With apologies to Winston Churchill, and even, to ancient Greek philosophers who first wrote words similar to these: “with great power comes great responsibility,” today we’re continuing the conversation about delegation. May is our very own self-proclaimed “Celebrate How To Delegate” month and while the theme is all about saving you time, it’s also a true reflection of a good manager when you can delegate responsibly. What does that mean? We’re exploring small business owners and the opportunity to delegate work in a manner that provides for the best outcomes for your business. It can be hard when you are a small business owner to “let go.” Your business is your baby after all; the idea, the dream that you’ve nurtured, all the hours of hard work and lack of sleep that comes along with it mean it might be hard to start asking other people to do things for you. For your business to grow however, there will definitely come a time when you need to delegate some responsibilities so that you can continue that growth and to prosper. Delegating responsibly means understanding these 6 key concepts:
Knowing WHAT to delegate – it’s time for you to get out of the weeds and start focussing back on your original vision. What’s the big picture, what does the future look like as you grow? You can’t strategize if you’re still stocking shelves. Maybe it’s time for some help.
Knowing WHO to delegate tasks to, AND providing team members with the authority needed to complete the task. We saw a great little post from BDC (the Business Development Bank of Canada) who noted the following when it comes to understanding who to delegate tasks to and how to ensure you provide the relevant authority. It went like this: Train, Coach, Empower, Trust. We think this says it all. By taking the time to do this with your team, you are setting yourself up for success in the future and your employees are being set up to feel both empowered and trustworthy. Yes, sometimes delegating requires a certain amount of upfront time and investment but the payoff in potential – for your staff and your business - will be huge.
Provide the needed resources to complete the task. There’s no point in delegating the work if your team doesn’t have the tools and resources they need to complete it. Perhaps you need another laptop or smart device to promote portability in the workplace; being able to walk around the business and track inventory or respond immediately to queries. Think about stores like Apple where every employee has an Ipad and the ability to make decisions within a clearly defined set of boundaries. How can you make this, or similar ideas, work in order for your business to move forward?
Clearly define the task in the first place and avoid the “urge to micromanage.” Giving up control is hard for some managers and again, it’s understandable. That said, by clearly defining your expectations, the boundaries of the task and anyone else that might also be able to assist in its completion (other than you!) once again you will be setting up the employee for success. Leaving instructions open-ended and loosely defined will result in a lack of clarity and potentially problematic issues throughout. Once you’ve defined your expectations, stay out of the picture! The job might not get done the exact same way you would have done it but perhaps your team will discover an even better way to do it!
Stay in touch – communicate, communicate, communicate! Don’t let the deadline arrive and then find out there was an issue. Set up a schedule for checking in so that you arrive at the right balance of great communication throughout the project you’ve delegated and all without seeming to micromanage the work.
Ensure the deadlines are clearly defined. Like any project ever, from high school to post-secondary, deadlines must be clearly defined. We have to know what we are working towards to be better able to allocate time to complete the work. Is the future now, or six weeks from now? Don’t leave people guessing, and make sure the timeframe provided is both reasonable and realistic!
Delegating relieves you of work but it takes work to delegate effectively. Follow these tips for delegating responsibly and you’ll help grow the responsibility level of your team members, while growing your business too. If you’re looking for extra efficiencies to be gained through the delegation of every day tasks, in both your business and personal life, you might also consider outsourcing your delegated tasks to an expert in the field. Contact the team at thE Concierge and ask how we can help you. We serve Dufferin/Peel/Halton and Wellington County and all points in between! https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/how-to-delegate-effectively https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneurial-skills/be-effective-leader/7-key-leadership-skills-entrepreneurs https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_98.htm