Do you find that your day is consumed by tasks you could have easily delegated to another person?
Do you feel like a lone soldier in an endless battle, fighting for the cause without any help from others?
If you answered yes, you are not alone!
All too often, business owners get caught up in the details of their work, taking on every task themselves rather than delegating responsibility. Delegation is one skill that all leaders and business owners must learn if they want to be successful. In this blog post, we will discuss 11 habits for effective delegation!
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Good delegation is a skill that will help you run your business more efficiently and profitably. It can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and get more done. It does take some work on your part to get the hang of delegating tasks effectively.
Effective delegation requires an understanding of what makes a typical worker tick and what will make delegating more effective.
Delegate Small Tasks First
If you are new to delegation, start with the smaller tasks on your plate. You might be surprised at how easy it is for someone else to do something that has been weighing heavily on your mind!
Giving up things like responding to email inquiries you can template or scheduling social media posts will help you find time and un-bury you from the day-to-day tasks. This becomes a win-win because you can focus on growth instead of operational items.
Pick the Right People
Picking eager and willing or suited people for a given task will make things go more smoothly when delegating responsibility. Whether you are hiring someone, outsourcing, or asking a friend to help out, picking the right person makes all the difference.
Pro Tip: You’ll also want to pick people with good communication skills in order for them to know what needs attention when they take over your work-related tasks. This way, nothing falls through the cracks right as you let them have more responsibility!
Be Clear When Delegating Tasks
Some bosses like giving out broad assignments without having a clear and accurate list of responsibilities. Make it clear what the person is responsible for and how they are being evaluated.
This way, you give the person clear guidelines to follow, and they know what’s expected of them. It also helps with accountability and will help you if they do something you don’t like.
Delegate Responsibilities You Know How To Do Yourself
Do not delegate tasks that your employees won’t be able to handle well. Ensure that you can provide guidance and assist them where needed or have someone assigned that can help make decisions.
For instance, if you don’t like doing certain aspects of bookkeeping and neither does your helper – you are setting them up for failure if you ask them to take over that task. Now, if you are outsourcing a task where they are a professional in that subject, that is different.
Be Considerate of Skill Sets
You will want to keep an open line of communication when delegating responsibility, and you want to ensure they feel empowered and successful when completing tasks. When they feel confident, it will be easier for them to do a good job and take on more tasks. The best way to accomplish this feel-good feeling is to make sure they can do the task you are asking them to perform.
Pushing boundaries and letting someone grow and learn is not the same as giving them things they absolutely can not do. Understanding that failure is sometimes part of the process is important, but you don’t want them taking on things they have no chance of completing.
Use a project management tool such as Asana or Trello to ensure you know who you have delegated tasks to and that they are getting done in a timely fashion. Creating a system will ensure you don’t have to worry about all the tasks all the time.
Bonus: This helps with accountability!
Plan Ahead for Vacations or Emergencies
Make sure you have a set plan in place when it comes to delegating responsibility. If someone is going on vacation, then make sure that person delegates duties before they go and someone has agreed to take over their tasks while they are gone.
If something urgent happens such as a sick child at home, don’t let your entire workday be consumed by the problem – delegate responsibilities so no one feels overwhelmed because of an emergency like this!
Having procedures in place for common requests and workflows can help ensure effective delegation is part of your day to day operations.
Praise and Recognition
When your employees have done a good job, be sure to praise and recognize their work! This will help motivate the person taking on the responsibility in the future and encourage others who see it happen. Effective delegation becomes easier as time goes on, and praise and recognition can help make the transition smoother.
It also gives people more incentive to take on additional responsibilities if they know that you will let them feel appreciated. Don’t neglect giving credit where it is due, even when things don’t go perfectly.
Set Deadlines for Tasks
To ensure your tasks are being completed quickly and efficiently, set deadlines for the person taking on responsibility. This will help you feel better when assigning them more responsibility, as you can see if they have consistently met their deadlines.
Making sure that you have set clear expectations with deadlines helps but prioritizing multiple tasks adds another layer to the requests. This allows those you are delegating to some control over what and when they are working on tasks.
Figuring out what tasks are actually priorities will help you manage your time most effectively. This is harder than it sounds. That is why I’ve created a workbook to help you figure this all out. Let’s get your actual business and life priorities straightened out.
Follow up as Deadlines Approach
When you have delegated tasks to someone, be sure to follow up with them before the deadlines. This will allow you to keep on top of how things are going and ensure that they don’t have questions or need help. Following up ensures that you are well aware if deadlines are not going to be met and that they aren’t procrastinating and not doing the work until right before the deadline.
Consider holding regular check-ins to give employees an opportunity for feedback and provide time for delegating new responsibilities if needed. Make sure all parties are reporting back progress at each meeting.
Effective Delegation Habits
The most important thing to remember when delegating tasks is that it’s not all about you. I know, I know – I used to think delegation was just about what I didn’t want to do too.
You may enjoy or be able to do certain aspects of your business better than others, but the key is figuring out what someone else likes and can excel at so they alleviate some of your work. Once you have a good idea of how people like to work best, take some time upfront thinking through who should take on which responsibilities (and if necessary, create job descriptions) before assigning anything. This is what creates effective delegation and sets your business up for sustainable success.
If you want some help determining what tasks are good targets for delegation, set up a coaching call. I’ll walk you through a process to figure out what you enjoy, don’t like to do, and delegate so that your business runs more smoothly.