There is no question that delegation is an important principle in effective leadership. Here are five tips to help you avoid making errors when delegating:

  1. Define clear Expectations
  2. Record each assignment
  3. Offer Encouragement
  4. Report on progress and completion
  5. Show appreciation for effort

I typically try to use acronyms or mnemonics to help me remember key principles or steps to a process. In this case you can see that I use “ERERS” to help me avoid errors when delegating tasks, assignments, or projects to colleagues.


According to the reputable Gallup Q12 survey, managers can influence more than 70% of workplace engagement issues. Key to that engagement is an employer establishing clear expectations. This is especially true when assigning an employee to do something on your behalf. Clearly stating what you hope will be achieved and providing the purpose, parameters to work within, and what wildly successful looks like is a recipe for success.


A boss can delegate all day long, but if he or she doesn’t write down what they delegated good luck ever seeing a return on investment. This is often the most overlooked skill in delegation: writing down the assignment and due dates for a return and report.


Employees are always looking for validation. Periodically checking in and offering words of encouragement as your employees wrestle with the tasks and projects they have been given goes a long way.


No assignment is complete without your employees reporting back on how they are doing or how they did on their assignments. Too often, employers are left wondering how things are progressing or what ever happened with that initiative. Setting up check points and milestones will help employees feel accountable and responsible for the assignments they have been given.


Similar to encouragement, it is important for employers to give thanks for the efforts of their employees. Look for the good in what they accomplished. Highlight the positives even if correction is needed for future assignments.

Avoiding “ERERS” in delegation can make all the difference in employee performance.

Published by Jerrod Guddat

I love learning, collaboration, and improving workplace performance. You can usually find me reading a book or opposing points of view on the internet. I typically assume my ideas are flawed until proven otherwise. :-)

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