How to give assignments to team members

Last updated on: March 1, 2023

The project has been divided into milestones, goals and objectives broken into tasks, and now it’s time to assign them. But as you open the project management platform, you’re faced with the unflattering process of wording the tasks, and choosing whom to assign them to.

Well, in this article, we offer advice on how to make that jumbled first moment a little clearer. There are actionable tips, learning the difference between allocating and delegating tasks, and suggested criteria on how to choose the best person for the job.

How to give assignments - cover

For a more precise overview, here’s a table of contents:

Table of Contents

How do you assign employees tasks?

We normally think that assigning tasks is a time-consuming process that focuses on clearing out task lists to keep the project going. However, task assignment should actually be a more employee-oriented process that requires additional dedication and effort, which yields incredible results. But what do we mean by that?

Properly assigned tasks push your employees, projects, and the overall company forward. Here’s how.

  • They strengthen accountability and trust between managers and employees;
  • They help teach new skills and perfect old ones;
  • They allow employees to get familiar with other teams and avenues of work;
  • It becomes easier to make project estimates;
  • Makes for great bases for performance reviews, etc.

The list could go on, but we’ll stop there for now.

Of course, such long-term benefits don’t come without some proverbial blood and sweat in the planning stage. Let’s take a look at the general ideas on assigning employee tasks, and specific steps you can take.

Motivation comes from knowing the bigger picture

When we talk about the bigger picture in project management, we talk about each team member’s task affecting their peer’s down the line. Since all tasks are usually small pieces of the puzzle, it helps to remind employees how their work contributes. For example:

  • A high-quality draft can make a great foundation for the final version, and it can be completed more quickly.
  • A well-prepared presentation can shave time off unnecessary questions and additional email inquiries.

It comes as no surprise that people work better and are more productive, when they know that their work has an impact on the company level.

And so, when you assign tasks, try to emphasize how they fit in the bigger picture. Simply saying: “ You doing X will help with Y and Z ” and how it reflects on the project as a whole will let an employee know that the task they were assigned is important.

Get your employees excited to commit

Telling people about the bigger picture and showing them what’s possible can only get them so far. It’s enough to ignite the initial spark, but for them to fully commit to the task, you need to define what that task entails.

They should be able to picture how to go about the work, what skills to use, and how to reach the desired result. The clearer the instructions, the more motivated they will be to work.

Simply put, give directions on how the task should be done, and make sure they understand. You can’t read each other’s minds, so it’s important everyone is on the same page.

Ask for task transparency

One of the best practices a company can employ is transparency among coworkers.

This is achieved by having everyone input their tasks for the day in a timesheet. The purpose of timesheets is to get an accurate idea of what everyone is working on at any given time.

When people know who works on what tasks, it’s easier for them to know if a person is available or busy, how far along they are with a task, etc.

So, when you give assignments to employees, label them with deadlines. Alternatively, you can ask for employees’ assessments on how long the work would take them, and use those timeframes.

clocked-in activity screenshot in Team Dashboard

Source: Clockify team timesheet

Timesheets are a great way to keep an eye on tasks and the people doing them. You get to:

  • see who struggles with what (helps assess people’s skill sets);
  • who burns through their workload and is available for additional tasks;
  • whether your time estimates need correction;
  • identify any wasted time.

💡 If your employees are insecure about keeping public records of their tasks, here are a few resources that can help:

  • How to create order in your daily work tasks
  • How to be more efficient with your tasks

Keep a crystal clear timeframe

While we’re discussing timesheets and deadline transparency, it’s important to mention that the times you set for task completions need to be clear-cut.

As we’ve mentioned, the safest way to assign deadlines is to consult the employees. They are better at assessing how long it will take them due to the tasks’ difficulty, overall deadlines, the standards that need to be met, and the skill required to complete it.

When they get a say in how long they should be doing an assignment, people tend to feel more accountable for the whole process. They will do their best to finish in time, since they actively participated in setting the deadline.

Set very clear expectations

Assigning a task should always include your (the supervisor’s) expectations pointed out. For example:

  • Does a logo pitch need as many drafts as possible, or just a few finished pieces?

If you ask a designer to make some drafts for a logo pitch, you must specify the kind of quality you’re looking for. Explain whether you are looking for some sketches and drafts for a brainstorming meeting, or if you want clean, presentable pieces to show.

Additionally:

  • How many pieces should the designer do?
  • Is there a specific color palette they need to follow?
  • How important is the task? Is this the day they finally decide on a logo, or is it still in the brainstorming stage? (decides on the quality of the work itself)

Assigning the task using the above questions, you help the designer understand how much effort precisely they need to invest. They become more motivated with clear instructions, as they know what is expected of them. There’s no fear of having their work criticized for something that wasn’t communicated in the beginning. And on your end, it prevents breached deadlines or subpar results.

Avoid creating dependency by being less involved

It’s not unusual for employees to ask their supervisors for their opinion on a certain task, or their performance.

The problem arises when a supervisor makes themselves too involved with the process. When they feel like the project might fall apart if they don’t have their eyes on every moving part all of the time. And when you have, say, 20 people waiting for that person’s approval, advice, or consultation, the workflow runs into a gridlock.

And wait time is wasted time.

Plus, people lose motivation, patience, and grow frustrated, as they could be doing other things.

So, learn not to jump in every time people call for your aid. Assign reliable people who can address smaller issues, while you handle the big picture. Learn how to expend your own energy where it is needed more.

For example – making a pitch presentation for potential investors keeps getting put off because one person needs you to check a client email they want to send, another wants your signature on a form, and the third wants to ask something about employee feedback that’s coming up.

In order to not be stretched thin, and have your time wasted on menial tasks, here’s where you can start:

How to mitigate the risk of being over-involved when assigning

  • Remember that you match tasks to people

Which means that, by matching the right people with the right tasks, your involvement will be minimal. Take time to carefully choose who gets to do what. What is the point of assigning tasks if they can’t be done without you?

