Working hard has probably been key to your success but as your business grows and your workforce increases it is essential you learnt to delegate for the benefit of your business.

Why should I delegate?

There are five key reasons:

1.    You cannot do everything, no one can. Delegating gives you time to focus on your talents in business.

2.    You can work more strategically without having to worry about the tasks passed on.

3.    Someone else is probably better at said task than you are, especially if it’s their field of expertise.

4.    Performance and value – as the business owner you are probably paid the most and therefore it’s counterproductive to be doing low skill work.

5.    Develop your team – giving team members new tasks will help them develop their skills and become more valuable in the long term.

How to Delegate

You have to release the reins a little and trust your team or even outsource certain elements to virtual offices or virtual assistant companies. When you delegate effectively you are giving up the control of a certain element of your business but still remaining accountable. Delegation results in decentralisation and gives experts within your team the chance to shine.

It’s almost guaranteed that you have hired specialists in certain fields to carry out tasks that you simply haven’t let go of yet. Delegate and watch your business prosper. Chances are the less you get involved the more effective the results will be especially in areas such as IT, consulting and sales. Allow your team a little free reign with the work available. Let them set up their own teams, choose their own projects and give them the space to make decisions and take certain action without the need to consult you first. Something will go wrong at some point but it won’t be the end of the world and both you and your team will have learned an important lesson. Play on the strengths of others to benefit the whole team.

Delegating effectively also means understanding exactly when a task does need your input. There will be some high-risk and high-stake projects where you know your input is essential and you’ll want to be on hand to check over any work done. If you have new employees too it isn’t necessarily fair to delegate too much to them without guidance.

For new employees as well as low and middle performing staff your input will be needing and your style of delegation will need to be more directive. Rather than allowing free reign you will need to delegate chunks of tasks which include built in check points so you can ensure things are carrying on along the right track. You can have more influence over the outcome and be in control of the project as a whole without having to carry out every single small task. Directive delegation gives you the chance to develop your employees and below is a list of the types of tasks you can delegate in this way:

•    Research tasks – delegate all fact-finding work. When you receive a report from an employee ask for their thoughts on what should happen next and how they’d proceed giving them a chance to build new skills.

•    Repetitive tasks – no one enjoys those repetitive admin tasks but they need to be passed on to newer staff members who can slowly but surely pick up speed and get them completed as quickly as possible.

•    Action Plan – provide your employees with a series of tasks along a specific timeline, with checking points at each stop so you can ensure things are progressing smoothly.

Releasing all control of your business is not something we’d suggest to anybody but learning to delegate will benefit your company, your employees and you in the long run.

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