How to Assign Task to Members of a Team in the Workplace

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Focus on a worker's individual talent to get the most out of your team.
Focus on a worker's individual talent to get the most out of your team. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

If you yet to assess your team's personality, you should plan to do so immediately. While the fact that everyone has personality differences is obvious, not all managers take personality into consideration when assembling teams and assigning tasks. When deciding who will do what at work, focus on what individual strengths. Keeping lines of communication open also ensures that your team members complete their work on time and within budget.

Define the overall goal of your project. The mix of people you need depends on what you're setting out to achieve. For example, perhaps you have the creative goal of making changes to your customer-facing website to make it more compelling. On the other hand, maybe you have a more competitive objective of winning a difficult legal case.

Assess your workplace's personalities. According to Nikos Mourkogiannis of "Businessweek," magicians are your dreamers, lovers your team-builders, sovereigns your big-picture thinkers and warriors your task-focused workers.

Assemble a team that mixes all personality types together, but choose more people with a specific work style if the nature of your project's goals calls for it. For example, if your project objectives are innovative and creative, you need more magicians, but you still need sovereigns to keep project efforts on track, lovers to ensure harmony and warriors to ensure the work gets done.

Assign people to tasks based on their strengths. For example, if you know that one of your warrior-style personalities is an accomplished writer and editor, give her the task of gathering information and writing a number of the report's sections.

Create a charter or mission statement to give the team unity. When people have a common vision to work towards, they're more likely to tailor their independent work efforts to suit the overall interests of the project and reach out to help team members who are floundering.

Meet to confirm responsibilities and decide who's in charge of what. Share the mission statement and clarify the lines of authority so people know who to turn to when they have problems or questions.

Establish a protocol. Provide your team members with a place to go for information about team members' roles, especially when one member's work depends on others. Design a shared spreadsheet that outlines the project timeline, or use an online calendar that members can access wherever they are.

Tips & Warnings

  • In cases where you're working one-on-one with another employee, web-based services like Pleasenotify.me and FollowUpThen can help you assign and track task completion over email, as BNET writer Dave Johnson suggests.
  • Focusing on strengths does not mean ignoring weaknesses. Give people tasks they excel at, but make a few requests that encourage the person to build skills used less often. Encourage professional development and continuing education.

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