  • Have a 10-point scale to judge the importance of items

How important are certain aspects of your leadership role? Are you absolutely necessary in every meeting, or during every call? Which tasks need your approval, and which ones can be approved by someone under you?

Rank these items on a scale of 0 to 10, based on their importance to you and the project. Top priority tasks should get your undivided attention. And what can be delegated, should be.

  • Analyze your schedule

Your energy and time are needed on a much broader scale. The best way to spot if you’re wasting time being too involved is to look at your schedule. Identify how much time you’ve spent on low-priority items, and assess which issues could’ve been solved without you.

  • Take into account priorities and deadlines

Step in only when absolutely necessary. You are in charge of things getting done on time, by people most qualified for assigned tasks. Determine what your priorities are for each project, and concern yourself only with those issues, unless there is a risk of breaching a deadline.

  • Formulate a list of dependable people

If you know your employees (or team members) well enough, then you should be able to single out those who are more dependable and ready to take on a little more responsibilities. Write out the reasons how they could help by getting involved on low-priority items instead of you. When the time comes, rally them and present them with the idea, keeping in mind that this solution helps push the project forward. When authority is delegated to several people, there’s fewer chances of a hold-up in the workflow.

This also falls into the realm of task delegation , which we’ll get into later.

How do you decide what tasks to assign to which employees?

1. assign based on priority.

Naturally, some tasks will be more important than others. When you break down a project into tasks , spend some time assessing their priority level.

High-priority tasks should be the first on your list to allocate. Whether it’s because they’re time-sensitive, or require more effort and dedication.

Low priority tasks can be allocated as fillers to the first available person.

2. Assign based on employee availability

Another factor to consider when assigning tasks is who is available at the moment.

As the project moves along, new tasks will be added. You will have to allocate new work, but odds are you won’t always be able to pick who you want. Especially if a deadline is approaching, the person with the smallest workload should be your first choice.

Overloading an already busy individual just because they’re more skilled or you have faith in them the most puts an unnecessary strain on them. It’s cause for frustration, poorer results, and decreased productivity.

And as we’ve mentioned, if you have a timesheet with an overview of all the tasks and employees working on them, it’ll be much easier to spot who is free and who isn’t.

3. Assign based on employee skill level

High-priority tasks should go to employees with more experience in a given field or skill. However, you should occasionally give such tasks to other employees as well, to help them grow and become just as dependable. Giving people challenging tasks that can boost their experience is essential to productivity and morale.

Not to mention you get to have multiple high-skilled employees.

Low-priority tasks can be assigned to anyone, despite their experience level. They’re a good opportunity to practice, pick up new skills, or get smaller tasks out of the way to make room for more important ones.

4. Assign based on preference

Last, but not the least, preference can also play a big part in how you assign tasks.

It’s a given that some employees will prefer certain tasks over others. So it could be good to assign tasks at a meeting with the team. As you discuss priorities, deadlines, and availability, ask them which tasks they would like to work on.

If someone shows interest in a specific type of work, they should (with some consideration), be allowed to take it. After all, people are more productive when they’re assigned to something they find new or exciting.

Note: Apply this rule with caution. Letting people do only the tasks they want can stunt their career growth. Getting out of our comfort zones and occasionally doing tasks that we don’t like is how we develop and learn. So, don’t forget to document assignments as you hand them out, to spot these potential issues early on.

Allocating vs delegating tasks

While semantically similar words, delegation and allocation in terms of tasks are two different things.

When you allocate tasks , you are assigning tasks without giving the employees much authority, challenge, or room to grow. It includes you keeping all of the responsibility – writing out the tasks, making deadlines, providing resources, tools, etc. These are usually recurring tasks that can become repetitive.

When you delegate tasks , you allow for some of that responsibility to fizzle out from your fingers. All you think about are the objectives, while letting the employees figure out the details and means to get there.

However, that doesn’t mean delegation is right and the allocation is wrong.

Task allocation has its own place. It is just as important, as a lot of tasks come down to repeated processes that are still vital to the project progress. Task delegation is just a good opportunity for employees to learn, challenge themselves, and assess their skills and performance.

When should you allocate tasks?

Management and BizDev consultant Artem Albul shared his concept on task assignment, which he dubbed an “algorithm”. He emphasized how these criteria are useful only and only when you wish that employees perform the tasks based on your guidelines and instructions (aka allocation).

Here is how Albul broke down the algorithm:

algorithm - assignments

Source: Artem Albul, TWA Consulting

As we can see, task allocation, while the more “controlling” of the two, also gives in-depth instructions and asks for confirmation on task clarity. A lot of it comes down to everyone being on the same page, leaving little to no room for misinterpretation (but also creative freedom).

How should you allocate tasks?

With all that we’ve mentioned in the previous section, here’s how your task allotment could look like, step by step.

  • Break down your project

Detail out the goals, objectives, and some individual tasks (not all, be careful not to start micromanaging). Place the most important deadlines.

  • Prioritize tasks and sort them

It’s important to know what tasks need to be done faster/better, to properly allocate your resources and manpower from the start.

  • Make a list of teams and team members

Assign team leaders (if you don’t have them), and alternatively, ask for their input on individual employees skills, for a more informed decision on who gets what.

  • Schedule a meeting

Make a meeting with the team leads and go through the points above. Assign tasks according to each team’s availability, interest, and skill required to successfully push the project forward.

  • As team leads – assign tasks further down the pipeline
  • Track task completion and make necessary changes along the way

Whether it’s pushing deadlines, reassigning tasks, or shifting around resources. This is perfectly fine and expected, so long as it doesn’t happen on every task you’ve assigned. Then, it is an indicator of poor pre-planning.

