Do you often feel stressed, overloaded or like your to-do list never seems to get any smaller? If so, then you may need to work on your delegation skills!
As just one person, there’s a limited amount that you can do. But your work is important! Since there are only so many tasks you can complete in reasonable work hours and therefore the number of people you can help is limited, your success is limited.
The people that you see rocking their businesses, taking relaxing vacations with their families and still bringing in the big bucks? Ya…they have help.
Let’s face it. If you’re good at what you do, people will want more from you. This can lead to a lot of pressure and overload. When you try and ultimately fail to do it all, you can feel like you’re letting people down.
On the flip side though, once you learn to multiply yourself, you have the opportunity to be abundantly successful!
One of the best ways to solve this limitation is to learn how to delegate properly! Once you have the right team and the proper systems in place, you will be able to take your business to its highest potential.
This is why delegation is such an important skill, and is one that you absolutely have to learn!
Delegation allows you to make the best use of your time and skills. It also helps other people in your business grow and reach their full potential.
BUT…some people DON’T delegate because:
- They fail to realize the value of an initial time investment in future productivity
- They do not plan ahead
- They think it is easier or faster to do it themselves
- They don’t trust that anyone can do it as well as them
- They can’t find the right people
- They don’t know how to track progress
- They don’t know how to explain what they do
- They believe in “one right way”
- They are overly attached to the habit or routine.
- They cannot accept any less than 100 percent of their expectations being met
- They view a reduction in their workload as a threat to their self worth
While delegation is a beautiful thing, you can’t just delegate any task. To figure out when it is most appropriate to delegate, you need to ask yourself:
- Is this a task that someone else can do, or is it necessary that you do it yourself?
- Does the task provide an opportunity for a team member to improve their skills?
- Is this a recurring task?
- Do you have the time to delegate the job properly?
If “yes”, then it could be worth delegating.
Other factors to consider:
- Is there time to redo the job if it’s not done properly the first time?
- What are the consequences of not completing the job on time?
- How important is it that the results are of the highest possible quality?
- Would an initial failure be crucial?
After all that, there is never a guarantee that the delegated task will be completed satisfactorily, so you need to consider to whom you delegate the task to and how to do it properly.
So you’ve realized that delegation is important to the growth of your business. Congratulations! Now…how do you decide who to delegate to?! Then…how do you go about doing it?!
The Who & How
Who Should You Choose?
Factors to consider:
- The experience, knowledge and skills of the individual
- Do you have the time to provide proper training?
- How independent is this person?
- What are their long-term goals in your company and how do these align with the work?
- Do they have time to take on more work?
- Will delegating this task require reshuffling of other responsibilities and workloads?
When you first start delegating, you may notice that person taking longer than you would to complete the work. This is ok! You’re an expert while they’re still learning. If you choose the right person, they’ll catch up quickly.
How Should You Delegate?
Here is how to delegate successfully:
- Clearly define the desired outcome
- Clearly identify constraints and boundaries
- Match responsibility with authority
- Provide proper support and be available to answer questions
- Avoid “upward delegation.” If there is a problem, don’t allow the person to shift responsibility back to you: ask for recommended solutions, don’t simply tell them.
- Build motivation and commitment through possible financial rewards, future opportunities and other desirable compensations.
- Discuss timelines and deadlines.
- Agree on a schedule of checkpoints at which you’ll review project progress.
- Take time to review all submitted work.
As a manager, it is your responsibility to balance giving enough space for folks to work while still monitoring and supporting them until the job is completed. But NEVER micromanage!
Proper Review & Feedback
Now that you know WHO you are going to delegate to, what comes next? To set them up for maximum success, you will want to:
- Sit down with your team member
- Explain what’s expected from them
- Outline their goals, timelines, deadlines and resources available
- Agree a schedule for checking-in with progress updates
- Discuss how to raise concerns or ask questions during the process
Once the work is completed and handed over to you, make sure to set aside enough time to review it. If the work returned to you is acceptable, make sure to both recognize and reward the effort. Accepting subpar work will be frustrating for both of you in the long run so make sure to provide constructive feedback where possible. Ideally this would be written down so they can look back at it later.
Key Takeaways –
- Delegation might feel like more hassle that it is worth at first glance BUT if done correctly, can increase the amount of work that you are able to deliver immensely
- Recipe for success = (you + highest priority tasks) + (team + helpful tasks)
- Effective Delegation
- Choose the right tasks
- Identify the right people
- Delegate the right way