Delegating

When your business grows and you start hiring staff, you will have to learn how to delegate and how to manage your team. It doesn’t always come naturally to everyone.

Delegating takes effort, it is not as simple as “here do this, and tell me when you are done”. It requires training, it requires supervision, likely more training and a lot of patience. You of course know how to do the task and likely think it is easy and straightforward. To the person you are delegating to, it is more often than not a new skill to be learned.

There is much information available on the internet, here are a couple of items that caught my attention:

Why People Don’t Delegate – To figure out how to delegate properly, it’s important to understand why people avoid it. Quite simply, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort.

When to Delegate – To determine when delegation is most appropriate there are five key questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Is there someone else who has (or can be given) the necessary information or expertise to complete the task?
  • Does the task provide an opportunity to grow and develop another person’s skills?
  • Is this a task that will recur, in a similar form, in the future?
  • Do you have enough time to delegate the job effectively?
  • Is this a task that should be delegated?

To Whom Should You Delegate? – You need to consider:

* The experience, knowledge and skills of the individual

* The individual’s preferred work style

* The current workload of this person.

How Should You Delegate?

  1. Articulate the desired outcome.
  2. Identify constraints and boundaries as in, where are the lines of authority, responsibility and accountability?
  3. Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority.
  4. Delegate to the lowest possible organizational level.
  5. Provide adequate support, and be available to answer questions.
  6. Focus on results. Concern yourself with what is accomplished, rather than detailing how the work should be done
  7. Build motivation and commitment.
  8. Establish and maintain control.

One of the reasons my senior staff member quit two weeks ago, was that she was not good at delegating. She would often tell me that she could do it faster and better herself. And as a result she had too much on her plate. She would also regularly complain that her staff didn’t seem to have enough to do. Do you get the irony?

I used to be the same. I tried to do it all myself. At some point it just didn’t work anymore, even for a workaholic like myself. Over the years I have gained more experience and more trust in my delegation skills. And now I have built a growing team I can delegate to and know that the tasks will be completed and in most cases better than if I would have done it myself.

The take away? Delegate before you burn out!

Thank you!

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