It is just as important how you assign work to your team as what work you assign to your team. The performance of your team can be increased dramatically if the team feels they have a say in what tasks are assigned to them and how they should perform these tasks. However, this may not always be possible as there are sometimes tasks that need to be assigned quickly, and there may also be menial tasks that no one wants to do. In this article, we will be looking at the various ways to assign work and explore which method is most appropriate in which situation.
While you want to give your team as much freedom as possible in executing a task, it is essential that they know how the end product should look. You should be clear on the steps that need to be followed and the resources that are available to them.
The assignment of work to your team will often fall into one of the following three categories:
- Orders: These are dictatorial in approach and leave no room for guesswork. They should only be used in emergencies.
- Requests: This method of assigning work leave the team members with some room for interpretation. As a team leader, you will want to use this method most often when assigning work.
- Suggestions: This method of assigning work leaves the team members with the most room for interpretation. It should only be used if it is not important that the work gets done in a particular manner. It can also be used when assigning low-priority tasks.
Dictatorial Approach to Assigning Work
The dictatorial approach is an easy short-term method to assign tasks to individual team members. This method should be used selectively as it generates the least amount of job satisfaction and independence. It is effectively used for tasks that need to be completed urgently or for tasks that no one wants to take on. When using this method, make sure the importance of the task is clearly explained and emphasize the rewards to the individual and the team.
Apple-Picking Approach to Assigning Work
Although this approach does not emphasize team problem solving or collaboration, it gives the team members more freedom in choosing their tasks. In the Apple-Picking approach, the team member chooses a project that they would like to work on from a list of tasks that need to be completed. This approach works well where there are only a few tasks to be assigned to a small team, and not enough time for a meeting. For this approach to be effective, the tasks need to be equal in value and workload.
The Collaborative Approach to Assigning Work
In the collaborative approach, a team meeting is held to decide which team member will complete which tasks. The list of tasks is presented to the team, and all members are encouraged to help establish objectives and deadlines for each task. This method of assigning work is generally the most effective as the team members have a say in how the work is distributed. Team members have the opportunity to choose a task that is more meaningful to them. This approach will enable you to get more out of your team and help the team to develop and grow. This approach is not appropriate for urgent tasks or a list of menial tasks. It is most effectively used with a team that is mature and has been together for a while.