Many of us have heard that we need to delegate. Delegation appears to be a challenge for most people. They find it hard to hand work over or don’t feel they have someone to give it to. Team members will also aim to fill their own work capacity before anyone else.
There are many reasons why delegation doesn’t work. Some of them are:
- I am the best at this – ‘No one can do it as well as I can. I am faster than anyone else and I could have it done by the time I show them how to do it’
- No time – ‘I have no time to teach or show someone how to do this’
- Follow up – ‘I have to follow people up to ensure they have done it and I don’t have the time or energy for this’
- Why should I? – ‘I need to fill my workload first’ or ‘why do I need to do this?’
The reason why delegation may have not worked in the past, as it wasn’t done effectively. Delegation is an art. You need to practice it to be good at it. Many people think delegation is when you just ask someone to do something for you. This is not the case. To delegate effectively, you need to follow the following steps:
- Understand the job – Make sure you understand the job yourself and what needs to be achieved.
- Find the right person – Have you ever delegated a task to a person and they didn’t do it? This is the problem you faced. You can’t give responsibility to someone – they must take it. This is a key point to a delegation. Find someone who is motivated to take on the task and wants to grow.
- Communicate clearly and effectively – Time the take to communicate clearly and concisely about the task. Go through the process and the outcome you are expecting. Make sure they know how this task fits within the overall picture and why it is important. Also, communicate the time frames you expect.
- Ensure they have the resources – Make sure they have the time, people, technology and other resources available. Set any parameters around this.
- Confirm understanding and timelines – Ensure they understand exactly what is expected. Ask them to tell you what their understanding is of the task.
- Encourage and support them – This will ensure the team member knows that you have the confidence in them to achieve this task as agreed.
If you are a leader or manager in an organisation, part of your role is to mentor and train others to grow and do more so that the team and the organisation are more successful. There are many benefits of delegating if it is done effectively. Some of these are:
- You grow your team’s knowledge and create opportunities – when you delegate, your team can take on more advanced tasks which allow you to take on more opportunities. If you can fill the least experienced team members and free up the time of the experienced team members, then you are allowing them to take advantage of any opportunities that arise.
- You reduce your stress and improve your time management skills – Delegating allows you to priorities your tasks so that you are less stressed and can go home satisfied with what you have achieved.
- Your team is motivated – Delegating to the team shows them that you are someone who trusts them and has faith in their abilities. They are motivated to do well and use their initiative as well as take on more responsibility.
- You are known as someone who develops others – Delegation is one of the best forms of on the job training. Staff retention will increase and people will want to work for you as they know you are creating a work environment where their skills will increase and they will be motivated.
- You are known as someone who can get things done – the more you delegate, the more your team can achieve in less time.
If delegating isn’t working for you, you need to ensure you are following the steps to achieve successful delegation. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the team if you are delegating effectively to them.
Delegation is a skill that needs continual practice and varies between individual personalities. If you don’t delegate effectively, the problem that arises is that your team will delegate up to you to get things done. This causes you to stress, miss deadlines and negatively affects customer service.
If you don’t delegate at all, you are not developing your team and you will miss opportunities for the organisation.
Here at Evolve Online Bookkeeping, we practice the art of delegation and we promote teamwork. Contact our bookkeepers in Sunshine Coast to have your payroll, BAS preparation, and Xero setup/integration done effectively and correctly.