Overloaded? Try These Delegation Strategies
Delegation is an important skill to learn if you want to grow your business beyond what you can accomplish on your own.
Not only does it free up your time to do your most essential work, it also builds the skills and experience of your team. This means that the next time similar work needs to be done, you'll have trained help ready to assist.
In this post I'll share a few strategies that will help you get better at delegating to your team.
1. Identify what can be delegated
Each day when you make your task list, go over the items on your list and ask yourself a couple of questions:
- Is this something that only I can do?
- Is this the best use of my time?
- Who else might be able to handle this?
Make sure that you make a note of all the tasks that can be delegated and who you may be able to delegate to. Since I use an app to manage my tasks, I like to tag the tasks I’ve identified with the name of the person I’m going to delegate to so that the next time I talk to them I can easily reference all of the tasks that need to be handed off.
2. Delegate to the right person
Make sure that the person you delegate is a good match for the work you’re giving them. Here are a few factors you may want to keep in mind:
- Their skills/experience
- Their existing workload
- Their interests and career goals
Finding the right fit can make all the difference.
3. Provide clear direction
Define the Goal
When delegating a task or project, make the end goal of the project clear, so that the person responsible can use their own judgement and get creative if needed.
I often find it helpful to define the level of detail or effort expected on a given task. If the person I’m delegating to is a perfectionist, I will make it clear that I’m just looking for a rough draft to start with. If they’re a “just get it done” type of person, I might mention that I’m wanting the finished product have a high level of excellence.
Usually it works well to provide concrete examples of what you do want, and what you don’t want to make the task more clear.
Make sure it’s clear that if your team member gets stuck, you’re there to answer questions and help them move forward.
4. Stay organized
The more organized your company information is, the easier it is to delegate because it reduces the up-front time needed to gather materials.
In some situations you can give a team member access to the tools and appropriate systems (CRM, shared notes, file storage, etc.) and they can find much of the info they need on their own.
5. Make it a team effort
Tell your team that you’re going to be intentionally delegating more work and responsibility, and that you’d like their help. Make a case for why it’s important for your company’s future and how it will build their skills.
Ask them to give you a list of things that they feel they have to skills to assist with. Make it a part of their job to keep an eye out for tasks and responsibilities they can take from you. Your team may notice things that they can help with that you haven’t even thought of.
What delegation strategies work for you?