You thought the project was under control and it seemed like everyone was doing well. You noticed however that Randy and Josie have not been able to get their assigned work done. There is not much time left before you have to submit the project and you have a new project coming. In order to deliver the project on time, you end up doing the tasks you assigned Randy and Josie.
Congratulations, you’re not really sure how it happened but you got hit with the Boomerang Delegation and the work you had assigned to your team members is now back on your plate. So much for delegating.
Making sure your team members follow through on all their given tasks is a challenge any day of the week. During this period of instability and change, when team members are working from home it can become an even bigger issue.
Top three reasons for Boomerang Delegation and how to avoid them.
Lack of Clarity
It is not uncommon that team members who don’t understand what they’re being tasked with will procrastinate in completing a project but won’t ask for clarification. Very often they do not want to appear incompetent. Making sure you are clear, concise, and precise with the instructions is essential. Understanding your team members’ personality styles will help you create more clarity. While some people are more Big-Picture oriented and might be overwhelmed by too many details; detail-oriented people need all the steps in order to execute the project properly.
Lack of Buy-In
People are motivated to work when you appeal to their logic or emotion. Understanding what drives people will help you know whether they are motivated by reward or penalty. Take, for example, people who drive below the speed limit because they won’t risk getting a ticket vs those that speed regularly because of the emotional charge and the thrill they get in going fast and they have no issue breaking rules.
The project you assign needs to make sense to your team members and they need to know the reason why they’re doing it. Especially when performing a task that is not part of their normal job description or routine. Giving them the reason that applies to their view of the world not just because you said so or the reason that appeals to you.
Lack of Resources
At times, you end up with Boomerang Delegation because of the fact that you have not provided them with all the proper resources that they need in order to complete the job. In every situation, there are four essential resources that as a good leader you must provide your team members with: People, Time, Knowledge, and Money.
When assigning tasks, make sure that you not giving one person a job meant for two. If you are short on the workforce, then make sure you compensate for the lack of staff by providing ample time to complete the job. It is also essential to delegate the right tasks to the right people and if they don’t have full knowledge of the assignment, provide them with either training or tools to assist them. Last but not least, you need to budget properly for the project expecting any variances that might need to be addressed.
Making sure you identify the needs of your team members. Being a resource to them and communicating with clarity, positions you as an effective leader. You will be able to support your team in becoming more accountable and productive so in turn, they can complete the task they’ve been assigned and you can avoid Boomerang Delegation.
About the Author
Dr. Karen Jacobson is the Founder & CEO of Aligned Leadership Academy, working with organizations to develop leaders and High-performance teams that are efficient, effective, and engaged. www.drkarenjacobnson.com