We all know the benefits of delegation for business owners, everything from raised levels of productivity, increased trust and motivation for staff, greater loyalty and increased time for business owners to manage the strategic and growth sides of the business.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But if it was that easy wouldn’t we all have mastered it and be leading happy, stress-free lives?
It’s obviously not as simple as it sounds and it’s so hard because it involves trusting others and losing full control of a project that you still have ultimate accountability for.
How do you know you can trust that an individual can do the work as well as you, that they will meet deadlines and not leave you scrabbling work together at the last moment? I’m sure we’ve all, at least once, felt that ‘it’s easier to just do it myself’, either in our personal and business lives but this approach is rarely sustainable long term.
So, what is the key to mastering the art of successful delegation? I’ve shared my thoughts below to explain the steps I think are crucial when delegating parts of a project or certain elements of your business.
Decide what should be delegated
The first things to think about is what tasks can be delegated? What can only done by you and what can be done be someone else? Tasks that are reliant on your unique skill set or that you have built a reputation for are best to keep for yourself but there will be other tasks that you could delegate to others with minimal impact on the outcome. Tasks that are clearly definable and have a structured framework are ideal for delegating as they leave little room for error or misinterpretation.
Decide who you should delegate to
Once you’ve defined the tasks you need to carefully choose the right person for the tasks. Do they have the required capabilities, can you trust them and are they reliable? It’s also important to establish if the person has the capacity to take on the work and complete it within the required timeframe.
Clearly handover the task
Providing a big picture view allows the individual to understand the purpose of the task at a higher level. You should clearly communicate the scope of the tasks and any framework that should be followed as well as deadlines and budgets (if relevant). At this point, it’s important to identify if the individual requires any training or if investment in any resources is needed.
Setting milestones and points of accountability
As project manager / business owner it is your responsibility to ensure that a task that has been delegated is on track and completed correctly. This can be done by setting milestones and points of accountability. Regular communication and tracking ensure that things run smoothly and there are no nasty surprises along the way.
Putting time and thought into this part of a project / task provides the due diligence required to confidentially delegate with trust.
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