If you are a leader, manager or even a parent, that holds back on delegating tasks, because no-one else can quite do a job as well, as fast, or as high quality as you, or indeed you hang on to your very favourite tasks, not because they are high value to your business but simply because you really enjoy them – then it’s time to make 2018 the year you make a commitment to delegating. However, it has got to be effective delegation so that you reap the benefits.
Some people tell me that they have tried to delegate tasks, responsibilities and activities, but in the end it saves time to just ‘do it yourself’, because you end up doing it yourself anyway.
This is flawed thinking, and it’s time to critically self-reflect. If we are delegating and end up taking the task back because it is not completed, there were too many errors, it was not completed in the time frame or to our quality, we need to review our own contribution to this outcome and assess what role we played.
Were our instructions thorough? Did we have time to demonstrate? Observe? Provide feedback and encouragement? And then have the person try again for further feedback and encouragement? Delegation is not distributing jobs and tasks without instruction or effort. If we are delegating this way, we are not delegating effectively, and we need to reassess.
Effective delegation is planned, has clear instructions, opportunities for observation and trial, and opportunities for feedback and coaching. If we have expectations of the outcomes of responsibilities and tasks that we are delegating we then need to communicate these so others know exactly what they need to do, in what time frame, and what quality.
Establish your expectations with your staff member, that you will be providing ongoing feedback and coaching to build their competence and confidence. Delegation is all about knowledge and skill building in another person and it takes time and practice.
To invest in yourself and others in this way will reap the benefits in your business and in your team, whether it be large or small. The 5 main benefits are:
1. Delegating effectively will free up your time – you will have more time for yourself to work on higher level projects and ideas, the tasks and responsibilities that deliver a higher return on investment or larger clients. If this isn’t what you are after in business, then maybe it’s a Friday afternoon off from time to time to do something that makes you happy outside of work!
2. Delegation develops skills and knowledge of your team – encouraging others to step up to higher level tasks through delegation of some of your activities develops skills and knowledge in others, exposing them to different sorts of decisions, different clients, different ways of thinking and doing to get the job done. When experiencing effective delegation your team will grow in confidence and competence. This builds the capacity in your team to problem solve and make decisions in your absence.
3. Delegation builds a culture of trust – when you provide opportunities to your team to learn new tasks, skills and broaden their knowledge, and you let them spread their wings and fly, you are building a culture of trust. Showing them that you are understanding when they make a mistake and not laying blame but teaching them how to problem solve so it doesn’t occur in the future is building their trust. The very worst thing you can do if something goes wrong is take the project/task back. This breaks their trust and you lose all you have gained.
4. Delegation will deliver increased team efficiency – efficiency is achieving more in the same amount of time. When you are able to build capacity through efficiency, your business may very well benefit from increased revenue and profit. Working together to get the job done, with a ‘no blame’ culture builds synergy and high performance. Everyone will want to achieve and stretch themselves to higher goals or results.
5. Delegation builds team flexibility – when your team build their skills and knowledge they become more valuable to you as they can do more and flex to the needs of your business. You don’t need to be anxious or stressed about who is the one person that can do a particular task, because you have other people who have skills that you have trained them for.
Over and above these 5 benefits is the culture of empowerment and motivation. Your attitude to delegation is a key contributor to your results. You are the key influencer of your team building their confidence and self belief by the way you both deliver delegated tasks and provide encouragement and feedback. When delivered effectively, you are building a team that has the best interests of the business at heart, is engaged and empowered to do their very best for you and the business, including your customers.
If you have tried to delegate in the past and it hasn’t delivered all of these benefits, make it your focus for 2018 to learn what has gone wrong in the past and get great at delegation! You don’t need to have a big team to delegate either! You can learn how to delegate effectively at home as well!
If you want more information on our Services and Professional Development, or any assistance with putting these plans into place, please contact us on [email protected]
, call our office on 02 6581 5426 or go to our website www.hrculture.com.au