Lots of managers hate having to delegate. That goes double for owner-managers of businesses. Shame as delegating effectively buys you time and improves the morale of your team and allows you to focus on the things that add most value to your business.
An example: I went to see a potential client a while back. While I was waiting, he popped through to the reception area and fiddled with the printer and then added some paper into it and printed some papers off. He later told me that he had once logged his weekly work and counted 15 different activities; from sorting out IT to winning business. However, this was not a one-man business, he had a team of 10 people including a secretary!
He faces the same problem that a lot of owner-managers have … the fear of giving up control. That fear means that he is unable to let go … and so he spends his time doing EVERYTHING. This has two disadvantages:
You spend your time doing lower quality work, filling your time up with the little things. You end up working ridiculous hours, never seeing your partner or your kids, never actually enjoying the fruits of your labour.
You are not making use of your team, which can cause demotivation. Why pay the salary of a secretary and not allow her to take responsibility for the office and IT equipment?
Why do people find it hard to delegate?
Most people will cite two reasons why they don’t delegate, firstly, that it is quicker to do it themselves and, secondly, that they are worried that other people won’t do it as well. Well, yes, delegating does require and upfront investment of time and yes it does mean you lose a measure of control. But, if you delegate well, the next time, they will do things with less and less intervention from you and if you delegate effectively, you can still oversee the quality of work produced. Scarily enough, if you do it properly, there is the real risk that someone will find a way to do things even better than you do!!
How to delegate: Step 1
Firstly, make it clear what outcome you want to see. Explain the WHY, the WHAT and the WHEN. Make sure they know how to do the task but let them try it out.
For instance, you could say “We need to send a proposal to a new client by the end of next week as they are looking to replace their servers by the end of the year.” You may need to show previous proposals and explain some of the pricing: this is your upfront investment.
Please don’t do this last minute. Plan in time for them to learn how to do the task properly.
How to delegate: Step 2
Then explain how you will manage the: Will you meet with them weekly? Every morning? By telephone? Do you want to sign off any drafts?
It is important that you let them get on with the task. Don’t hover, don’t ask them about it as you are crossing in the corridor. As long as they know they can come to you if they are stuck, you can give them the room to learn.
How to delegate: Step 3
Finally, when the task is done, make sure you give them a chance to reflect on what they have learnt and how they can do it better.
It will require upfront time to start with, but pretty soon they will be flying, leaving you time to do what you are really good at: making the business grow!
Watch the video above on this subject. Enjoy!
I provide training programmes and coaching to managers who want to inspire their teams, if are interested in how I can help you or your management team, call me on 07595 702878 or Contact Me.