  • Offer feedback and write performances

Don’t forget to track the progress and make notes of important details that might help the next task allocation/delegation process. It’s also a useful piece of information for the employees on what they need to improve on.

Allocating tasks is somewhat more complicated than we want it to be. But, this kind of thorough research and preparation will make projects run more smoothly. Employees will also be more satisfied with their work, and there will be less hurdles as deadlines approach.

When should you delegate tasks?

Delegation is a great practice in trust for both the employer/supervisor and the employee. The employer learns how to give away some of their control over the process, while the employee learns how to take more accountability for their work.

This lets you focus on big-picture aspects of your job, since you deal less with assignments that are low-priority for you. You save time and energy, while helping others move up in their careers.

How do you effectively delegate tasks as a leader?

As we’ve mentioned, delegating includes more employee independence. There are some additional components which make this type of task assignment more appealing than allocation, with great opportunities for growth.

Focus on delegating objectives instead of actual tasks

When you delegate, you focus on the objective that needs to be done. You shouldn’t give employees a “color by numbers” instruction on how to complete a task.

Communicate clearly what the end result should be and what expectations you (or the higher-ups) have. Leave the means for reaching that end goal to the employees themselves. Because how you solve a task may be completely different to how they will. And that is perfectly fine, so long as the result is the one you are looking for.

Keep the objectives challenging

When the objectives you’re delegating are too easy, chances are the person will either procrastinate, or feel like you don’t trust them enough. And if they’re too difficult, they get frustrated, anxious, and begin to panic.

It’s a good idea to be aware of an employee’s skill level, so you can gauge how much challenge and responsibility they can take on. For them to be the most productive and achieve great results, they need to enter “the state of Flow”.

Graph - in flow

Source: Optimal Experience , M. Csikszentmihalyi

💡 We’ve discussed the state of Flow in more detail in an article on time organization.

Encourage discussion and feedback

Let employees voice their opinions on the topic.

They should ask anything about the task, the goals, or the overall impact their work will have on the later stages or others’ workflow. It means they are interested in the task, and getting involved.

And if they aren’t asking questions themselves, you can always nudge them into proactivity.

  • Is there something you’d like me to clarify?
  • Do you already have any ideas on how to go about the task?
  • Is the time we agreed upon enough for you?
  • Will you need other resources, tools, or support?
  • Do you see any problems or risks?

Questions like these help them feel valued, their efforts acknowledged, and let them know you care about the task and how well they perform. Just be careful not to overdo it, or you’ll start to look like a micromanager.

Give employees free rein, but offer support

Speaking of micromanaging, delegation means you let people problem-solve their way out on their own. There should be no reason for a manager to step in and control or supervise any step of the process, unless absolutely necessary.

However, what you should do is let them know you’re available for any advice should they feel stuck. Just because employees get authority on a certain task, and are left to their own devices, doesn’t mean the project has to suffer until they pull themselves up.

From time to time, ask them if they need anything from you, and make sure they know you’re there for any kind of support, consultation, or mediation. ANother good practice is to also give them additional learning opportunities – such as training, conferences, courses, etc.

Delegate objectives that move people forward

Choose assignments that boost the skills and employ all of their experiences, instead of something that simply needs to be done. For example:

  • Tasks that require they brush up on their team communication skills;
  • Learning how to allocate smaller tasks;
  • Supervising others’ work and doing quality control;
  • Learning to work with a new tool;
  • Holding a meeting (or more), etc.

Find out which skills your employees may want or need to develop, and then plan your delegations accordingly. You want them to complete the task while having learned something new at the same time.

How to choose who to delegate to

Paul Beesley, senior director and consultant at Beyond Theory proposed a nifty checklist for when you’re choosing an employee to delegate to. It’s meant to simplify and speed up the process.

To successfully complete the delegated task, your chosen employee needs:

S – the skill to perform and complete a task

T – the time to complete the task, and if needed, learn the required skill

A – the authority to handle everything concerning the task

R – the necessary level of responsibility

R – the recognition for successfully completing the task

This list is a set of important criteria that should be covered when you consider who to assign to a specific task. However, depending on your niche, type of service, company size and the project at hand, the criteria are likely to change. And it should accommodate your needs, not the other way around.

Common task delegation mistakes to avoid

With all being said, there are some common mistakes managers and employers make, sometimes without even realizing it.

  • Being too vague concerning deadlines (using: as soon as possible, when you get to it, I need it by yesterday). It creates unnecessary pressure.
  • Being unavailable for questions and concerns. While you shouldn’t micromanage, you should still be present for support if an employee feels stuck. Ignoring them or handing them over to someone else could cause distrust. However, if you are usually swamped with work, set consultation hours each day or week.
  • Having unclear directions. Specifying the allotted time for task completion and expectations should be the bare minimum when delegating tasks.
  • Not providing feedback. No feedback is worse than bad feedback. Employees need to be aware when they’re doing good work, as well. In one company I worked for, the mantra was: “If no one is complaining about your work, that means you’re doing good”. And while it sounds like sound logic, it actually caused a lot of frustration. We were left directionless, and simply “floating” from task to task, never knowing if any of them had a positive impact on our performance.
  • Not listening to employees. Take into account how they feel about a task or the objective. Let them give you feedback and if there are potential problems from the get-go.
  • Assigning other people to the same task. If you notice a person struggling, the first instinct should be to ask them how they’re faring, and if they need any help. Some managers tend to assign other employees to help them without consultation, which leaves a sore taste. The employee will feel even more incompetent and will be less likely to take on a similar task in the future.
  • Assuming people will know what you mean. This is one of the biggest problems. When you’re formulating a task, be as clear as possible about the goals and expectations. Oftentimes managers think that these things are implied, but the truth is – no one is a mind reader. To avoid having information misconstrued or misunderstood, communicate clearly and directly.

