As a business owner or manager, it's important to delegate tasks to your team in a smart way so that you have enough time to focus your efforts on areas that require your attention most, and so that the right people are in charge of activities that match their own skills. This can be critical to the success of your operations. Are you delegating enough to your team, or are you trying to do too much on your own? Here are some points to consider.

Employees will want to prove their worth.

If you're concerned that extra duties will drive some employees away, consider that many will look at these responsibilities as a chance to help prove their worth to the company. In fact, this can be the difference between a valuable employee and one who isn't in it for the long term. Seeing how people react to being given new duties can help you figure this out sooner rather than later.

Team members should understand why a task is important.

As you delegate tasks, make sure each person understands the importance of the responsibilities they're given. Employees will likely strive to do a better job if they believe that what they're doing actually has value to the company, and therefore their employment. If a person finds a task to be trivial, they will likely not put as much thought or effort into it, or they may not prioritize it within their own set of duties.

Avoid being vague.

As you dole out tasks, make sure you are clear about what exactly needs to be done. The team member in charge of the task at hand needs to know just what you're expecting them to accomplish and what their goal should be.

Have a direct dialogue when giving an assignment.

Make sure that the person on the receiving end of the task is up for the job and encourage feedback about it. Ask them if they're comfortable with the duties you're giving them and if they think that can handle it on their own. If the task requires training, make sure that takes place.  Ask them if they have any questions and encourage feedback to continue over time.

Keep the communication lines open.

Feedback and dialogue should continue as time goes on and not just when the assignment is handed down. Be sure to keep the communication lines open and touch base on a regular basis to make sure everything is going according to plan. If it is not, find out why, and decide what needs to happen to get things back on track. Make sure the employee knows that they can check in with you and ask questions as needed.

Be flexible when it makes sense.

There may be times when you try to delegate tasks, but employees don't have the skillset or understanding required. This is not necessarily their fault, particularly if the task is not something they were hired to do to begin with. Not everyone can be expected to have the expertise that you do in certain facets of business. Be flexible with learning curves and timing as long as it doesn't put important matters in jeopardy. It may be that a task needs to be given to someone different, or the original person may just need a little time to develop the proper skills/understanding.

Make sure team members aren't taking on more than they can handle.

You're delegating tasks so that you're not taking on more than you can handle. Just make sure that you're not putting that type of burden on your team members, and remember there are only so many hours in the day. If an employee feels they have taken on too much, the pressure of doing so may weaken their abilities to get things done properly, or worse yet, may cause them enough stress to want to look elsewhere for employment.

Evaluate performance and be sure the right tasks are going to the right people.

As time goes on, evaluate each team member's performance with the tasks you've given them. Review who is excelling and who is struggling. For those struggling, work with them to find out why that is. It may be that they're just better suited to different tasks. It may take some experimenting, but try to make sure the right tasks are going to the right people.

Ultimately, as the business owner or key executive, all decisions are in your hands, but don't underestimate your team's eagerness to do their part. They want to see the company thrive, too, if for no other reason than their own reliance on a paycheck. Smart delegation can make your company run more smoothly while taking some weight off of your shoulders and making employees feel that they are a valuable part of the team.

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC