Delegation 101 : Small Business Owners Edition

Delegation can seem overwhelming, scary and even more hassle than it’s worth but when you get down to the core of the benefits of delegating you will find that it is a key factor in keeping your business alive and thriving.

It’s best to first understand the why behind delegating. When you delegate work, you allow others to think for themselves and ask important questions. There are many benefits of sharing your workload with team members. Not only will you get the satisfaction of watching people learn something new, but you’ll also increase your chances of finishing projects on time. Plus, you’ll have more energy because you’re not working overtime trying to get things done.

Learning the basics of delegation is not always easy but will always be worth it. Assuming a leadership position will involve delegation at some point. You may struggle at first when delegating the work you’re responsible for. This is completely normal. Just remember that delegating some of your tasks may help everyone become more efficient at work. The simplest way you can delegate is by assigning specific tasks to your employees, then letting them complete the work. Delegation empowers employees to succeed.

Here are some of the best practices for delegation in leadership. Now that you’ve chosen to delegate some of your work and build your dream team, you may wonder about the best way to implement your request. Being confident in your delegation choices shows others that you’re not afraid to get help from your team. By following the best practices for delegation in leadership, you’ll be positioned for greatness.

Here are the Dos and Don’ts of Delegation:

1. Start small

Do: Start by delegating the small tasks first before handing off the bigger projects. You’ll be able to monitor your team’s progress and get a feel for how the workload affects them.
Don’t: Hand off your biggest project to someone who has never dealt with a task of that magnitude before.

2. Define how you measure success

Do: Meet via phone or zoom as a team to discuss how you plan to evaluate the performance of your team members and make plans for measuring success. Your team will work more efficiently when they have clear expectations. If you tell them ahead of time that you’ll be asking for weekly updates, they’ll have the freedom to decide how to spend their time.

Don’t: Give your team work without setting a deadline or goal for completion.

3. Develop a priority system for tasks

Do: Consider how you might create a priority system for everyone to follow so they know what to work on first. Some projects are time-sensitive and take priority over other tasks.

Don’t: Give someone an important task and avoid telling how you want it done or when it’s due.

4. Delegate based on skill

Do: Take some time to think about which members of your team would do the job well and in a timely manner. We all have different skill sets and this helps them excel in their individual roles. Based on your assessment, approach people who possess the right skills for the job.

Don’t: Give tasks to team members just because they have the least amount of work to do.

5. Provide clear instructions

Do: Give clear instructions on how to perform tasks in the beginning. Tasks that seem obvious will likely not be obvious to your team members

Don’t: Expect someone to know how to do something without giving them the details.

6. Take time to teach

Do: Expect to spend time teaching your team how to perform the given tasks. They’ll likely have many questions at first and need additional guidance from you. Think of this time as an educational investment in your company’s future.

Don’t: Neglect to provide support when needed.

7. Show trust

Do: Allow your team to complete the work without hovering over their desks. Successful leaders know employees prefer to complete work on their own terms, but don’t mind an occasional check-in to verify progress.

Don’t: Be the micromanager in the office. Strong leaders trust their employees to work largely unsupervised.

8. Encourage feedback

Do: Let your team know you encourage feedback. Be clear that you mean to give feedback, as well as receive it. Offer praise when appropriate and additional guidance to help them if they fail to meet deadlines.

Don’t: Neglect your team and discourage open communication.

9. Balance the delegation

Do: Think of ways to create a balanced approach when delegating your work. This allows everyone to assume a variety of tasks that keep them motivated and focused. Some tasks may be monotonous and boring. Others may provide an interesting challenge and an opportunity to refine an individual’s skills.

Don’t: Keep giving the same person the same tasks.

10. Explain why it matters

Do: Take time to sit with your team and explain how their roles help the company achieve success. They may not fully understand why they are being asked to take on more work, but will be more open to change once they’ve been told.

Don’t: Expect people to be eager for more work if they don’t understand why they’re getting it.

In conclusion, successful delegation gives you the time and ability to focus on higher-level tasks. It also allows others to learn new skills and improves trust and communication between you and your team. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Start delegating today and watch how your efficiency, productivity and business improves.

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