Too many talented executives delude themselves into believing that they can will their organization to become more successful, more collaborative, more efficient, et cetera. However, high performance in organizations doesn’t magically occur just because we want it.
Businesses succeed because of what happens behind the scenes. As much as we might want it to be true, the CEO alone cannot ensure the success of a company. Eventually, business leaders need to relinquish some control and allow their employees to step up and lead. This is where your delegation skills come into play.
The Importance of Effective Delegation Skills
I once worked with a regional retail chain with a long list of desirable attributes. They focused on their customers and their mission, they invested time and money into developmental experiences for their management, they moved their emerging leaders between many disciplines to gain experience, and they had an extraordinary company culture.
Their success wasn’t the result of a single leader: it lasted 75 years through 6 different CEOs, and it wasn’t an accident. By encouraging employees of all levels to share in the company’s mission, the resulting culture was able to outlast even the company itself. The only way this culture was able to survive for so long was through delegation.
Many business leaders struggle with delegation, but it’s crucial for the survival of your business. Delegation allows your employees to take on broader responsibilities within the company and gives them an insight into the bigger picture. This has a trickle-down effect amongst your staff, empowering, and including everyone from management down to the front lines.
How Can I Improve My Delegation Skills?
Delegation skills can be improved over time if you’re willing to give it a high priority. Here are five ways to make sure you’re getting the most out of delegating tasks.
- Determine what tasks you can delegate. Is it absolutely crucial that you alone complete every task on your to-do list? Think about the value of your time, as well as your particular duties and expertise. If another employee can execute an assignment just as well as you can, if not better, you should delegate it.
- Be clear about your expectations. Too often, delegated tasks aren’t completed to satisfaction due to poor communication between manager and employee at the outset. Make sure your employees know exactly what you expect when you delegate a task and encourage them to ask questions if they have any.
- Keep the lines of communication open until a task is done. Check-in regularly with your employees to see how things are coming along and be sure they feel comfortable telling you when they don’t understand something. Communication is key to ensuring tasks are performed up to your standards.
- Consider your employees’ goals when determining what to delegate. When done correctly, delegation can foster a sense of community and allow employees to grow in their careers by learning new skills. You should keep this in mind when choosing the right person for each task.
- Trust your employees. Business leaders are prone to burnout. At some point, you need to learn to trust the employees you have to free up your to-do list. If you can’t trust your employees to perform necessary tasks, ask yourself: why did you hire them to begin with?
Delegation skills are a crucial component of leadership. Fortunately, your capabilities can be honed over time. Sign up for my newsletter to have my weekly blog articles delivered directly to your inbox and develop your leadership and delegation skills today. If you’re interested in one-on-one business coaching, contact me, and we’ll set up a free video call to discuss your delegation needs.
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