When giving a project to a staff member, how can a manager assure that it gets done in the best way possible? Some managers have a tendency to over-help and risk getting in the way of the staff member's job, while others have a tendency to under-help and risk allowing the staff member to get overwhelmed. Obviously a balance of the two styles mentioned above is required. But how can we achieve this balance?
Step 1: Allow staff members to fully flesh out the project on their own, give them the space to explain to the manager what needs to be accomplished and what the timeframe will be.
Step 2: Help staff members breakdown the project into specific tasks that can be easily delegated and accomplished.
Step 3: Be available to staff members for any questions, if and when they get stuck, as they probably will. However, when staff members come to managers with a challenge they are facing, managers should talk it out with staff members until staff members come up with the solution. Managers should not try to hand the solution to the staff member, as staff members should learn how to work through challenges.
Step 4: Have staff members present their final project to managers before it gets launched, as managers will probably have final suggestions for staff members.
The key to helping staff members with a project is: giving staff members enough guidance so that they can work on their own, and then stepping back while remaining available to them for help. When approached for help, managers should refrain from giving answers, but rather through brainstorming and talking things out together, allow the staff member to come up with the solution. The end goal is not just to help staff members with a project, but rather to teach them how to work through and accomplish the project. Managers are as much mentors as they are managers.