There could be more mistakes, especially for every different field and industry. If at all possible, identify the most common ones, made either by you or your peers. Note down all the instances where certain tasks weren’t up to par, and see what you could have changed in your assignment process to fix it. Maybe there wasn’t enough time or resources, you were unclear, or the employee wasn’t ready for such responsibility. Use the same procedure in all future task delegations. It’s the only way to learn and make the process quicker.

To conclude

Task assignment should be a very careful, thought-out process. It’s not just about reaching milestones in time. It’s about helping employees learn new skills, feel more satisfied with their position in the company, strengthen the trust between you and them, and ultimately help you refocus on the big picture.

By following the advice we’ve gathered, you will be on the right track to make some effective, healthy long-term changes to your company.

✉️ Have you found these tips helpful? Is there something we could have covered in more detail? What are your experiences with assigning tasks?

Send your answers, suggestions, and comments to [email protected] and we may include them in this or future posts.

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Marijana Stojanovic is a writer and researcher who specializes in the topics of productivity and time management.

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Assigning Tasks: How to Delegate Effectively

There are certain projects that could never be completed if they weren’t broken down into individual tasks, especially those of a certain size and complexity. As soon as your team grows bigger than one or two people, you need to make use of the ability to assign tasks to achieve your goals. 

catherine heath

December 21, 2022

8 mins read

There are some customer service superheroes out there who seem to be able to complete all the tasks themselves. But the reality is that most of us need to learn the skill of assigning tasks to others, especially if we are in positions of responsibility in busy customer service teams. This is to ensure that no single person is burdened with the workload, or high-performers are being unfairly assigned a larger proportion of the work available. 

Assigning tasks is essential for high-performing customer service teams that must juggle multiple priorities. 

Anyone who has any experience working in a customer service team understands task assignments, which helps you to get projects completed, customer queries solved and objectives fulfilled. It’s naturally much quicker and more efficient to have multiple employees working on different tasks that make up a project, utilizing their unique skills and experiences to come up with creative solutions. 

Without assigned tasks, projects would never get completed because teams are not working to their full capacity. Some customer problems could never be resolved because they require the contributions of different customer service representatives . Assigning tasks needs to be deliberate since it requires the coordination of multiple members of a team. 

What is task assigning?

Task assigning means allocating and delegating tasks to members of your team for effective project management. The task assigner is aware of the various strengths and weaknesses, skills and experience of individuals and can assign them tasks in pursuit of greater productivity. 

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assign employees meaning

You need to be able to break down projects into component parts so that each individual may contribute to the greater whole. Usually, you will use task tracking or project management tools that can help your team manage their assigned task, and can even offer customer service automations that make assigning tasks easier. 

When assigning tasks is implemented effectively, each team member knows who is responsible for what and when tasks are due. This helps prevent conflicting priorities. Each task must come full circle, with each assignee receiving constructive feedback on how well they have completed the task. 

Even if you assign a task to another team member, they are still reporting into the task owner for approval. 

The importance of efficient task assignments

Efficient task assignment means that customer service teams can work to their full productivity, since each team member understands what they are responsible for. Your task description can break each task down so service reps fully understand the steps they need to take to complete the task, and have access to the resources they might need to be successful. Employees perform better when they are trusted with tasks that help them stretch and grow. 

The entire purpose of a team is to enable different employees to work together effectively and create outcomes that are greater than the individual contributions. Customer service teams that have a plurality of perspectives from multiple people are more creative. A diversity of perspectives contributes to more creative solutions as people with different backgrounds collaborate together. 

Projects are completed much more quickly when you have multiple team members handling all your employee tasks, instead of one person trying to do everything on their own. Task assignment means team members who have both the time and experience necessary to complete the task can all have a role to play. 

Effectively assigning tasks to individual team members gives them a chance to stretch themselves and engage in more professional development. New tasks give more junior customer service reps the opportunity to step outside of their comfort zone, and complete different types of work that may otherwise not come across their path. 

There are many benefits to task assignment, not least because it allows the entire team to share the workload. 

The difference between assignment and delegation

While they might at first glance seem to be similar, there is a big difference between task assignment and delegation. Assignment means you assign tasks to a team member and explain exactly how you want things to be done, with clear-cut instructions. Delegation means you are transferring responsibility for the task to your assignee and giving them more autonomy for how that task gets completed. 

Assigning tasks is often repetitive but it nevertheless contributes to the overall completion of the project. A delegated task is more free and gives your team members the opportunity to grow as they figure out how to produce the desired results. Task delegations are based more on outcomes than specific instructions, with the employee figuring out how to complete the task on their own. 

Although task delegation is more autonomous, it nevertheless still requires support from the manager to ensure that the employee has adequate direction. Delegating a task doesn’t mean the manager no longer has anything to do with it, but simply that they are trusting their assignee to take ownership. 

Choosing whether or not to assign or delegate a task means understanding the complexity of the task to be assigned. 

How to assign tasks to team members

Try to remove yourself from the approval process.

When a supervisor assigns tasks to employees, they themselves can become a bottleneck as service reps turn to them for approval during every stage of completing the task. When multiple team members are waiting for sign-off from the same customer service manager, you find that you haven’t actually reduced your workload and you end up micromanaging your assignees. 

When managers are too involved, projects lose momentum as the individual contributors end up waiting around for approval when they could be spending their time on more productive tasks. Customers are kept waiting as individual queries can’t progress without the authority of a manager. 

In order to avoid this problem, you can select a group of dependable people who are responsible for the approval process. Delegating responsibility means that you can be more hands-off in the task completion process, while being assured that the work is being completed to a high standard. Schedule regular team meetings to go over the progress of each task and keep your eye on the ball. 

Effective teamwork only happens when customer service supervisors feel secure enough to let the task go.  

Make your expectations explicit

Unfortunately, we can all fall into the trap of assuming that other people are mind-readers. In reality though, if you don’t give clear instructions to your team members then you’re unlikely to get the result you want. You need to look at your task titles and outlines from the perspective of an outsider in order to formulate clear instructions. 

