Work Assignment

Definition:  The understanding of work assignments, processes, and performance standards; ensuring that employees understand work assignments; and maintaining work assignment fairness.



·         When you delegate work assignments, you should 1) delegate quickly; 2) build in a buffer; 3) clarify what, when, and why; 4) do it nicely, 5) check progress; 6) remind before the deadline; 7) follow up fast; and 8) ignore excuses.

·         When assigning work tasks, think carefully about who should be involved in the planning, implementation and revision stages of the process. Maintain objectivity when assigning team leaders and members, and delegate tasks based on their skills, knowledge and competence, rather than how you view them personally. For example, do not automatically dismiss an employee from the process because she is known to be difficult. Even if she is not the best team player, she might be able to contribute in other ways, such as coming up with fresh ideas or executing certain tasks independently.

·         To help employees develop a broad range of skills, it may be beneficial to assign employees different work tasks when appropriate. This will also help employees learn about what their coworkers do, as well as how all of the work tasks contribute to the bigger picture.

·         When creating work assignments, remember to be fair and involve your employees, while also asking for their input. Provide complete work assignment instructions. Make sure they have all the information they need to complete the assignment and confirm that s/he understands and accepts the requirements.

·         Don’t forget to say thank you, make sure employees know that their efforts are recognized and appreciated.


Self-Directed Learning Activities


Relevant Readings:

·         Track the Tasks You Delegate:

·         Getting Things Done (LINK PDF)

·         Build Realistic Plans (LINK PDF)

·         How to Plan Daily Work Activities for Leadership:

·         How to Assign Work to Employees:

·        Work Assignment Principles and Guidelines (PDF)

·        Self Management Work Plan (PDF)

·        Additional Tips and Readings for Work Assignment (DOC)



·         How to Schedule Work Assignments:



·         Create and Track Assigned Tasks:

·         How to Create an Employee Work Schedule:

·         Weekly Assignment Schedule Template using Excel:

·         Work Plan Template (DOC) Work Plan Template (PDF)

o   Use the above template as a starting point for developing an employee work plan for a project with multiple tasks. For multiple projects, supervisors can utilize additional copies of this template or migrate these fields and create others in a spreadsheet format to track multiple projects and/or employees.

·         Prioritizing Tasks Template (PDF)

·         Smart Goal Template (PDF)

·         Urgency-Importance Template (PDF)


Self-Guided Activities:

  • Reflect on your work assignments, do you know what is expected of you? Do you have the necessary resources? What would you like to ask your supervisor to clarify? What do you wish s/he had given you from the start?
  • Practice planning out how you will achieve your goals. Think about how much time you have on each one and prioritize based on level of importance.


Guided Learning Activities



  • Practice offering regular, timely, and constructive feedback to your coworkers.
  • Ask other employees whether they understand their work assignments and whether they’re fair. Ask questions that will help you understand their thoughts and concerns. For instance, a) what will your first steps be to get started with this assignment, b) what is your understanding of the desired end result for this assignment and your role, c) if you were required to question this assignment, what would you ask, d) if possible, please provide me with an update on how this is going before you leave for the day, e) what tools or information do you need to be able to accomplish this assignment, and f) when you were working on this, what did you consider doing that you haven’t tried yet?


Formal Training/Education


School and Course Module:

  • Casper College
    • Principles of Management - MGT 2100: 3L)(3CR) [E] Analyzes objectives, policies, organizational structure, material and human resource utilization, human relations, planning, innovating, and controlling as management responsibilities. Students also study and discuss current activities in specific areas of business and industry.
  • Central Wyoming College
    • BADM 1020: Successful business professionals are effective communicators. This course will develop and sharpen students’ written, oral and interpersonal communication skills. Students will explore crucial rhetorical issues that impact their ability to communicate and achieve specific objectives as business leaders. The psychology and mechanics of written business communication will be thoroughly explored and widely applied. Documents that demand careful planning and composition, solid content and argument, and logical organization and structure will be created. Non-written applications in business areas such as international/intercultural, nonverbal, interpersonal, and ethical communication will also be stressed. Prerequisite: Completion of ENGL 1010. (3 lect.) WR2
  • Northwest College
    • CO/M 2015 - Leadership Skills: (1-3) This course is designed to educate specified groups in effective leadership skills. Includes discussion and practice in teamwork, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, planning, conflict management, and social responsibility. Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor. (.5 hr lec, 1 hr lab)
    • MGT 2100 - Principles of Management: (3) Covers objectives, planning, organization of resources, human relations, coping with change and conflict, and controlling as management responsibilities. Includes appropriate behavioral and management science applications to the management process. Prerequisite: BADM 1000 or six hours of business-related courses. (3 hrs lec)
  • Laramie County Community College
    • MGT 1500 LEADERSHIP ESSENTIALS Students develop performance-based competencies and skills needed to prepare for leadership positions in today's workplace. Topics explored include leadership communication, conflict resolution, employee and self-development, change management, coaching, managing performance problems, and team building. Students develop action plans for transitioning the skills discussed during class into the workplace.