the work, you can decide whether you should handle it yourself or delegate it. 

Identifying team and company goals is the best way to clarify priorities. You can effectively prioritize and accomplish high-impact tasks by explaining why your work is important. 

Understand Your Team Member’s Strength

Identifying weaknesses and strengths is the key to unlocking the full potential of every employee from a leader’s perspective. 

With this information, leaders can make smarter decisions regarding employee assignments, conduct more effective performance reviews, and ensure that every employee has the opportunity to grow and succeed.

However, strengths and weaknesses tend to be relative, and employees are often not sure where they stand. Therefore, as a leader, one of your most important tasks is identifying these strengths and weaknesses and employing that knowledge to improve productivity and engagement.

Here are three ways to do so:

  • Be Direct and Real: During 1:1 Meetings or performance reviews, you can directly ask your employees about their strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
  • Competitions: Competitions are a great way to bring out the best in employees. It is a powerful motivator and can quantitatively and qualitatively highlight one’s strengths and weaknesses. For example, leaders can organize contests to discover who has natural leadership skills and excels in certain areas. 
  • Observe: When you work with the same people for a long time, viewing them for their strengths and weaknesses could prove challenging. However, this can be a missed opportunity to know your employees’ skills and drawbacks. Therefore, by observing your team closely, you will be able to make the right choices within a wider context objectively.

Invest in Training

Many critics of the concept: of “employee-as-asset,” claim that rather than just labeling employees as assets, leaders should show value for the gem they hold by treating them in a more meaningful way. 

That’s why leaders should take care of their employees’ training and development to increase their productivity and engage them in a way that acknowledges them as more than just employees.

Following are some of the many benefits associated with better employee training and development:

  • Increase employee loyalty
  • A competitive advantage over other companies
  • Flexibility in the market
  • Helps attract and retain great talent
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Helps shape the future of your organization

Prioritize Communication and Give Credit

Delegating work is an excellent way to communicate and get feedback. Therefore, ensure you are always reachable to your employees with any questions and set up regular check-ins, like 1:1 meetings, where you can review the progress in greater detail.

Moreover, for better communication, make sure all your team’s work is in one place, like a project management tool, so the information is always up to date and accurate. 

Some of our best choices of project management tools include:

Furthermore, delegating work effectively provides other team members with the opportunity to learn new skills and participate in important projects. However, be sure to credit the team member who completed the work once the task is completed.

The appreciation for work, especially in front of a group, encourages the team to work better in the future. Thus, take the time to appreciate your team members’ efforts and never take credit for others’ work.

The Key to Successful Delegation

The secret sauce of effective delegation is following up!

The best employees always follow up with their leaders, build a visible action plan, and give you updates to ensure things are on track. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility as a leader to ascertain that the assigned work is completed on time.

Therefore, while you should give employees flexibility, it’s equally crucial to keep track of tasks delegated.

To monitor delegated tasks, you must:

  • Confirm project details, deadlines, and milestones in advance
  • Make use of collaboration technologies such as Google Docs, Slack, and Basecamp
  • Hold weekly meetings to review what’s been accomplished and discuss what has to be done
  • Ensure your employees can ask questions and you’re available to them when they need you

Delegated and Done

Delegating effectively is a great way to develop your management skills and enhance team development. Therefore, follow the above effective delegation tips and give your team all the information they need to complete the task. These tips and building trust in your team will set them up for success!

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