In a business, delegating effectively is extremely important for two main reasons – efficiency and development. Delegation is said to improve efficiency when work is transferred to employees who are much better at executing certain tasks than others. As a team leader, you may possess important abilities and skills that you can pass down to your juniors. The best way to do this is by teaching them new skills and delegate them to tasks that use the new skill to execute, to see how well they perform. Delegating is a great way for you to teach your employees certain skills and help them develop themselves in the workplace.
For a few people, delegating comes in easily. On the other hand, for some people, letting go of even the smallest of tasks can be extremely crucial. One should know how to delegate to get the work done in an efficient manner. Being unable to delegate effectively is the primary reason as to why many executives fail terribly. Managers often consider delegation as passing off work, thus prefer not doing it – ending up wasting their own time, the company’s time and the company’s resources. How exactly then, can one delegate effectively?
Let’s take a look at some factors in delegating effectively:
I’m not above that task!
I talk to new managers and they believe they can do it all. Call it ego or not being confident in their new position but they just figure they will work harder and get everything done. The purpose of delegating is sometimes to allow the more senior person to do more senior tasks. For example, a business should not have a top income earner popping out to buy milk because the kitchen is empty or answering the phones. I’m not saying they are not capable or they are ‘above’ these activities, but it’s not an effective use of their time.
You have to spend it to make it.
This phrase usually is about money … however the same is said about time. You will need to invest time in the process of delegating in order to make time in the end. A common statement is that “I could have just done it by the time I explain to someone else how to do it”. Though, how many times do you do it … certainly, initially, you have to invest … long-term, it will allow you to focus where you are most useful.
Don’t aim for perfection.
The main objective is to get the work done and not create a masterpiece. If you think that the work completed has established the standard set for the work, then that is it, consider the work is done. Once you know your expectations out of the project, let your employee decide how they want to carry on with the project.
Provide clear instructions.
You have selected an employee to get the work done. The next step is to rightfully communicate all the instructions regarding the project. This should be done in a way that the employee understands what is expected out of him/her. Provide them time to ask any queries regarding the project before they start off with the work.
Stop believing you are the only one who can get the job done well.
Just because your employee doesn’t work in the same way as you do, that surely doesn’t mean that they won’t be able to do the job properly. Once you have communicated the instructions and the standards they need to follow, then how the work is being done shouldn’t really matter, so long as the work is done. It is often overlooked that delegation develops the employees’ skills and also creates an improved working atmosphere. Others can do it as well as you, if not better. Don’t feel threatened in this way; a great team is a reflection of a great leader.
Focus on teaching them skills.
Delegating doesn’t mean you pass on the work to your employee and you don’t do anything yourself. Your job is to teach the required skills needed for the job to the employee so that they can deliver the best work to you. You should acknowledge the fact that a person learning and applying new skills may make mistakes. Don’t punish them in that case, instead encourage them to ask questions before they do work if they are not sure about it.
Pick the best employee to delegate to.
Observe your employees before you hand on the work to someone. Give work to the ones who can deliver the best, not to the employees that are less busy. This also means that you should focus on hiring people who have the right skills to get work done effectively and efficiently.
Set deadlines and follow-up systems.
Establish deadlines at the beginning of the task itself so that the employee is well-informed about when to submit the task. Give your employees enough time to work on their tasks. Check up on the progress regularly before the deadline. Ask them regularly how well is the work progressing and so on. Delegation is not a set and forget activity. Check in, watch the progress and tweak if needed (without micromanaging).
Choose your tasks wisely to delegate.
You should use your own time to complete the most crucial tasks of the business. Delegate the tasks that you can’t do because of time constraints or jobs that do not interest you but may interest some of your employees.
Trust the person you delegate.
Delegation starts with trust. Trust the ones you choose to delegate and give them a chance to do the work in their own way. Don’t impose your ways on them. As long as the work is done, and the work is done well, nothing else should really matter. If, however, your employee doesn’t know how to go about completing the task, you can provide tips or give them ideas on how to complete the task.
Always give thanks and credit to your employees who completed the tasks perfectly. This will inspire other employees to work harder and will also make the employee himself/herself feel like their efforts have been recognized. It will also provide real satisfaction for the work that has been done and inspire loyalty. Where suitable, public praise works well, or praise a team member in front of the rest of the team.
Delegating is the key to running a successful business. Every entrepreneur must set aside their fear of delegating. If done correctly, every work is likely to be done in a much better way through delegation than you doing it yourself. Delegation can, without a doubt, foster collaboration between employees and also get the work done more efficiently and effectively.
My Africa 2018 Mastermind will help you improve your business through learning to delegate effectively and a whole lot more. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Read my blog Do You Ever Stop Working?