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5 Delegation Tactics For Entrepreneurs And Small Business Owners

Startups

5 Delegation Tactics For Entrepreneurs And Small Business Owners

Adam Ghost
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Business owners and entrepreneurs are accustomed to having control over every aspect of their companies, circumventing any delegation procedures. This is normal due to the fact these businesses are literally their babies, so much time and effort have gone into carving them out into the entities they are today. Being in control of every single process does give business owners a sense of gratification but at some point, one does need a break, evidently that much work tends to be exhaustion. However, if one would like to scale up the business there is a need to learn delegation tactics and use them.

Why are delegation tactics necessary?

Many leaders evidently struggle with delegation, this is broken down into 2 thought processes

  • A faith in supervision effect, this reflects the tendency of observers to see work performed under the control of a supervisor as better than identical work is done without as much supervision.
  • A self-enhancement effect, this reflects how managers have a tendency to evaluate a work product more highly the more self-involved they are in its production.

In a nut shell:  leaders believe that they need to oversee work directly for it to be deemed up to a certain standard and that their work will always be best. Most leaders are perfectionists and when they’re in control, they feel they can better ensure a better outcome.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs should try out these five delegation tactics.

1- Define what needs to be done

The most important step to delegating is figuring out which tasks you can give to your staff and which you keep primarily for yourself. Handling every aspect of the business by yourself will quickly become overwhelming, this is more amplified when the project hits a rough patch. When a task is made it collaborative by involving numerus people in the process, the responsibilities are shared, and the amount of work is divided. This lessens the burden on your shoulders and is more likely to improve the chances of delivering work on time and with better results. In so doing, you mange overwhelm whilst delivering better, more timely results.

Have an audit of tasks performed within your organisation and break them down in the following manner

  • Small tasks that seem minuet in stature yet they add up to everyday operations and tend to distract you from your core duties. Tasks like arranging travel bookings — delegate.
  • Simple tasks like handing admin or data entry — delegate.
  • More complex tasks, while important, these can be delegated for the initial 80% of work, after which you can complete yourself — partially delegate.
  • Teachable tasks that require training — delegate.
  •  The tasks you undertake but aren’t in your forte for example graphic design. It is advisable to find someone experienced at the task at hand who can do it better, in less time — delegate.
  • Time-sensitive tasks that you undertake most of the time but there are moments when you are oversubscribed — delegate as necessary.

2- Find the right candidate for the task at hand

Your employees will have different strengths. It’s your responsibility to assess their strengths and weaknesses before handing them tasks. Remember you want to set them up for success, so be certain that the work you’re giving them plays to their abilities. In other words, it wouldn’t make sense to give people who aren’t good with numbers, the responsibility to do monthly invoicing just because they have some free time, or you couldn’t find anyone else who wants the task. Successful delegation, to an employee who is competent enough to complete the work unsupervised, will help you gain trust for all future hand-offs. This is the key reason to go through multiple steps before making an offer to a potential employee, trusting your team with tasks that you are handling currently is not an easy accomplishment

3- Define clear and concise expectations

Most people want to do a good job, but they need to know what you consider to be a job well done. What are your current duties from start finish? And most importantly, what are your expectations in each step of the process? It’s your duty to articulate these expectations, preferably in writing, as it gives them something to reference should they have questions. Essentially every team member should be able to answer the following questions, what am I expected to do? What are the defined goals, what is the timeframe of the task at hand? And what is the measurement for success? Be sure to communicate the overall company vision and how these tasks add up towards the end goal. When each team member understands the scope of their contributions, and how their duties impact the overall objectives of the business, they are more motivated and inspired to take on work their work with zeal and purpose which then translates to better results.

4- Avoid Micromanaging

Be available throughout the training and induction process, this will help you assess whether they understand their duties as well as giving you confidence in their work ethic. This is an important step because if you have confidence in your staff, you won’t constantly have to keep checking on their work. There is a grey area between checking someone’s work and micro managing. Micromanaging gives the impression you do not trust your staff and can have affect their mental health. 

5- Document every process

Before you start delegating and training staff, you need to document your business processes and best practices. This will require a huge initial investment of your time, but it will pay off in the future. The documentation of knowledge, workflows and expectations helps answer low-level inquiries from your staff as they settle into their new roles. It also serves as a resource they can refer to when they might feel too intimidated to ask small or repeat questions. Also be mindful that your employees won’t be in their current roles forever, you want your staff to grow and evolve, and when a staff member moves on, you’ll have a documented training process and for new hires

Although, the hands-on approach worked when you were launching your business, it’s not a sustainable option for growth, leaders should work on their business, not just in it.