As a control freak, I find delegating work to my staff member one of the hardest tasks to master, but I know if I want to grow my business, then this skill is so important to get right.
So where do you start? I feel delegation is very easily listed as such an easy thing to do. You have a task you don’t want to do so you give it to someone else. Perfect – you have just delegated.
Well done…put your feet up and……HANG ON A MINUTE.
Have you even told them why you are delegating the task? Have you told them what you expect the outcome to be? Have you told them how long you would like them to spend on it, what programs you would like them to use …in fact what have you told them?
So yes, delegation can be great – but you still need to set some expectations and rules in order for this to go smoothly.
So here is what I do, and I hope it helps you put some structure around the next task that you need to delegate.
- Work out which tasks can effectively be delegated. Not every task is worth delegating. Weigh up your valuable time and skills, compared to the desired result you are after. What are you not so great at, what tasks do you despise, what tasks are not worth your time?
- Once you have your list, work out who to delegate to. Who has the skills to do the task in the manner in which you want it done? Who do you trust? Is this an employee or an external contractor? Choose carefully – they will now be a reflection of your brand.
- Clearly set out your expectations – in terms of time frame, quality and result. Make sure you are both on the same page and you are both aiming for the same outcome. Remember, quick and cheap does not necessarily mean quality and accuracy.
- Have a way to communicate – especially if the task is a big one. Not just at the start of the delegation process – but throughout the task. Have regular check in time points and review the status. You don’t want to get to the end of the task to realise it has gone pear shaped along the way.
- Be prepared to pay for the result. Yes that is right – delegation is not a free way to get things done. Whether you choose external contractors or employees – delegating tasks can be one of the best investments you can spend.
My time is precious. I am happy to pay for value, so that I can free up my time to give my clients greater value.
Delegation can go wrong. Horribly wrong. Not only do you waste time and money – but you still don’t get the outcome you want. In business – we just don’t have time and money to throw away.