If you want to better formulate tasks for your team members, break the task down into steps and give time estimates for each step. The more information the better, if you want to empower employees to complete tasks on their own. When employees are informed, they don’t have to waste time referring back to you for more clarity. 

There’s a fine line between clarity and micromanaging. Once you have assigned the task, don’t keep pestering your service rep to check whether they are doing it right. If you’ve given clear instructions, they should be able to complete the task to the best of their ability. 

At the same time, ensure that your employee knows they can always turn to you for help during the task, to guard against failure. 

Set an objective time frame for completion

When employees are assigned tasks, they need to be made aware of the deadline for completion or the task could run on forever. It’s not enough to vaguely say “As soon as you get to it” because some critical customer issue is bound to come along. 

It’s best to actively involve your customer service reps in their time frame for completion, since they are the ones who know best how long it will take them to finish certain tasks. When employees are involved in setting their own deadlines, they are more accountable and more likely to make an effort to meet it. 

If an employee is aware of a deadline, they can let you know if competing priorities have materialized and whether the deadline may need to be reevaluated. It’s best to flag these issues as soon as possible, before they affect the overall progress of the project. 

Without hard deadlines, projects will never get finished as every step gets continually put off until tomorrow. 

Hold your employees accountable

When assigning tasks to employees, make sure that they can account for their working hours somewhere that is publicly accessible to the team. You can use time tracking software that will help other team members understand exactly how someone is progressing with their task and hold that individual accountable. 

If employees are held responsible for their tasks, the project is much less likely to get derailed since you as the customer service manager can become aware if someone is falling behind. If your employee’s current progress looks like they might not meet their deadline, then you can ask them if they need extra help or support. 

Tracking your team’s performance can also help you identify the high-performers and who might be available for extra work. You might also see when team members are spending time on unnecessary tasks that don’t contribute to the progress of the project. Teams will be more efficient when they know exactly where time is being spent. 

If you don’t track your team’s hours, you won’t have visibility into your projects and their rate of completion. 

Assign tasks to the right person

There are several reasons why you might choose a particular person to assign a task to, starting with their relevant skills and experience. When assigning tasks to someone, you want to know that they have the right capabilities to complete the task without too much support from the manager. 

Secondly, you want to know that the person you assign the task to has enough time to complete the task. It’s no good assigning tasks to someone who is already overburdened with customer tickets and won’t be able to give your task the due care and attention. 

Thirdly, you might consider assigning tasks to someone who is in need of development opportunities. Perhaps there might be someone more skilled for the task out there, but you want to give this service rep a chance to learn new skills. In this case, you can assign the task while offering extra support for their professional development. 

Multiple factors come into play when it comes to deciding which person to assign a task to, so make sure you give each one enough consideration. 

Relate each task to a wider perspective

When an employee is assigned a task, it might seem insignificant and menial which will cause them to lose motivation. In order to keep employees excited about completing tasks, relate it to the wider perspective and explain how it helps to meet overall objectives. No task is too small or you wouldn’t be including it in your project in the first place. 

Showing employees how their work has an impact influences them to become more committed to the task. Employees are more engaged and happier at work when they understand how their contribution has a place, and that they are improving the lives of others in their team or of their customers. 

If you can’t see how each task fits into the bigger picture, then perhaps it shouldn’t be included at all. Every task should advance your goals and contribute to the progress of the project. 

If it’s not clear how a task fits into the broader picture, try to imagine what would happen if that task was left incomplete. 

Offer feedback on tasks

Every customer service rep needs to understand their performance, whether the feedback is positive or negative. If an employee has no feedback, they have no idea how their work has impacted the team or whether their task has been successful. Without feedback, employees can’t improve and become more productive members of the team. 

Providing your service reps with feedback means they can move onto progressively harder tasks that help them with their development. Even negative feedback can provide motivation to improve as the employee understands exactly what they did wrong with the task. 

While providing feedback does take some time on the part of the customer service manager, it’s the only way that your team members can become more effective, able to take on more complex tasks that would normally go to more senior members of the team. 

Be sure to phrase your feedback constructively to avoid demoralizing the team. 

Wrapping up

Customer service teams that master the art of effective task assignment are more productive, more creative, and have better solutions than their counterparts who can’t assign tasks. In an efficient customer service team, everyone should know what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the whole. 

Task assignments should be clear, detailed and accountable, with hard deadlines for completion. 

Effective teamwork means you can accomplish more than you could as individuals, and assigning tasks is a big part of working together. With transparency and accountability, managers can monitor how everyone is adding to the project. 

Catherine is a content writer and community builder for creative and ethical companies. She often writes case studies, help documentation and articles about customer support. Her writing has helped businesses to attract curious audiences and transform them into loyal advocates. You can find more of her work at https://awaywithwords.co.

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Assign employees

assign (verb, as-sign, \ əˈsaɪn \) employees (noun, em-ploy-ees, \ ˌemploɪˈiːz \)

Definition: is the manager’s right to give workers a specific job location, position or work schedule according to the firm’s needs. The company’s management also has the power to set the term of the assignments and describe the specifications and qualifications needed for a particular job before making a decision which individual suits that position the best. The right to assign employees also allows the upper management to increase the efficiency of the firm’s operations by filling in any structural gaps.

In a Sentence:

  • To maximize the productivity of any given workplace, it’s essential to assign employees the duties they can do best.
  • Our boss spent the last few days trying to figure out how to assign employees to specific tasks so that his newest project would be executed perfectly.

Synonyms and related words: project management, job requirements, job position, vacancy management, budget planning

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Definition of 'assign'

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Assign in british english, examples of 'assign' in a sentence assign, related word partners assign, trends of assign.

