Most business owners understand the importance of successful delegation in management: after all, there’s only so much work you can do by yourself in a day. I’ve written a whole blog post about how delegating is vital to the success of your business. Where people go wrong, however, is assuming that successful delegation is as simple as handing off a task and expecting that it will get done.
Genuinely successful delegation in management requires a more hands-on approach and frequent communication.
Here are five steps to learn how to delegate successfully when it comes to your business.
1. Decide what you can delegate.
Forbes mentions the importance of not delegating anything you wouldn’t do yourself: while it’s tempting to hand off all of your tedious tasks to your employees, that type of work won’t make them feel important or valued. Successful delegation in management requires you to be strategic about what you’re delegating.
There might be a lot of work that you enjoy doing, but that wastes your time overall. These are the tasks to delegate: the important but not necessarily urgent responsibilities that prevent you from getting around to the things that are both important and urgent. You want your employees to feel like they’re doing valuable work while also freeing up your schedule for vital tasks that only you can do.
2. Be specific in your expectations.
When giving directions, you want to be as specific as possible and leave nothing up to interpretation. Your vision might make sense to you, but your words can mean something entirely different for your employees.
If you can, show examples of the types of things you’re looking for and encourage your employees to ask questions to eliminate miscommunications.
3. Schedule regular follow-ups.
As I always say, when it comes to delegation you can expect only what you inspect. That means checking in on your employees to make sure your tasks are progressing instead of waiting until the deadline to see if there’s a problem.
Set reminders on your calendar to follow up with employees who are working on your delegated tasks. This can be an in-person meeting, a Skype call, or a progress report. It’s a better idea to set aside a block of time to talk to your employees rather than just emailing them, however, as this shows you value the task at hand.
Aim to touch base with them at several points in the process to see how they’re doing. This gives employees a chance to share any questions or obstacles with you early on and allows you to steer a project back in the right direction if it’s gotten off-track.
4. Allow time for revisions.
This might be a no-brainer, but don’t wait until the last minute to delegate a big assignment. You need to allow time to explain the assignment, check in with your employee, and make sure there’s time for changes to be made in case they’ve started out on the wrong foot.
It can help to assign several mini-deadlines for different parts of the assignment throughout the process so that you can check them over before the whole thing is complete.
5. Work with your employees.
If an employee doesn’t live up to your expectations, talk to them about what went wrong. It’s one thing to have a misunderstanding, but continuously missing the bar can signify a lack of cohesion that might be a sign of a broader issue.
Communicate with your employee to see if there’s an underlying problem that’s keeping them from succeeding at their tasks. According to the Free Management Library, working together towards improvement ensures accountability and dependability for future projects. Over time, this can shape an underperforming employee into a driven and successful member of the team.
Successful delegation and leadership go hand-in-hand, and successful delegation in management is vital to the long-term success of your business. If you have been frustrated by delegation and leadership issues, fill out my contact form for a complimentary coaching call to discuss some ideas.