Delegation is a required skill if you want to run a successful business and keep your sanity at the same time. Trying to do everything yourself will cause quick burnout, and it will waste the unique skill set that each employee offers your business.
Brian Tracy, author, speaker, and CEO of Brian Tracy International, believes that the average person today is working at 50 percent of capacity. With effective management and delegation skills, you can tap into that unused 50-percent potential to increase your staff’s productivity.
4 Steps to Effective Delegation Are:
1. Clearly define the task
Setting expectations is key to effectively delegating a task to an employee. The best way to communicate those expectations is to do so in writing. This will eliminate any chance of misinterpretation or confusion.
When you delegate, the task should be clearly defined by a full explanation of the employee’s role and identification of deadlines and check-in points. Once the task is completely outlined, ask the employee to repeat it back to you.
One of the main pitfalls of delegation is assuming an employee understands what you want. Repeating their understanding of the nature of the task back to you will minimize the chances of a misunderstanding.
2. Provide proper training
The reason many business owners do not delegate is the amount of up-front effort it takes. Instead of assigning other employees to complete a task, they may think they are saving time by simply doing it themselves.
The reality is, the up-front time and effort required will pay off in the long run. By offering additional training to employees, you will enable them to handle more tasks without relying solely on you.
The training could include videos, audio, outlines, webinars, and online classes. These provide the essential information to properly train employees, which means it will become easier to delegate to a more prepared staff member.
3. Use project management tools
There is an abundance of tools you can use to effectively delegate.
Asana – It gives you the ability to assign portions of a task to individuals as well as provide specific deadlines. Instead of using email, which can be a huge time waster, this offers quick assigning and communicating options.
Producteev – This app allows you to seamlessly go from the planning phase to the doing phase. You can create the project, schedule the tasks, assign them to specific employees, set up timelines, and monitor progress.
Trello – One of the best features of this app is instant notifications and real time updates to keep track of the project’s progress.
Ontraport – The small, daily tasks are made much easier with this app, which automates them by creating a set of “rules” that trigger actions.
Basecamp – The tools included in this app are project management, time lines, calendars, and to-do lists – all of which are created to keep your team on target.
4. Define level of authority
Delegating a task and then micromanaging through the entire process defeats the purpose of delegation. If you are still fully involved in the entire process, the employee may become frustrated and unable to grow in their position.
Vanessa Merit Normberg, President of Metal Mafia, uses regular staff check- ins, but in a more general way. She doesn’t want her staff to feel as though they are being interrogated. To establish trust and encourage autonomy, she asks her staff to offer a general report of their progress. This means she can address any problems before they occur without compromising her employees’ ability to feel empowered to complete their tasks.
When assigning the task, clearly define the level of authority your employees possess and allow them to make decisions autonomously. You can monitor, give feedback, and correct your employees during the process while still encouraging autonomy.
If you are feeling the exhaustion and frustration of trying to do it all yourself, then it is time to use these steps to start effectively delegating. Your ability to grow your business is connected to your willingness to start delegating as soon as possible.
As a general contractor, each day puts you deep into meetings with clients, estimating and following up, negotiations, and trying your best to herd your teams into the right place at the right time.
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