Traps to Avoid When Delegating on Your Team

By Kierra Benson - Last Updated on January 27, 2021
Problems of delegation

When having a leadership or management role over employees, it can be a challenge figuring out how to be an authoritative figure amongst people with different personalities and work styles. Not only must leaders give instructions and enforce rules to their respective departments, but they must also ensure that the office environment (whether digital or physical) is healthy and productive. Below are some tips on what not to do.

Here are 10 Common Delegation Mistakes to avoid:

  1. Being the “Helicopter Boss

    Everyone has heard of the term “helicoptering” when it comes to over-parenting children. Well, the same concept can be translated for managers on the job. When employees are over-bossed through nitpicking, hovering, and constant criticisms over how tasks are being accomplished, it can cause frustration and anxiety creating a tense working environment for workers.

  1. Being a hands-off manager:

    The only thing worse than over-managing is under-managing. When a nonchalant approach is utilized in leading a team it can lead to confusion and apathy. If a team is given a task but has no idea how to complete said task due to not knowing what their individual roles are within the assignment, not having deadlines or a timeline to work by, or even not knowing what their job position entails due to lack of or substandard direction, this can create a chaotic work environment.

  1. Doing too much while accomplishing very little:

    Without considering employees time (whether inside or outside of the office) and putting too much responsibility on the team can lead to deadlines not being met and even the lack of motivation to complete tasks.

    Regulating the amount of work that a team is assigned creates an equalization of the workload between individual workers.

  1. Not knowing how to perform your role:

    Not only must a team of employees know their roles individually to be productive as a group, but a manager must also understand their role and the boundaries of their authority.

    For instance, if a manager gives a specific task to a particular person within the team, the manager must contemplate what leadership style  and the level of oversight to enforce on that person. Everyone is different and a successful manager should have good insight on how to handle people on an individual basis.
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  1. The “No Room for Error” mindset:

    People are fallible and mistakes are bound to happen. Managers must understand that clear instructions, standards, and expectations does not prevent errors from being made. Managers must also understand that errors beget learning, as long as corrections are being made.

    The more employees learn and grow, the more of what they produce will be better for the organization.

  1. Not clarifying expectations from the beginning of a project:

    Employees not only need to know what task to complete, they need to know how to do it, what should come of it, and it is expected to be finished.

    Managers must be clear about the expectations, goals, and deadlines of projects and tasks so that employees can understand how to navigate their assigned duties.

  1. Mismatching assigned roles:

    Never give a copywriting task to an employee who was hired to do finance and vice versa. Being a good manager means knowing what skills are needed to complete a task and giving said task to the person most qualified to give the most effective results.

  1. Not going over the results when delegating tasks:

    Like a teacher must grade what a student has turned in, a manager must look over what an employee has completed to ensure that all i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.

    Miniscule errors that were not caught early on in the process must be corrected for the best possible results. This also ensures that the manager is fully present from start to finish.

  1. Seeing only rust in the pipes:

    Setting impossibly high standards for employees can lead to dis-satisfaction for both the manager and the team. The ultimate goal should be to produce results that get the team closer to completing the task at hand.

    Do not waste time and resources doing the same thing over and over again.

  1. All work, no benefits:

    After all of that hard work that was completed by the team, if a manager does not share the compliments, prizes, and benefits provided by the high-ups of the organization then it could lead to low morale and resentment.

    Remember to always give credit where credit is due.

Final Thoughts

Being a leader is more than just telling your subordinates what to do and then coming back to your team when everything is completed. A good manager steers the course, provides stability, and creates and maintains a healthy work environment for their workers to thrive. When employees are satisfied they produce satisfactory results.

Kierra Benson

Kierra Benson | Kierra Benson is an alumnus of the University of North Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and Technology. She previously completed an internship at a local newspaper and worked as a content creator for a small online business. Her goal is to work in the media industry in writing/editing and advertising. She has always been fascinated by how messages are marketed in the media to influence the masses and sell produ...

Kierra Benson

Kierra Benson | Kierra Benson is an alumnus of the University of North Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor's degree in Communication and Technology. She previously com...


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