Delegation & Objective Setting – Line Management

There are many skills you will learn as a manager, some you will learn while on training courses that help with the technical aspects of your job, and some though practice and learning from experiences on the job.

Take objective setting for example. You’ve worked hard at your own objectives to get to your position, so are already familiar with the concept, but now you have to learn how to set objectives for others as their manager. Learning how to set objectives for others is key to being a successful Line Manager.

Another example to look at is delegation. You will no doubt understand that you need to delegate to your team, but you are probably not quite sure how to do this effectively.

The art of delegation can be taught through training, but being able to do it effectively requires you to know the strengths and weaknesses of the people you are delegating to, which you will only know by getting to know them.

So, learning how to delegate quite quickly will remove some of the stresses associated with heavy workloads, and leave free you to figure out your objectives and how you should set them for your team. Let’s take a more detailed look at both of these management skills.

This skill and more is covered in our Line Management Courses!

Effective Delegation

In your first few weeks, you will be trying to find your feet in your new management role, while also trying to build relationships.
Your own performance will be your biggest concern, so it’s easy to let everything else fall to the side.

Some of this time would be better spent in getting to know your team and working out what support they need, or who would benefit from taking on additional tasks.

The purpose of great delegation is to ensure that your team as a whole accomplishes its goals as quickly and effectively as possible. It also gives more junior team members opportunities for growth and learning.

Delegating is obviously also very helpful for your time management. Here are some key tips for getting to grips with delegation. You can also check our article about tips for supervisors for more information on this topic.

– Think of delegation as an integral part of your role. It isn’t something that you can get to when you have time. It is part of management, and you need to start delegating and learning to delegate from the day that you move into your new management role.

This will also set the tone going forward, increase your credibility and let your team know there will be opportunities to learn more.

– Just because you can do it alone, it doesn’t mean you should do it alone.

Your time may be better spent on other projects, so the skill is in prioritising your time and workloads and recognising where someone else may benefit from taking on a particular task.

– Use delegation as a chance to upskill your team members.

Upskill individuals on various aspects of their role, so they can also help you and enhance their own knowledge at the same time.

– Try not to be tempted to micromanage your team.

In the first few months you want to build trust within your team and that works both ways. If you delegate a task, you have to trust them to complete it properly and not endlessly ‘check in’ and try to micromanage them.

– When you feel overloaded with work, be careful not to delegate and overload someone else. This is just passing on the stress to somebody else.

Figure out when delegation is necessary and if it isn’t, try to work around it with group projects or team initiatives.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support if your workload becomes too much for you to manage.

Effective delegation is absolutely key for minimizing team conflict, learn more here!

Setting Objectives

Goals and objectives are important in any business, and help employees and managers know exactly what they are working toward.

The goal is what you or the company want to achieve, and the objectives are the specific actions involved in reaching the goal.

This is why setting objectives will be so important to your role. You can see the visions of the company and need to use your influence to make sure both you and your team are doing their part.

Setting objectives is essential for momentum and driving the team forward. So, take a look at these tips to help you learn about objective setting from day one.

– Spend the first few weeks really getting to know your new team. You can then figure out who needs more encouragement and support to improve, which is a great first objective to have.

– Make your own vision and goals clear to the team. If they understand your objectives, they’ll start to see where they fit in and will want to contribute.

– Only set objectives for yourself and your team that are achievable in the time frame. This doesn’t mean ignoring the bigger picture, but when you are still getting to grips with your role, you don’t want to give anyone unrealistic goals that set anyone up to fail.

– Don’t get bogged down trying to set too many objectives if they can be condensed into a few SMART goals. Structuring your objectives allows you to measure their success and is a really useful tool to work with.

– Give feedback to individuals and the team as a whole about their performance in objectives you have set. They will feel reward in knowing that their contributions have been noticed.

Struggling with decision making for the objectives? Read more here to master decision making!

Getting Through the First Few Months

With the pressure mounting to deliver a good performance, the adjustment period can fly by quickly.

So, the first couple of months are essential for laying the groundwork and communicating your own goals and objectives to your team.

Don’t forget to listen to your team and learn from mistakes that will help your leadership skills in the long run.

You should try not to fear delegation, it is a great management skill to learn, and getting the balance right will ease your workload and alleviate stress.

But at the same time, delegate for the right reasons. Make sure that all parties benefit from it and that the process will produce quality work.

And always think about the bigger picture. Listen to innovative ideas and encourage your team to pursue viable ones. Short-term goals are important, but a great manager can think long-term in terms of success.

This is your chance to use your introductory time in this role to set your pace. It is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of new responsibility and forget to prioritise your own ability.

You will still be learning new skills, and it is so important to not take on more than you can handle. This way you will delegate for the right reasons and be able to work to your objectives easily.

Looking for more Manager Tips? Read our guide here on Performance Reviews!

About Ben Richardson

Ben is a director of Acuity Training which he has been running for over 10 years.

He is a Natural Sciences graduate from the University of Cambridge and a qualified accountant with the ICAEW.

He previously worked as a venture capitalist and banker and so had extensive experience with Excel from building financial models before moving to learn SQL, Microsoft Power BI and other technologies more recently.