When I held a course in structure in Trollhättan, Sweden, not too long ago, one of the participants shared a trick which I thought was quite ingenious, different and fun. I am therefore glad to pass it on and share it with you today.
If I remember and understood it correctly, he works as a consultant in organizations which are either in the process of downsizing their operations and staff, or liquidation. The mood amongst the employees tends to not be the best, and when people feel resignation, it can be difficult getting things done. And in spite of this, he cannot manage to do everything that need to be done regardless of the current situation alone, and hence still needs to delegate most things to others.
Motivate more …
He told me that in order to raise the willingness and motivation amongst those he delegates tasks to, he usually includes something that appeals a little extra to the person receiving a delegated task. Sometimes he attaches a few sweets to documents he needs someone to attend to. Or he might create small and fun contests along the lines of ”Whomever responds to the meeting-request first will receive a lottery ticket!”.
…by stimulating more!
Through his actions, this nice and generous course-participant is increasing the attractiveness of the delegated task. He charges the task with more value, so when we complete the task we do not only get to feel good about having accomplished something and receive a thank you and a pat on the back, but also something extra that stimulates our senses and curiosity.
If you want to, take a few minutes now and try to think of what you could spice up your delegated tasks with. Use a blank sheet of paper or a whiteboard to get your inspiration flowing.
- Could it be something that tastes good?
- Would it be possible to somehow make it into a contest and allow your colleagues to compete for who gets to complete the task?
- Are you going to promise them a particularly tasty treat when they report back to you?
- Could you swop tasks with a colleague, so that you offer to complete part of her ”sourdough”-task if she helps you with what you need to do right now?
- Or, can you think of something else?
Make it worth its while
If you charge the tasks you delegate to others with something extra, your task will most likely be more prioritized by the person who is in charge of completing it. And if you use this trick with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your lips, you and your colleagues will simply have more fun at work. If your colleagues are inspired by your method and decide to follow suit, then you might be the one receiving a sweet or a treat next time.