If you had one wish as an employer, what would it be?
To have one day, or even an hour, where you don’t have to tell your employees what to do or how to do it?
Some days, you feel more like a babysitter than a boss. Meanwhile, your to-do list is growing and it’s full of important tasks that are forever getting put on the backburner. But the situation is not hopeless, you just need to delegate.
In this blog, I’ll tell you how to delegate, what might be stopping you, and what the benefits of delegating are for you and your team. Are you ready to get things done (and not be the only one doing them)?
What is delegation?
Before we look at how to delegate, let’s look at what delegation is and what it isn’t. Delegation is not about coming up with a list of what you hate doing and giving those jobs to someone else. Successful delegation is about giving your team the autonomy and responsibility to do tasks so they aren’t at your desk every five minutes!
Why you need to learn how to delegate
Remember those dreams you have about not having to do everything in the business? Imagine not having to make every decision or oversee every minute detail. Those dreams can become a reality if you learn how to delegate successfully. That’s not all. Giving your team more responsibility and showing them that you trust them can inspire loyalty and improve engagement too.
What is stopping you from delegating?
You might have considered delegating in the past but something stopped you. Was it: the belief that nobody does things better than you anyway? Coming to the conclusion that explaining things to a team member would just take too much time and effort? A fear of what might happen if you took the risk and things went wrong? A reluctance to give away any of your power?
Why you need to overcome your fear of delegating
Believing that only you can do things in the business makes you indispensable, and that’s not a good thing. What happens when you are ill or you want a holiday? You probably became your own boss because you thought you’d have more freedom-but that freedom will never come if you keep yourself chained to the business.
Yes, delegating to people who might have less knowledge and experience can seem scary, and explaining how to do things can feel like a lot of work at first. But as your business grows, it will be impossible for you to oversee everything. The inevitable outcome of trying to go it alone will be that you spend all of your time on the small stuff, not the things that are going to take the business forward. You’ll be burned out, unhappy, and your team and the business will suffer.
How to delegate without fear: 7 easy steps
Delegating successfully is a balancing act between taking some risks and reaping some potentially big rewards. Here are my top tips on how to delegate if you’re not sure where to start.
1. Decide what you need to delegate
Which tasks are not that important but seem to take up a huge amount of your time? These are the kinds of things you should be delegating. For example, if technology isn’t your thing, it doesn’t make sense that the business website or social media pages are on your to-do list.
2. Delegate tasks to the right people
It’s not about giving jobs to whoever doesn’t look busy. You need to think about who has the skills and ability to complete the task.
3. Give clear instructions from the get-go
To increase the chances of everything running smoothly when you delegate a task, tell your team member why the task needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and what you expect. Encourage them to ask questions and always check that they understand what they’ve been asked to do.
4. Check if your employee needs further training
Before you delegate anything, check that your employee has the necessary skills and knowledge to do the task. If they don’t, they’ll need extra training, either from you or through an official channel.
5. Check in to see how things are going
This does not mean taking over and doing the task for them! Put your inner micromanager to bed and simply ask your employee how they are getting on. Offer support if necessary.
6. Ask their opinion
Once they’ve completed the task, meet with the employee to ask how they felt things went and whether they had enough support. Ask them whether they feel you could improve how things are delegated. They’ll appreciate feeling involved and valued.
7. Don’t forget to say thank you
It’s easy to forget to say thank you, but the payoff for thanking someone for a job well done is that employees feel more valued. Make people valued and they’ll work harder for you in the future.
Delegating successfully can be a big learning curve, but once you get into the groove and gain confidence, you’ll feel so much more comfortable doing it. If you really want your business to grow, focus on the tasks you absolutely need to do and learn to trust your team to do the rest.
Freedom and growth await.
Delegating the right things to the right people is the secret to growing a great team and a business that runs like clockwork.
Delegation is just one of the things I cover in my mentoring sessions, an affordable, fit for purpose mentoring programme designed for leaders just like you. If you want the inside knowledge you need to really take your leadership forward, signing up for mentoring is a no-brainer.
Read more here about leadership mentoring:
Want further insights on delegation then read this blog