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In other languages assign

  • American English : assign / əˈsaɪn /
  • Brazilian Portuguese : delegar
  • Chinese : 布置 任务
  • European Spanish : asignar
  • French : donner
  • German : zuteilen
  • Italian : assegnare
  • Japanese : 割り当てる
  • Korean : 할당하다
  • European Portuguese : delegar
  • Spanish : asignar
  • Thai : มอบหมาย

Browse alphabetically assign

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Related terms of assign

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What is Work Assignment? – Advanced Work Assignment (AWA)

Work Assignment

Work assignment, a fundamental concept of professional realms, refers to allocating specific tasks or duties to individuals or teams within a certain timeframe.

These assignments, which can range from simple tasks to complex projects, serve as the backbone of productivity, facilitating the efficient functioning of an organization.

By clearly defining roles, responsibilities, and deadlines, work assignments ensure that each member is aware of their contribution towards the broader objectives.

This post will explain the work assignment, its scheduling, and its benefits. It will also discuss automated and advanced work assignments.

What is a Work Assignment?

A work assignment or job assignment refers to a task or set of tasks allocated to work centers , an individual, or a team within a specific timeframe. Depending on the context, it can be part of a larger project or an isolated task. 

It helps distribute the workload evenly among team members, ensuring everyone knows their responsibilities and keeping track of progress toward goals.

Work Assignement

Automated Work Assignment

Automated assignment of work helps to reduce the stress on employees. It saves the project manager time because the auto-assignment manager does not need to remind his team about the work. The system only gives notifications to the team.

Automated work assignment is when a computer system assigns work to employees based on predefined criteria in an automatic workflow. This can include skills required for the task, availability of employees, and other factors.

The use of automated work assignments can help to improve efficiency and accuracy within an organization.

Managers can efficiently assign work to minimize downtime and maximize productivity by considering employees’ individual skills and availability.

Automated systems can also help to ensure that tasks are appropriately distributed among employees, thus avoiding potential conflicts.

The advantage of the automatic assignment is it helps to deliver the project faster by avoiding confusion and rework because the task is assigned when all the requirements are entirely available.

Advanced Work Assignment

Advanced Work Assignment (AWA) is a methodology organizations use to create and assign work tasks to employees based on their skills, abilities, and interests.

This approach can help improve employee productivity and satisfaction while reducing organizational costs. 

It can effectively engage employees in their work and maximize their potential when appropriately implemented.

One of the critical benefits of it is that it allows organizations to optimize their resources and assign work that is most suited to each employee’s skills, abilities, and interests.

This helps improve productivity by ensuring employees are matched with tasks they can complete while fostering engagement and satisfaction.

Additionally, it can help reduce organizational costs by ensuring that employees are assigned work within their abilities and do not require excessive training or support.

Despite these benefits, some potential challenges are associated with using AWA.

For example, employees may sometimes resist or feel uncomfortable with being assigned work outside their comfort zone or feel they are not allowed to develop new skills.

Additionally, accurately assessing each employee’s skills and interests can be challenging, leading to some employees being assigned work that is not well-suited.

Therefore, it is essential to carefully consider whether or not AWA is right for your organization before implementing it.

When appropriately used, Advanced Work Assignments can effectively improve employee productivity and satisfaction while reducing organizational costs.

Scheduling of Work Assignment

When you are using a computerized system to schedule work, it is essential to know that some factors affect employees’ performance before uploading the names of employees in the system.

This includes understanding how these applications operate and considering what kind of factor affects them most when deciding which option will be best suited for your business needs!

You can utilize manual assignment or auto-assignment for scheduling once you get it.

The following are some tips for scheduling the assignment.

Scheduling of Work Assignment

1. Examine the type of work

It is crucial to find out the type of work. For example, some work has to be done in one department. However, some work must be divided between the different departments, and those departments must develop internal work procedures.

2. Analyze the skills of the employees

Each employee has their talent. So before scheduling the work, making one flowchart of the work process is better.

After analyzing employees’ skills, assign the work in the flowchart to the specified employees. Also, keep one backup person if the designated employee cannot perform the job.

3. Calculate the required time

Go through the flowchart and calculate the time required for each stage of the work or project to streamline the work process and complete the job efficiently.

4. Avoid the duplication of work

When you assign laborers to different fundamental processes, there will be a chance of duplicating work because all the laborers do jobs not mentioned in the flow chart.

Hence, carefully check the workflow across the organization and ensure there is no work duplication.

5. Provide a clear idea to the customer

Provide a clear idea to the customer about communication. That means informing him clearly to whom he should communicate to get information about the project and assigning a specified person.

Considering customers’ expectations is critical to set company standards. It helps to learn the market standards also. It will be achievable when you do a proper work assignment.

Important Information that Works Assignment Contains

Work assignment contains mainly these four essential pieces of information. They are

  • Which task is to be done : Clearly explain to the employees which task to be taken based on priority.
  • The reason for doing that task : When you assign new work to the employees before completing current work, you need to explain its reason.
  • What standards should completed tasks meet: Let employees know about the evaluation of the completed job.
  • All-motive directions: This means telling the employees to inform their managers about the completed task and the problems they face while doing the tasks.

Benefits of work assignment

  • It is easy to track who is responsible for which work.
  • It contains some information like which task to be done as per the priority, what must be the standards of the completed task, etc. It helps the assigned person to do the job efficiently.
  • By assigning work to a particular team or a person, they know which work to do as per the priority and do that work efficiently to increase customer satisfaction.

What are the components of Advanced Work Assignment (AWA)?

The components of Advanced Work Assignment (AWA) are: -Work Instructional Package (WIP) -Task Guide -Performers Instructions -Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) -Work Area Layout diagram.

What is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) , often shortened to “the SOP,” is a standardized plan adopted by an organization for the orderly and efficient carrying out of various activities such as work, production, or services.

The SOP is a company-wide standard that includes everything from greeting coworkers in the morning to what to do if there’s a fire.

