Delegation, everyone knows what this word means, everyone knows its possible, but not everyone does it. Delegation is hard for some people as they feel like their staff and colleagues won’t take the task as seriously as them, or understand how to carry things out the way they want to.
As a result, they just keep the weight of the job to themselves and cause more stress than necessary, and then the important jobs never seem to get done. The problem is not the staff and colleagues, it's the people who need to delegate, they are scared of letting go of control (even a little bit) and giving faith into other people.
Heres 5 effective ways to help you delegate your tasks:
1. Do some research!
It’s important to know what skills are needed by the person you wish to delegate your tasks too. Say you wanted to hire an accountant to do your taxes, you would want to find someone with expertise. If you need to delegate someone setting up and writing your newsletters, find someone with experience or have training in newsletter softwares like Mailchimp or a similar software.
This point sounds obvious but people tend to hire people they know because they trust them to carry out the job, but there is no point in hiring a friend who knows about cars to help you with your accounts or admin tasks. Hiring someone who specialises in a particular area or is just generally better at what they do, is a way for you to expand your business and to allow you to focus on tasks that only business owners know how to deal with!
2. Make a plan!
You need to give your staff time to carry out the tasks they have been given, the most efficient way of doing this is making a plan and scheduling it in your diary! Say you wanted a newsletter posted on the Wednesday of the week you’re in, you can’t ask your staff member to write a whole newsletter at 6 pm on a Tuesday to be ready to publish at 9 am the next day (well you can if you want to but I don’t think they would like it ;)) Be prepared to hear the word ‘no’ or ‘can I do it tomorrow?’ They could already have plans to carry out other tasks that have been delegated to them. If you think of this idea close to Wednesday, save it for the next week or publish it on Thursday! Better than having a sleepy staff member on Wednesday.
3. Provide as much specific information as you can!
"Do you think you can do this for me?” - isn’t very explanatory for the person you are delegating it too, it may be a simple and self-explanatory task in your mind but it might not be to others. It is best to be specific as they may carry out the task not in the way you wanted it to. Provide as much information as you can about the task, any details and timelines, even if they are small.
An example, you just thought of a good post to go onto your social media platforms, so you have done some ideas and sent this to your social media management team, they could have some ideas about it too, be specific in saying “Hey Guys, I’ve thought of a post that I think would be great on our social media platforms, I’ve attached my ideas but I would love to know your ideas, should we schedule a meeting for Thursday at 9 am?”
4. Create check-in points!
If you have delegated a project to your team create some milestone check-in meetings to make sure everything is running as smoothly as possible! Sometimes there can be misunderstandings about the required tasks even when you both think you understand. Regularly scheduled meetings will help keep everything running smoothly and allow for adjustments to be made. Don’t forget, any mistakes even if they seem like big ones, they can always be fixed, after all, we are all human!
5. Communication is key!
Having communication in a working relationship is a must (well in any relationship really but we’re talking about business!). It may be good but even a simple “How was your weekend” or ‘Wow this is great work!” can ease tension and will go a long way but try to stay on track and on time with the project and its deadlines. Communication is key in any situation, and can help avoid as many mistakes as you can!
You may already have a person you have delegated some of your tasks too, and that’s great and 99% of the time they want to do a good job and not let you down since you have trusted them to be apart of your company, but people do make mistakes so if they don’t seem to be doing a fantastic job have a chat about the 5 points above and everything will start to run as smooth as they can.
Delegation is the most efficient way to reduce your stress and save your time! Use this as a strength, not a weakness. Do not think you have lost power and control because you haven’t, you have given yourself more control and power over your business by expanding your resources and having a 2nd opinion which most people as scared to do. Do not be like most people, regain control of your business by delegating your tasks today!
This article was written for Saint Financial Group, a multidisciplinary group based in the UK that helps small businesses develop and grow. SaintFG offers a range of quality solutions in supporting businesses.
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