— September 15, 2018
Giving up control and putting your trust in others can be difficult. You may have the mindset that everything has to be perfect and it’s important that every task is completed the way you want it done. But this mindset can take a toll on you mentally and physically. And if you truly want to grow your business, you have to learn how to let go and delegate certain tasks so that you, as a business owner, can focus on taking your business to the next level.
You can’t do everything on your own, that’s why it’s so important to learn how to delegate. It’s not always as simple as sending out a to-do list; delegating is a skill, and it’s probably one that you’ve never been taught before. You need to do it right in order to make sure tasks get completed properly, your employees are empowered and you have time to focus on the bigger picture.
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s overwhelmed with work and wants to improve your delegation skills, here are five tips to delegate like a pro.
1. Assign the right task to the right person.
An important element to delegating tasks effectively is to assign the right task to the right person. Of course, it’s quite obvious you wouldn’t assign a marketing task to a member of your accounting team for instance. What I mean by assigning the right task to the right person is that you have to consider the skill level of the person and the difficulty level of the task.
Not only do you want to avoid assigning a task to a team member with minimal experience, who’ll have a difficult time completing the assignment successfully, but you also don’t want to assign someone a task that is too easy for them. When delegating, consider if the project is one the employee will actually be interested and invested in and if they have the confidence, and competence, to complete the task on their own.
2. Use collaboration tools.
Whether you run a traditional office or your employees work remotely, using collaboration tools and software can highly improve the effectiveness of your delegating. Online collaboration tools can help to improve the organization, boost communication and allow multiple people to collaborate easily on one project.
You can use a tool like Asana to assign tasks to individuals or multiple team members, set due dates and reminders, as well as get updates on the tasks you’re following. It’s also not effective to rely on email to communicate especially when a team member just needs to ask a quick question about the project, so try using an instant messaging tool like Slack. Slack is great for collaboration because you can set up channels dedicated to specific teams or tasks in order to easily follow the progress and promote open communication for the assignments you delegate.
3. Clarify the task.
You can’t expect delegating to go well if you just send your employees off with a task to do without any explanation. While you don’t want to micromanage and tell capable employees step-by-step instructions for something they can handle themselves, you do need to clarify if there are any special instructions they should follow for certain steps and what you expect the completed project or outcome to look like.
You’ll waste a lot of time and resources sending a task back to be done over and over again because it doesn’t meet your standards. So set clear expectations as well as deadlines to ensure the project gets completed on time and without any miscommunication.
4. Balance your participation.
Delegating is all about letting go but there does have to be a balance in your participation in the task. You don’t want to disappear and make yourself completely unavailable to your team who may need your support but you also don’t want to be constantly standing over their shoulders either.
Maintaining balance in your involvement is an important part of delegation. Determine in advance how often you should be updated or how often you’ll follow up and what issues you need to be informed of, should they arrive. Following up once and awhile will allow you to check in on the progress of the task without wasting your time or frustrating your employees.
5. Ask for (and use) feedback.
Successful delegation has a lot to do with effective communication and managing your relationships with your employees, so your team needs to be involved in the delegation process too. You’ll never improve your delegation skills if you don’t get feedback from your employees on how you’re doing as a delegator, what about the process is working for them, and what’s not.
After delegating your tasks, follow up with employees to see how comfortably they executed the task, if they were given all the information they needed, and if your timelines were reasonable and realistic, for example. By collecting this feedback, you’ll be able to continuously improve your delegation and make the process effortless in the future.
Giving up control of your precious projects can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. You’re surrounded by a talented team who is capable of going above and beyond your expectations, especially when you can utilize these tips to become a pro at delegating. So don’t waste any more time, start delegating and watch your company’s productivity flourish.