June 18, 2015


Assinging tasks to your employees: 5 commandments

By Alexander Sergeev

What’s the role of a manager in his/her employees’ failures? What rules provide success to assigned tasks?


Your plan

1. Be consistent in your tasks

Manager’s mistakes:

  • a task set isn’t coordinated with tasks of other departments. A task conflicting with goals of other departments will surely face a wall of confrontation. Don’t make a civil war among your employees.
  • a task set is conflicting (time, resources and goals) with other employee’s tasks. It happens that a wonderful idea occurs to a manager’s head. And he/she urgently assigns it to an employee in order not to forget it without asking if a worker has time to do it. And then a manager is surprised why an employee can’t fihish it.

A check-up question for an employee:

Does the task contradict your other priorities?


2. Explain your goals

Manager’s mistakes:

  • has assign a task in an incomprehensible or unqualified way. Surely, an employee should interprete and decompose a task but the final result should be defined clear and precise.
  • hasn’t explained why a task is set. One and the same task can be performed differently depending on why it’s done. Make sure that the task will be completed with complete understanding of its reason.
  • hasn’t made certain that the task is understood right. The things you say and the things an employee hears differ a lot. It’s better to ask a worker to tell how he/she has understood it. A better way is to do it in writing.

A check-up question for an employee:

How did you know what result should you get?


3. Know the possibilites of your employees as your own ones

Manager’s mistakes:

  • an employee doesn’t have enough skills and experience for a task assigned. There are many situations when an employee has to overcome himself/herself in order to complete a task. However, a possibility of success isn’t high.
  • a task set is knowingly inexecutable. It’s better to be realistic and set right goals for right people.

A check-up question for an employee:

How will you achieve the result?


4. Equip your employee

Manager’s mistakes:

  • hasn’t equipped a worker with all necessary resources. Big tasks need big resources.
  • hasn’t equipped an employee with necessary information. The one who has information, owns the world. Not understanding peculiarities of a situation may lead an employee to a failure.
  • has set a task outside an employee’s borders of responsibilities. Sometimes managers forget that it’s another people’s task while setting goals and tasks.

A check-up question for an employee:

Do you have enough resources and authority in order to achieve the result?


5. Remember about an intermediate control

Manager’s mistakes:

  • hasn’t carried out an intermediate control. When a manager doesn’t remember about the task, employees make a conlusion that they can wait a little with it.
  • has set a task without notifying a direct employee’s manager. It doesn’t allow to provide task solving. If there’s a manager who can carry out an intermediate control instead of you, don’t forget to notify him/her.

A check-up question for an employee:

Who will you report to about you work?

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