Effective Delegation for Leaders by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
Delegating can be one of the most difficult tasks for those at the helm of an organization. Delegating a task means letting go of the control over the details, which can sometimes be uncomfortable, particularly if the task or process is one that you have managed personally for a while. However, it can be difficult to grow your organization if you continue to keep your own hands in every facet. Delegation is key in growing your business and developing your employees. Here are three tips to make handing over the reins a little easier.
- Choose Wisely. Delegate the right tasks to the right people. By choosing employees with the right skills for the task, you’ll see a greater chance that the task will be managed properly, and that the employee will enjoy the new responsibility, rather than dread or resent it.
- Document and Train. Even an employee who is well suited to the task at hand needs training to ensure success. In addition to training, you will make the handover process go much more smoothly if you have been careful to document the work you’ve done to complete the task or process over the few months before the handoff. So, it is wise to plan delegating processes and tasks several months in advance of actually turning the process over.
- Communicate. Be clear in your expectations with your employee about deadlines, documentation requirements and other pieces of the task that must be done to certain specifications. However, if there are parts of the process that could be managed multiple ways, it is best to show the employee how you have handled those areas, but allow flexibility for them to find their own preferred methods, too. After handoff, let your employee know that you are available for questions and support. In addition, follow up periodically in the early days to see that the transition is going well. It is important to create an atmosphere that allows the employee to feel comfortable in communicating with you about problems, suggestions or improvements in the process.
In the early stages of a business, it is not unusual for owners and managers to manage many different facets of the business. However, over time, as businesses grow, managing too many tasks and processes can make it impossible for you to focus on growth and the organizations big picture. Delegating allows you to put your time where your business can benefit most. In addition, it allows other employees to realize growth and success as they take on additional responsibilities. Delegation can be painful for some people, but once you’ve seen the process work successfully, you’ll see how sharing the work can benefit the business as a whole.
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