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5 Tips to Master the Art of Delegation
“Ah, I’ll just do it myself – it’ll be easier.” Sound familiar? When your business is built on your own sweat, tears and late nights, it can be difficult to hand the reins over to someone else. Unfortunately, you can’t clone yourself, so mastering the art of delegation is key if you want your business to keep growing. Here are five tips to help you delegate successfully.
1. Know When to Delegate
Let’s face it, the usual time you start thinking about delegation is when you’re already snowed under and stressed out. But at this point, handing the job over to someone else requires a lot of time and explanation, which can negate the benefits of delegating it at all. Thus, the vicious cycle continues. It’s better to think about how you will delegate the work at the beginning of a project. This will allow everyone to get their head around their specific tasks, and give you time to check in and give feedback.
2. Set Expectations
Successful delegation requires crystal-clear communication. Anyone who’s assigned a task should know exactly what’s expected – so tell them! Set a clear deadline, but also make sure to schedule time for check-ins too. You can’t just task someone and expect it all to run smoothly. There will always be questions, and as the person in charge, you have a responsibility to be available for advice. And when someone does ask, make sure you give very clear feedback. Remember, it doesn’t benefit anyone if you have to spend a couple of hours fixing someone else’s work.
3. Pick the Right Person for the Role
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, so take this into account when delegating. By matching a task to a person’s skills or interests, you’ll get better end results. One staff member could be detail-orientated and love the challenge of an audit, while another might prefer working in short bursts and be ideal when you need something done quickly. Equally, it’s vital to know your own weaknesses. If something’s not in your area of expertise, pass it to someone who does have the know-how.
4. Understand How People Like to be Managed
Some people love regular check-ins, while others prefer a more hands-off management approach. To get the most from your staff, ask them what works best for them. Remember that other people have things to do too, and you may be piling work on their desk that they don’t have time for either. Be conscious of their workload and, if needed, help them to work out which tasks should take priority.
5. Shout Out Great Work
Praise for a job well done is important, and as a leader in the organisation, your words carry weight. Make sure to thank people personally for their help and, if appropriate, give them a public shout-out for their hard work. Small gestures like that can mean a lot, help your team feel appreciated, and ultimately boost morale in the long-term.
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