As a business owner or manager that handles a team, there are many tasks that you delegate to your employees or subordinates, to ensure your business runs smoothly. When you delegate a task to someone, the expectation is that the job will be performed to your standards; but then why do so many business owners struggle with delegating?
When business owners are quizzed about why they fail to delegate instead of trying to handle everything themselves, most business owners respond with answers such as:
“It’s so much faster to just handle this task myself”
“I just don’t have the patience to deal with people”
“Maybe I don’t trust I would be able to delegate wisely”
“I have to make sure the job is done right”
Do any of these statements sound familiar to you? There are times when owners have the realisation that they don’t feel confident about delegating. This could stem from their lack of understanding of the best practices or their lack of experience. The fact is that delegating can be very scary and can often feel extremely time-consuming or negative. This skill is one that can be learned, but you have to be committed to being consistent and practicing. The basic questions you should be asking before you delegate are:
#1 Does that particular employee have the skills to handle the task?
Before delegating any task, you need to make sure the person has the necessary skillset to complete that task satisfactorily.
#2 Do you have clarity about the training and knowledge required?
While you might already know how the task has to be completed, it’s crucial that you maintain clarity about your expectations and train your employees well; this will save you a significant amount of money in the long term.
#3 Does your team member have all the necessary tools to complete the given task?
It’s not difficult to see what can happen when your team members are permitted to get in over their heads. If you delegate a task to an employee, without equipping them with the right tools and knowledge, that can lead to a disastrous situation for you and a negative situation for that person as well.
#4 Have you set a deadline?
The deadline that you assign with any task must include the day and time too- “I’ll need this back on Tuesday the 22nd, no later than 4.00 pm”. That ensures there will be no surprises.
#5 Can your team member complete the task by the established deadline?
It isn’t feasible to expect your employees to work on the delegated tasks if there just isn’t sufficient time. It’s also a good idea to check on how the task is progressing and when you touch base with them with regularity; it tell them that the task is important and that you want them to complete it successfully. It is also another opportunity for you to develop your leadership skills.