Delegation can be one of the hardest tasks any manager has to do. How do you find the right person to do the task? How do you transfer all of the knowledge you have over to another person in a way that allows them to do the job effectively? How do you step away and know that another person will do the task properly? These worries and more plague any manager who needs to delegate.
In many cases the benefits of delegation outway any anxiety it may cause. Delegating tasks frees up your plate for leadership and big-picture outlook. It allows you to de-stress and focus on your job – not run around doing the jobs of others.
Here is an easy “how to” on delegating all of those superfluous tasks that you are currently doing:
Find the right person
There are some tasks that fit naturally with a job title. For example, if you have been doing all of the sales in the company, and you hire a salesperson, you can now delegate sales over to him or her.
However, there are other time consuming tasks that may not fit into any easy category. For example, you may enjoy delivering your product personally to customers. This is a tricky task to delegate without alienating customers who know that you take pride in in-person delivery.
When you look for the right person to whom you should delegate, don’t just go for the cheapest solution or give it to the person in your company with free time. Find the right solution that will completely take the job out of your hands. If the task is a repetitive one, you may need to hire a new employee, build an additional department or hire an outside company to help get it off of your plate.
Write down the task along with any ancillary information
One of the easiest ways for a task to fail is for a manager to tell someone to do it, and then walk away. Telling someone to “make welcome calls” does not always result in that person calling new customers to welcome them to your company. More information will be needed.
So, write down the task in its entirety. Include how the task is done in a step-by-step manner. Include additional information that anyone performing the task should know.
For example, for the welcome call scenario, you could write a summary describing why you do welcome calls and what the expected end result of such a call is. You could then tell the employee how to access a list of new clients and give them the script for the call. Then you would include any additional or client-specific information. This would give someone a reasonable idea of what the task entails.
Ask for weekly reports
Too many managers worry that, once a project is out of their control, it will get dropped immediately. They skulk by their employee’s desks asking “how’s it going” when really all they want to know is whether or not the person is performing the task that was given to them.
Instead of vague questions and unproductive micromanagement, ask for reports on the task. Depending upon the expected timeline of the project, you could ask for a daily, weekly, or even monthly report.
Correct the new task manager as needed
When you first delegate a project to your employee, there may be times when they don’t perform to your standard. You can catch this by looking at the report or you can find weak points when first train them on how to perform the task. Don’t get scared and snatch the project back. Instead, find out what aspects of the project or your instructions they don’t understand and coach or correct them as needed.
Give credit where credit is due
Sometimes an employee will take on a project and do an absolutely stellar job. Be sure to give them the credit they deserve and share their success with your team.
Delegating as an executive takes some time and patience, but ultimately it frees you up to create a better company. Are you ready to delegate, but don’t know where to start? Contact us today. We would love to provide you with a free evaluation.