Assign Work AND Reporting

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make sure my directs tell me what they've done?
  • How do I make sure my directs do the work they should?
  • How do I find out status on my direct's work?

This guidance recommends assigning both the reporting of work and the work itself when delegating.

If you're not a manager, you might be surprised what us managers think about when we assign work to our directs. If you're not a manager, you probably assume, hey, he gave me the work, I know it's mine, I'll do it, it's my job, after all. Easy to be him or her.

That's not always what we assume. Even with top performers, there are times when we wonder: Will it get done? Can they do it? Will they do it WELL? Will they do it on time? How will I know the status between now and when it's due? Will they let me know if something goes wrong? Why don't they proactively communicate more? Why do I have to go check? Am I going to have to have a difficult conversation? Am I going to end up having to do it myself?

At least for part of that, there's a solution. It's a simple thing, but it will save you hundreds of hours work over your career, and millions of moments of heartache and worry.

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Easy analogy in consulting - Timesheet

Excellent cast! 

One easy analogy that seems to work in staffing that emphasizes that certain administrative tasks (a la reporting) are 'worthwhile'  is:

If you filled out your timesheet, but didn't hit submit (and the consequences thereof) - would you consider the work done?


Your casual - would be like a ton of bricks here

 I like the section of this Podcast where we are shown how to present this idea to our directs in a weekly meeting.

The main thrust is that we should introduce any managerial change to our directs before we implement it.

After 15 years as a manager in the same position I have just started weekly meetings.

It hasn't been going well. The team really just doesn't see the point and have very little to say.  My Boss has even tried to discourage me from doing it.

Yes, I have started to get into the habit of assigning work and reporting together.  Which works pretty well.

I just didn't bring it up as a managerial change in a meeting.

What I thought was funny is that after the little role play - our hosts said that what they said was casual.

I can say that in my environment, if I said what was said in the podcast - It would come down like a ton of bricks on the heads of my directs.  It would not sound casual to them at all.

All I do now is, when I assign work, I specifically ask them to report about it at a time/date - or ask them what time/date they believe is reasonable to report to me about it.

I repeat it to them just before I leave - recapping the whole thing.

e.g. " OK, John. So you will be able to complete this spread sheet we just went over AND you will report to me that you have completed it next Tuesday morning , right ? Let me know if you have any problems or questions before then, OK ? "

I'm not sure they have noticed it as a much of change.  If they have noticed I don't think it scares them.

Bringing it up at a formal meeting and introducing it as a managerial change would spread frightened ripples through our larger department.

I'm sure that my Boss would have a few words with me about  pressuring my staff too much within the week.

Just thought I'd share my perspective;

and my giggles

Uncle A