7 Effective Delegation Tips and Tricks for Small Business Owners
To truly scale your business, you must learn how to delegate. Entrepreneurs that try to do everything for themselves often burn out without achieving all that they set out to do.
The need for business owners to control results and do things perfectly is understandable. But with proper training and empowerment, your employees can do some tasks even better than you. If you want to improve your company’s productivity, effective delegation is one of the most important skills you can master.
As the vision bearer of your organization, you need time to think up strategies and direction for the organization. Your employees should perform lower-level operational tasks. Read on for 7 of our effective delegation tips and tricks if you find yourself too busy to strategize.
1. Don’t Hand Out Tasks at the Last Minute
One of the important tips for how to delegate effectively is to delegate tasks early. This allows the assigned person time to plan their work. They also have the leeway to seek clarification and correct any misunderstandings.
If you leave everything to the last minute, you will end up working under pressure. You also won’t have the patience to guide the other person on how you like things done. Many leaders end up doing tasks themselves because they delegate work too late and leave little time for their helper to complete the task.
2. Choose The Right Person For The Job
Learn to delegate tasks to people with the proper skills, motivation, and time to complete them. Delegating tasks to people that aren’t cut out for the particular assignment for it will lead to great frustration and disappointment. That is unless you are using it as an opportunity to train.
The person you choose should have enough spare time to take on an extra task. Overloading high performers may stress them out and cause them to quit. In case you don’t have anyone in your team that can complete the task, consider hiring help externally through business process outsourcing. External help can help you get through busy periods in your operations without overwhelming employees.
Another tip for effective delegation is to assign the task to only one person. Sometimes leaders create confusion and conflict by asking two or more people to do one task. This duplication of efforts is unnecessary, wastes time, and kills your company’s productivity.
Once you delegate a task, trust that person to complete the task. Do not assign yourself or any other person to do the same work unless it is obvious that the other person is not handling it. If this is the case, make it clear to the person that they have been taken off the task before handing it to someone else.
3. Sell the Benefits of Taking On the Task
Most people don’t like getting extra work. To encourage your team members to take on extra tasks you should explain how working on it could benefit them and the company. For example, completing a project could be grounds for promotion or profit-sharing.
People will be more willing to take on a delegated task if they can see how it would benefit them. Ensure that you do get agreement from the person that they will take on the delegated tasks. Sometimes delegation goes wrong because employees feel resentful about an extra task and sabotage it.
4. Set Clear Expectations
Effective delegation requires that you explain your goals and expectations. Before they agree to take on a task, your helper should know what is expected of them and how their performance will be assessed. Have a meeting with the person assigned when delegating a task and explain the what, why, when, who, where, and how of the task.
Sometimes it may be better to explain the task and then get suggestions from your employee on how they feel the task should be done. There are many ways to complete a task. Encourage employees to ask questions in case anything about their assigned task isn’t clear.
5. Give the Assigned Person Authority to Complete the Task
Some tasks will need the assigned person to use your authority. So communicate your delegated authority to those concerned. For example, they may need to supervise other team members on your behalf.
Also, make sure you provide them with the budget, information, resources, and guidance they need to excel at the task. Remind them that you are also available to help them if they need your input.
Allow your employee to take full responsibility for the completion of the task. Don’t micromanage them by constantly checking on them or telling them what to do. This can demotivate and annoy them.
Agree with your employee on how you will periodically check in with them to ensure that they are progressing on the right path.
6. Evaluate Performance
Effective delegation involves clear deliverables that will make evaluation easy. The employee should be able to tell early on whether they are succeeding or failing at their task. Measure the results from their performance rather than the methods used to achieve them.
Work with the employee to improve their performance if you notice that they aren’t performing as expected. Find out why they are underperforming and offer a solution. Perhaps the task wasn’t understood, or they don’t have the resources required.
Try to motivate them to the end instead of simply removing them from the task. Unless there is a justifiable reason, the task should be completed by the person that was originally assigned. Instead, employees should know that once a task is delegated, they must see it through.
7. Give Honest Feedback on Completed Tasks
Once your employee submits their completed task, go through it with them, and give back any work that does not meet your expectations. The more honest you are with your feedback the better trained your employees will be. If an employee exceeds expectations, you should recognize and reward them for their excellent performance.
Effective Delegation Can Save Your Business
Learning how to properly delegate work can greatly increase your company’s productivity as well as profitability. Practicing effective delegation allows you to work on the things that you actually want to do in your business and scale appropriately.
For more tips and advice, check out our blog.