While it may appear overly restrictive at times, its goal is to minimize variation and mistakes. Every business activity has at least one best practice that can lead to success and efficiency if adhered to deliberately and consistently.

What is a Work Instructional Package (WIP)?

A Work Instructional Package (WIP) is a document that provides step-by-step instructions for performing a specific job or task. It may also include diagrams, photographs, and illustrations to help clarify the steps involved.

WIPs are generally used in manufacturing and production settings but can also be helpful in other types of workplaces.

For example, if you work in an office and need to learn how to use a new software program, your company might provide a WIP outlining the steps to install and configure the software.

The proliferation of technology has led to an increased demand for automation. Companies have found a balance between humans and machines using automated work assignment software, or AWA. Automatic job assignments can be used in many industries, from IT support to sales call centers.

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Synonyms of assign

  • as in to task
  • as in to allot
  • as in to cede
  • as in to appoint
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Thesaurus Definition of assign

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • share (out)
  • parcel (out)
  • redistribute
  • reapportion

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

  • deprive (of)
  • appropriate
  • pass (down)
  • expropriate
  • single (out)

Synonym Chooser

How is the word assign different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of assign are ascribe , attribute , credit , and impute . While all these words mean "to lay something to the account of a person or thing," assign implies ascribing with certainty or after deliberation.

In what contexts can ascribe take the place of assign ?

The synonyms ascribe and assign are sometimes interchangeable, but ascribe suggests an inferring or conjecturing of cause, quality, authorship.

How is attribute related to other words for assign ?

Attribute suggests less tentativeness than ascribe , less definiteness than assign .

Where would credit be a reasonable alternative to assign ?

In some situations, the words credit and assign are roughly equivalent. However, credit implies ascribing a thing or especially an action to a person or other thing as its agent, source, or explanation.

When is it sensible to use impute instead of assign ?

While in some cases nearly identical to assign , impute suggests ascribing something that brings discredit by way of accusation or blame.

Thesaurus Entries Near assign

assiduousness

assignation

Cite this Entry

“Assign.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/assign. Accessed 19 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on assign

Nglish: Translation of assign for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of assign for Arabic Speakers

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Meaning of assigned in English

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assign verb [T] ( CHOOSE )

  • Every available officer will be assigned to the investigation .
  • The textbooks were assigned by the course director .
  • Part of the group were assigned to clear land mines .
  • Each trainee is assigned a mentor who will help them learn more about the job .
  • We were assigned an interpreter for the duration of our stay .
  • accommodate
  • accommodate someone with something
  • administration
  • arm someone with something
  • hand something down
  • hand something in
  • hand something out
  • hand something over
  • reassignment

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

assign verb [T] ( SEND )

  • She was assigned to the Paris office .
  • All the team were assigned to Poland.
  • advertisement
  • employment agency
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • reinstatement
  • relocation expenses
  • testimonial

assign verb [T] ( COMPUTING )

  • 3-D printing
  • adaptive learning
  • additive manufacturing
  • hexadecimal
  • hill climbing
  • home automation
  • telerobotics
  • word processing

assign verb [T] ( GIVE LEGALLY )

Phrasal verb, examples of assigned.

In English, many past and present participles of verbs can be used as adjectives. Some of these examples may show the adjective use.

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Definition of assign verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  • assign something (to somebody) The teacher assigned a different task to each of the children.
  • The two large classrooms have been assigned to us.
  • assign somebody something We have been assigned the two large classrooms.
  • The teacher assigned each of the children a different task.

Questions about grammar and vocabulary?

Find the answers with Practical English Usage online, your indispensable guide to problems in English.

  • assign somebody (to something/as something) They've assigned their best man to the job.
  • Two senior officers have been assigned to the case.
  • assign somebody to do something British forces have been assigned to help with peacekeeping.
  • be assigned to somebody/something I was assigned to B platoon.
  • He was assigned to the Royal Canadian Navy in 1975.
  • assign something to something Assign a different colour to each different type of information.
  • assign something sth The painting cannot be assigned an exact date.
  • The agreement assigns copyright to the publisher.
  • She has assigned the lease to her daughter.

Nearby words

IMAGES

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is Employee Training? Definition, Types & Best Practices

    Employee training is a key element for organizational growth and employee development. Different types of training cater to various needs, ensuring employees are well-equipped to meet their ...

  2. ASSIGN

    to give a particular job or piece of work to someone: [ + two objects ] UN troops were assigned the task of rebuilding the hospital. The case has been assigned to our most senior officer. If you assign a time for a job or activity, you decide it will be done during that time: Have you assigned a day for the interviews yet?

  3. ASSIGN

    to give a particular job or piece of work to someone: [ + two objects ] UN troops were assigned the task of rebuilding the hospital. The case has been assigned to our most senior officer. If you assign a time for a job or activity, you decide it will be done during that time: Have you assigned a day for the interviews yet?

  4. How to give assignments to team members

    1. Assign based on priority 2. Assign based on employee availability 3. Assign based on employee skill level 4. Assign based on preference Allocating vs delegating tasks When should you allocate tasks? How should you allocate tasks? When should you delegate tasks? How do you effectively delegate tasks as a leader?

  5. ASSIGN STAFF definition and meaning

    Definition of 'assign' assign (əsaɪn ) verb If you assign a piece of work to someone, you give them the work to do. [...] See full entry for 'assign' Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Copyright © HarperCollins Publishers Definition of 'staff' staff (stɑːf , stæf ) countable noun [with singular or plural verb]

  6. What are assign employees? definition and meaning

    Definition of assign employees: See right to assign employees. When properly managed, creativity can be found in any employee, regardless of the job description.

  7. ASSIGN definition and meaning

    9 meanings: 1. to select for and appoint to a post, etc 2. to give out or allot (a task, problem, etc) 3. to set apart (a.... Click for more definitions.

