10 things that you shouldn’t delegate as the Boss

Leading a team can come with all sorts of problems. There are different individuals to consider, different needs, different personalities, and different situations. All of these take time – which when you’ve already got a packed schedule can feel like a huge time suck.

So, it’s not surprising that sometimes it’s tempting to delegate tasks that you really should do yourself. Over the years I’ve seen this countless times but here’s the thing. As a boss, your team is your responsibility. Not HR’s, not your Training Departments, not even your line managers – but yours – so there are some things that you just can’t delegate. These are 10 of the most common that I’ve picked out.

  1. Giving feedback

Giving feedback can feel like something you really don’t want to do, after all you work with these people! But guess what? It’s your job. Often by giving people a bit of a nudge in the right direction it’ll stop small things snow balling into something bigger later. So best to nip things in the bud.

  1. Managing performance

When I say managing performance I’m talking about conducting a disciplinary. Now, depending upon your organisation and your policies this may or may not be you. If it’s your job and you’re nervous about it, by all means get some training and support…but ultimately learn how to do it so you can support your own team.

  1. Having a difficult conversation

This comes under the same banner as #1 and #2. They’re your team and as the boss your team will be looking to you. If you need to have a difficult conversation and you’re not sure how to go about it. I’ve a free workshop here that will help.

  1. Training

Training is often a very easy one to pass on to another department – and as I’ve spent a lot of years being that someone in the other department, I’ve lived through this first hand.

If you’re not sure where to start follow Steven Covey’s very wise advice and “start with the end in mind” and decide what you’d like your team to be able to do after their training. Then if you have a Training Department speak to them about how they can support, and what the value will be – and work in partnership. The results will be so much better.

  1. Coaching

As a boss it’s your job to be a coach and mentor to your team. Spend some time coaching them so they can improve and keep developing within their role and to keep your team growing.

“A rising tide lifts all ships”

  1. Development

Now you might think that we’ve covered training and we’ve covered coaching what else is there? Well, in actual fact development is a much bigger umbrella. As the Boss it’s also your job to ensure that your team have a development plan. Even if it isn’t in your company culture, it’s a great thing to do for both your team and yourself as it’ll help you keep track of where they need to develop going forward.

You should also ensure that you continue the learning after any training has taken place. For example – let’s say your team have been on a training course. It would be easy to think that they’re done and that they should be..well…different. Sadly, it’s not always that easy. Training isn’t always a magic wand scenario and you shouldn’t expect them to simply go from not doing something to doing it just because they’ve had training. Now, this might be a tricky thing to get your head around, but here’s the deal. Most people need to practice their learning, and to be reminded to use it – after all it’s quicker, easier and human nature to go back to how you’ve always done something – which is why so many people think training hasn’t worked when their team go back to their old ways. The actual training intervention is often one of the first steps and not the only step.

This is where you come in….coach your team to use their new learning, and role model the way. Ask them about what they’ve learnt and how they’re planning to use it – and keep the learning on the agenda.

  1. Recruitment

Again, this is a much bigger topic. Recruitment covers everything from writing the adverts, job specs, screening, interviewing and selecting – among other things. Yes you may well have someone (or even an entire department) that does this, but you should be working in partnership with them. After all, you’re recruiting someone for your team and you need the right person.

  1. Inductions

Inductions matter, they really do. Imagine going over to someone’s house for dinner and just being given the remote control and told to watch telly whilst they go about their lives. You’d feel a bit rubbish! This is what happens all the time with new recruits.

“Imagine being invited to a friends house for dinner and just being told to watch the tv…this is what a bad induction feels like”

As the boss treat your new starter as if they’re the most important person in the world…and to be honest this shouldn’t be hard as they are a really important person for your team.

Even if you’ve a company induction that they should attend, boost that with your own team induction and really look after them. This is your job and no-one else’s.

  1. Appraisals

Whether you do annual appraisals, bi-annual or quarterly it doesn’t matter. This is your time to spend with your team to motivate, and help them along their way. Again…it falls into your lap.

leadership development

  1. Communication

And last but by no means least – communication. Now, there are literally loads of things that come under this banner. We’re talking: one to ones; team briefings; meetings and the list goes on. Make sure you’re the one that keeps communication consistent within your team. Your team want and need to be kept in the loop to help them stay motivated, productive and valued – so keep it going no matter what.


As the boss it’s your responsibility to manage and lead your team. Yes, you’ll probably have support around you, but don’t be tempted to pass the buck…it’s up to you to make sure your team get what they need to progress.


I’d like to know: What other things do you think managers shouldn’t ever delegate OR as a boss what do you find difficult doing yourself and would love to delegate when it comes to leading your team…let me know by leaving a comment.


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