Do you delegate or do you offload? Is delegation a ‘good thing’ but offloading inherently ‘bad’? 

“Unfortunately, ‘offloading’ can have negative connotations,” says Alison Ibrahim, Senior Leadership and Management Trainer at Impellus. “And there are reasons for that. However, it really depends on why and how you offload and what you want to achieve.” 

“Delegation and offloading are similar, but they do have some clear differences which it’s important to understand.” 

What is delegation? 

Delegation is when you pass a specific task or activity onto someone else. However: 

  • You are still responsible for its successful completion. 
  • You are still accountable for the end result. 

“Delegation has many positive aspects,” says Alison. “As well as freeing up your time to a certain extent, it is also a good way to empower and develop your team. It will still take your time, however, as you will probably need to provide ongoing guidance and support.” 

What is offloading? 

Offloading is when you pass tasks or activities onto someone else with little further oversight or involvement. 

Offloading: the good and the bad  

The good… 

Offloading will help to free up your time by passing on tasks that someone else can do equally well or better than you can.  

“These tasks and activities may not be a key part of your role and offloading them, perhaps to a colleague who has more expertise in that particular area, will allow you to prioritise critical aspects of your responsibilities where your own expertise lies,” says Alison. 

The bad… 

However, offloading must be carefully and responsible considered. It should not be used if: 

  • It leads to an inappropriate lack of guidance and oversight and poor results. 
  • Tasks are ‘dumped’ on others who do not have the time or skills to take them on. 
  • The aim is to simply avoid a particular task or activity in the hope that someone else will do it instead. 

You may find useful: 

Delegation and Time Efficiency: This one-day course is for any manager or team leader who wants to reappraise how they allocate time and resources to increase both their own productivity and that of their team. 

In addition, Impellus offers a range of Level 3 training courses that are targeted at team leaders and newly promoted managers, enabling them to analyse, understand and apply key management skills.  

Courses can be taken as standalone modules or as part of an ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management or an Impellus Level 3 Certificate of Learning in Leadership and Management.