For business owners and managers, delegation is an essential leadership skill. You can’t do it all alone and still grow tour business at the same time. Being able to delegate effectively not only multiplies your productivity and ensures a successful business, it teaches you to communicate persuasively, supervise and train, and expand your sphere of influence. You’ll be building a more productive, competent and confident team when they know you have faith in them, you value their skills, and you want them to succeed and grow in their careers too.
Here are 5 tips to help you delegate tasks so you can focus on growing your business:
1. Choose the best talents
In delegating, take time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the members of your team, and keep them in mind as you are assigning projects. Delegate to team members that are qualified to do the task, as this will ensure that each person exercises their best skills and strengths..
If you know someone is good at editing, why not pass along the document you have to proofread? If a team member is admittedly weak in PowerPoint, don’t ask her to put together the big presentation. As you learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team, delegating will become easier and less time-intensive.
2. Set Standards
When delegating, make sure the members of your team understand the responsibilities you are asking them to take by communicating what will be delivered, how and when you want the job done. Explain the specific goals for each team member, and ensure they are attainable, relevant, and measurable.
Use personal persuasion and leadership, not the power of your title and position, to emphasize what is expected of each person. Reach an agreement on the performance standards that will be set for a task. Explain what results you expect to see and in what form the results must be presented.
3. Monitor Progress
Don’t delegate tasks and forget about your team and the task till it’s deadline. Check in periodically and ask your team about their progress. Are they on schedule? Do they have the resources they need? Are there challenges? Do they still understand the requirements? Monitor the work and give feedback in a positive, helpful way.
When you check on progress, ask open-ended questions such as “How are you coming along on the brochures?” or, “What are you working on now and what have you accomplished since we last talked?” In the case when you can’t have constant meetings in the office, use online tools like shared Google docs and spreadsheets or have periodic team meetings with a tool like Slack to keep everyone on the same page.
4. Allow for Creativity
People work according to individual learning styles and preferences. You probably want the task to be done in a certain way, but a team member might think differently and offers a better option. Some people can multi-task, and some like to work on one thing at a time. Some need more structure and supervision than others.
Give each person freedom to exercise their creativity and go for what they are comfortable with, rather than following routine. Your focus should be on the final result, not on the details of how the job gets done. When you let team members work in their preferred ways, they feel ownership for the effort. This would in turn held to ensure productivity.
5. Establish a reward system
First, team members should know – what would an unacceptable job look like? what about an outstanding job? Then, when you establish a reward a system they’ll know what to expect when you give a feedback, and if they’ll be rewarded for it.
Inform them in advance about both the positive and negative consequences to expect for excellent and poor performances. Specifying rewards in advance helps to motivate individuals. Identifying negative consequences is equally important for being fair and holding people accountable for their actions.
What do you think of these tips? Tell us in the comments!