When we are really busy, stressed and trying to get many tasks done as efficiently and effectively as possible delegating jobs can seem like an impossible concept. On the one hand it can seem like a perfect solution to free ourselves up for the really important tasks that need to be done, but on the other hand there is no free time available to teach the tasks well enough. Learning to delegate properly is an important key to managing stress, working more intelligently and empowering staff.
– Take it a step at a time to help them build confidence in their ability to progress and develop additional skills. Clearly you need to have faith that you are doing the right thing in trusting them, but they also need to believe that they are being taught properly. It is important that they can and want to do the job and do it well. By progressing at a reasonable pace staff become familiar and confident in what they are doing.
– Variety is an important component in delegation. People can start to work on automatic pilot if they do the same routine work day in, day out. Providing different or additional tasks can keep them more alert and engaged in their roles. Also, it can provide an insurance for when an important member of staff takes a holiday, is on sick leave, or leaves the business. Transferable skills are vital to ensure continuity of work.
– Take the time to teach key staff important skills. It is as important for them as it is for you. Enthusiastic, motivated staff need to be encouraged to develop or they become bored and move on to somewhere else. If that happens the time, money and effort spent training them in even the most basic skills will have been wasted.
– Keen staff often have good ideas about improving the business. They often relish the opportunity to share and develop them. By training them to understand the business more comprehensively they may feel encouraged to volunteer and incorporate some of their ideas into the company processes. Motivated staff take more time and effort, they are happy to work the hours and give enthusiastically of themselves. They are a valuable investment in the business.
– By having staff gradually become more knowledgeable in different aspects of the business it frees you from the more mundane tasks so that you can focus on the bigger picture and concentrate on building the business, developing business strategy, or even on occasion having a free afternoon where you can go and play a round of golf.
– Delegation importantly helps you to build an exit strategy from your business. At some point you may want to sell up, retire, move on or do something else with your time. If you have established a functioning successful business then you have something that has a significant value, that you can sell when you are ready to do so. It functions without you having to be there all the time.
By James Clapton