  8. Employee Training: What It Is and Why It's Important

    Employee training empowers employees and organizations simultaneously by improving company culture, increasing productivity, and offering numerous other benefits. This can be mutually beneficial as it can lead to low turnover rates, increased sales for the organization, and more contentment and work-life balance for employees.

  9. ASSIGN

    to give someone a particular job or responsibility: [ + two objects ] UN troops were assigned the task of rebuilding the hospital. [ often passive ] The case has been assigned to our most senior officer. Phrasal verbs assign sb to sth (Definition of assign from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press) Translations of assign

  10. L&D: What Is Learning and Development?

    L&D core objectives and benefits. According to McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm [], employee development programs and training your employees through L&D initiatives offer four main benefits: attracting and retaining a skilled workforce, increasing employee engagement, providing that workforce with even more skills, and developing a value-based culture and brand.

  11. Assigning Tasks: How to Delegate Effectively

    Assignment means you assign tasks to a team member and explain exactly how you want things to be done, with clear-cut instructions. Delegation means you are transferring responsibility for the task to your assignee and giving them more autonomy for how that task gets completed. Assigning tasks is often repetitive but it nevertheless contributes ...

  12. Delegating Tasks in the Workplace: 11 Tips for Managers

    When managers delegate tasks, it means that they assign or distribute a workload among appropriate team members. A manager that delegates tasks decides which employees are most qualified to handle the responsibilities that the company needs for reaching its goals.

  13. assign verb

    1 to give someone something that they can use, or some work or responsibility assign something (to somebody) The two large classrooms have been assigned to us. The teacher assigned a different task to each of the children. assign somebody something We have been assigned the two large classrooms. The teacher assigned each of the children a different task.

  14. Assign

    /əˈsaɪn/ IPA guide Other forms: assigned; assigns; assigning To assign is to specify something or someone for a specific purpose. If your sisters fight over whose turn it is to sit in the front seat, your parents may have to assign turns. The verb assign also means to transfer legal rights.

  15. Assign Definition & Meaning

    assign 1 of 2 verb as· sign ə-ˈsīn assigned; assigning; assigns Synonyms of assign transitive verb 1 : to transfer (property) to another especially in trust or for the benefit of creditors 2 a : to appoint to a post or duty assigned them to light duty assigned me two clerks b : to appoint as a duty or task assigns 20 pages for homework 3

  16. What Is Task Assigning? (With Definition and Steps)

    What is task assigning? Task assigning involves defining responsibilities and allocating resources for team members to complete a project effectively. While workplace leaders can assign tasks to team members in different departments, managers typically assign tasks to their department's members.

  17. Employee Engagement: What It Is and Why It Matters

    Employee engagement is a crucial part of many successful businesses, as it's associated with many positive outcomes, including: Higher productivity: Engaged employees are more likely to be invested in their work. Improved retention: Engaged employees are more likely to stay with the organization, reducing turnover costs and preserving organizational knowledge.

  18. Assign employees Definition and Pronunciation

    Definition: is the manager's right to give workers a specific job location, position or work schedule according to the firm's needs.

  19. Allocate vs Assign: Fundamental Differences Of These Terms

    The manager will assign tasks to the employees. The coach will assign positions to the players. As you can see, "assign" is used to give someone a specific task or responsibility. ... Take the time to understand the specific meaning of each word before using them. Double-check your usage to ensure you are using the correct word.

  20. ASSIGN definition in American English

    assign in American English. (əˈsaɪn ) verb transitive. 1. to set apart or mark for a specific purpose; designate. assign a day for the meeting. 2. to place at some task or duty; appoint. I was assigned to watch the road.

  21. Assigned Employees Definition: 106 Samples

    Assigned Employees means the employees of the Contractor or any Sub-contractor who are from time to time part of an organised grouping of employees which has as its principal purpose the performance of the Services; Sample 1 Sample 2 Sample 3 Based on 12 documents Assigned Employees.

  22. What is Work Assignment?

    Assigning work to a person or a team is a big challenge. This article covers all the aspects of work assignments. That is the automation of work assignment, scheduling of work assignment, importance, and four important information that contains. Work assignment is the process of assigning work to appropriate team or a person. Work can be assigned automatically with the help of automatic work flow.

  23. ASSIGN Synonyms: 146 Similar and Opposite Words

    to give as a share or portion each new employee is assigned a cubicle and a computer Synonyms & Similar Words allot allocate distribute apportion allow lot

  24. Assigned employee Definition: 111 Samples

    Assigned employee means an Affected Employee who has, before the first Transition Date occurring in relation to the part of the Services in which the Affected Employee is employed, notified the Appropriate Affiliate in writing that he objects to transfer to the employment of Exult Supplier pursuant to the Transfer Provisions, but who agrees to b...

  25. ASSIGNED

    to give a particular job or piece of work to someone: [ + two objects ] UN troops were assigned the task of rebuilding the hospital. The case has been assigned to our most senior officer. If you assign a time for a job or activity, you decide it will be done during that time: Have you assigned a day for the interviews yet?

  26. assign verb

    assign something to something Assign a different colour to each different type of information. assign something sth The painting cannot be assigned an exact date. assign something to somebody (law) to say that your property or rights now belong to somebody else. The agreement assigns copyright to the publisher. She has assigned the lease to her ...

  27. Why Costco is so loved

    Some 60% of retail employees leave their jobs each year. Staff turnover at Costco is just 8%; over a third of workers have been there for more than ten years. One reason for low attrition is pay.

  28. 7 Power Skills That Are in Demand in 2024 and How You Can ...

    An employee who can clearly express their thoughts and ideas is vital to your organization, as is an employee who listens well and understands what other people have to say. 2. Customer service. ... You also can assign employees to new projects they may be unfamiliar with so they can practice skills like problem-solving and decision-making.