Delegation is an important component of most leadership roles.
If you’re an entrepreneur, when you first start your business, you may need to wear multiple hats yourself, dealing with everything from production to customer service and support. However, as your company evolves, you’ll quickly discover that it pays to have the right team.
The trouble is entrepreneurs often have a difficult time letting go of responsibilities.
It’s easy to assume that only you can deliver the right outcomes for your business.
However, studies by Harvard suggest that delegation can increase the overall performance of any organization.
Delegating empowers others in your organization to make the most of their skills. It’s also an opportunity to reduce some of the stress on you.
Knowing When To Delegate
Before you can learn how to delegate effectively, it’s important to know when it would be beneficial to share tasks with your employees. Not every task can be delegated.
No matter how hard you try, there are going to be certain issues that you’ll want to handle yourself. For instance, you can’t have your staff performing their own audits or performance reviews.
Hiring excellent talent will ensure that you can delegate more of your tasks, too.
There are also some tasks in your day-to-day activities that can be automated with tech or computer tools, meaning that human delegation isn’t necessary.
The most obvious times to delegate are when:
● You simply don’t have the right talent or skill to handle a task on your own.
● Someone else at the organization is better equipped for the task in question.
● You don’t have enough time to handle all the tasks in front of you.
● Other priorities are rising to the surface, and you need to restructure your time.
Knowing How to Delegate
Delegating isn’t something that always comes naturally to a leader. That’s why you need a plan!
Use these strategies:
Get to know your employees. Every employee has specific skills and talents that make them better suited to certain challenges. Your staff might even have goals that they want to accomplish, and delegating tasks to them could help them to achieve those targets.
● For instance, if your employee wants to develop their leadership skills, and they’re well-versed in finances, you could have them lead an internal audit with the help of your team.
● Great delegation starts with knowing your employees and understanding how to leverage them advantageously.
Define desired outcomes. The projects you hand elsewhere should come with plenty of context and tie into the goals of your organization. You’ll need to be really clear about the objectives you want to accomplish in order to see results.
● Know exactly what you want your employees to achieve before you assign them any task and ensure that they’re clear on their goals too. Laying out clear expectations can save you a lot of time and money on mistakes.
Provide the right resources. If the person you’re delegating your work to needs help to get the task done, ensure that they get it. Sometimes, your employees will require specific training, authority, and resources to get through the assigned project.
● Remove any red-tape or hurdles in advance.
● Giving your employees all the resources that they need initially also means that you can fight the urge to micromanage. Trust that the employee has everything they need to be successful in their task. Then, step back as much as you can.
Establish channels of communication. It’s important to have a system in place that encourages positive input and feedback when your team members have questions.
● Think about the most effective modes of communication you have in your business, from video conferencing to instant chat. Setting up regular communication strategies will save you a lot of time and effort.
Allow for failure and reward success. Finally, avoid delegating with the assumption that your team members are going to fail. Be confident in their skills and abilities, as this will help you to avoid micromanaging. However, do keep in mind that things might not go exactly according to plan.
● Recognize mistakes and use them as an opportunity to give useful feedback for the future. You might even learn that you need to give better briefs or be clearer about your requests when you’re sharing information with staff.
● When delegation goes well and your employees deliver positive results, recognize it. Pay attention to the effort exerted by your team members and acknowledge their results with awards and praise.
Whether you own your own business or you’re a leader where you’re employed, following these strategies will set the foundation for positive outcomes for you, your team, and your business - now and in the future!