When you’re in the middle of running your own company, time can be the most precious, scarce commodity you own. What you spend your time focussing and working on can make or break your success and it can often be hard to know what to turn your attention to.
With the demands of keeping your company afloat and growing taking over your time, it is important that you still get the vital jobs done alongside the bigger jobs of business management.
You only have so much time in the day, which is why it is vital that you put your trust in some of your colleagues and let them take some of the slack.
Delegating jobs can rescue your business, allowing you to focus on more important matters, without being distracted by other aspects of the company.
But how do you begin this practice?
1. Understand your teams ability and time constraints
Passing on important tasks to others within the company is daunting as it might not be immediately obvious who is best suited to the task at hand.
Having a firm grasp on the talents of your team and who is best positioned to assist you in your job is crucial. It is also important to understand who has the time to help you, as most of your staff will also be feeling the pressure of maintaining a growing business.
Picking a member of the team who isn’t experienced or qualified enough can add even more time to completion, so assess who is best suited.
For example, workers who are slow but thorough might be better suited to tasks that require a keen eye for detail but aren’t as urgent, allowing you to focus on the jobs that can be finished quickly.
2. Manage your own expectations
It can be very easy for you to become frustrated if the work you are given back from colleagues is not up to your own standards or arrives slowly. It is key that you understand that your team have their own pressures and might only be able to dedicate small chunks of their own time to help you out.
Learn patience, because the work you receive might not be the way you envisioned it, and berating your staff after they have agreed to help you can cause distrust and rifts amongst the group. Appreciate that it may take time to complete a task and manage your own expectations on what your team provide for you.
3. Build your trust in people
Following on from this, you need to be able to trust that the person you are delegating to can complete the work correctly. If it is a time sensitive or it is a piece of work that will be shown to people external from the company, you have to ensure that the standard of work will be appropriate. This can be a tricky aspect of delegation to negotiate.
If there is someone in your office who you know can deliver a good result for you, it might be worthwhile shifting their work onto someone else to ensure that the person you trust can fully dedicate their concentration.
It can be very hard to let go of a project and allow someone else to take over, so you can focus on other things, but building trust in your team and letting them prove to you that they can consistently deliver results is key.
Conversely, it is important to make sure that they are keeping track on what wrk you want them to do. don’t nag and irritate them over their progress, but check that they are staying on track.
4. Be clear in your instructions when delegating
Sometimes, things that seem obvious to you can appear difficult or abstract to someone else. Make sure that you give clear and concise instructions to your team on exactly what you require from them and how long they have to do it.
Let them know if there is opportunity for them to be creative on the project, of if they are to follow your instruction to the letter. It is no use to be frustrated at them completing work that is wrong if you did not tell them exactly what you wanted from them
5. Give proper feedback and praise where praise is due
Let your employees know if they’ve handled it improperly in any way (so they know for next time), and ask what they thought of your assignment and instructions.
If they completed the task, let them know that you are happy with the work, it will act as an incentive to work hard again if you need them to do further work.
You’ll learn much about the delegation process this way, through experience, and you’ll be able to carry these takeaways through to the next time you need to delegate something.
Delegating work can be an extremely anxious and difficult process, but the lessons learned can nurture you into a better leader and will give you the vital time needed to complete other tasks.