Looking for a new business tool to save you time, increase productivity and automatically push innovation to the forefront of your company culture? There is a tool out there to try. It’s also free. Introducing… delegation.
‘I have to do everything myself’ is, understandably, something owners say a lot, so delegation is a different ballgame as far as they’re concerned. They have an emotional attachment to their business. It isn’t about merely farming out tasks to their team; it’s also about learning to trust them enough to complete delegated tasks to an acceptable standard.
| What to delegate and when?
Inc.com expounds the 70% rule: ‘Put simply, if the person the CEO would like to perform the task is able to do it at least 70% as well as [they] can, [they] should delegate it.’ So, what to delegate? You can be as general or as specific as you like. Do you really need to do the minutes for the Monday morning meeting? More importantly, do you even need to be there at all?
It seems we’re still not helping ourselves. In 2007, the most influential report in this area (by i4cp, inc.) discovered that 28% of companies offered any training on delegation – and there’s little evidence to suggest we’re upping our game in this area.
Delegating responsibility to others centres on eradicating time-consuming, repetitive and routine tasks, and assigning them to the people in your team who will do them better, or who might even enjoy doing them. Many employees want the extra responsibility. You could start with a small project, or one that doesn’t have to be completed in a specific way.
| Can you delegate and why must you?
The great thing about delegation is that it's measurable and fluid. Handing responsibility to others makes them accountable and, if it’s not working in some areas, change it around.
Setting clear objectives and outlining the outcomes you want is the first step. Establish how you want to be kept up to date on task progress and set deadlines.
The extra benefits are that it will alleviate stress and feelings of being overloaded, and your teams will appreciate the fact that you believe in them enough to share responsibility for the development of the business. You’re also beginning an informal upskilling process across the whole organisation, which is obviously a good thing.
| How to build quality and add focus to your day
Delegation doesn’t lighten your workload – there’s still a million things to do, but it will enable you to accomplish more, improve the quality of your work and sharpen your focus.
There will be someone in your organisation who is better at managing and completing specific tasks than you. It shows good leadership if you can filter down assignments to others. You might even find your new number two or future leader by taking this approach.
There’s also an overwhelming case for delegation making you more focused during the working day. As you push back on everyday tasks, it enables you to concentrate on the things that matter, such as long-term growth strategies and expansion plans.
If a project must be done in a specific way, is one you enjoy, or takes more time to explain what to do than by doing it yourself, then it’s probably best to do it yourself. Either way, you’ll be surprised how far you can take delegation and how it will benefit you and your business.
Our Owner Operator Programme is for owners of successful Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne businesses who want the tools to drive progress and create positive change in their organisation.
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