Business owners need to delegate in order to efficiently complete projects. It’s not enough to let everyone just do their jobs. Business owners know that if they don’t delegate responsibilities to their employees, sooner or later, they will miss out on important deadlines. This is why leaders have to get in to the habit of delegating. Delegation is not an act, it’s a habit. In fact, it’s one of the qualities that being a leader entails.
The act of delegation simply means transferring a task or responsibility to someone so that they have full accountability. However, in order to effectively do this, you need to know which employee is the best fit for the job. You can’t simply give a complex task, say coding, to someone who has no education or experience in dealing with this type of work. And you can’t delegate strategic-level responsibilities to someone who has only been in the workforce for a few months. Clearly, delegation requires knowledge of what your employees can do and how much experience they have.
To explain delegation better, let’s consider the concept of “Five Rights.”
The Five Rights of Delegation
These are technically used to give nurses some guidelines on delegating tasks. However, this can be applied to any business. They are basically questions that you have to ask before you delegate.
1. The Right Task
Does this task have an outcome that is predictable? Can your designated employee handle it?
2. The Right Circumstances
Is the task simple enough to be carried out? Does it need more than one person to be completed?
3. The Right Person
Does your chosen employee have the basic knowledge and expertise in order to carry out the task?
4. The Right Directions
Did you clearly tell your employees what is needed of them and what parameters do they have to follow?
5. The Right Evaluation
Have you given feedback on what has been done well and what needs improvement? Have you asked which parts of the task the employee struggled with?
With that out of the way, you can better delegate tasks to your employees. However, you also need to be good at your job, and delegation needs to be second nature to you.
For that there are some tips you can follow. These will allow you to become better and better at delegating.
Be on the Lookout to Sharpen Your Skills
If you get an opportunity to improve on your delegation skills then take it. You shouldn’t shy away from opportunities to get better at your job. In fact, if you do sharpen your skills, then you will make things easier for your employees as well. You may learn things that you never thought of and then transfer them to your employees as a result. This will help make the work culture in your business more professional. It will also improve the overall efficiency of the organization.
Know Your Limits
This is very important to note. A lot of people think they can keep taking on more responsibilities without any consequence. This is obviously false. However, overconfidence is always dangerous and can be detrimental to your health and your business. Hence, it’s important to know what you can handle, and what you can delegate to others. If there are people that can handle more mundane tasks for you never refuse that opportunity. This is of course in the case that they aren’t swamped themselves.
Practice Makes Perfect
This mantra can be used for anything, not just delegation. However, in that specific context, it needs to be adopted more fiercely. It’s hard to let go of things that you can do well, but you can’t do everything. You have to get used to delegating the important things to your employees.
Know Your Staff Inside and Out
Make sure that you know the strengths, weaknesses, abilities and shortcomings of every single staff member. You can’t be second guessing your delegation duties all day. If you can, make sure you have people sorted by seniority and experience as well as skill level. Make a chart or a list if you have to. However, make sure that delegating duties is objective. Don’t be subjective and give a big responsibility to someone you like, rather than the right person.
Plan out Check-in Points to Help Out Your Employees
This is just about being a good boss. You need to just walk to your employees once in a while and offer some help. Ask if they need assistance on something, or if they’re finding something difficult. Don’t micromanage, but just let them know that you’re there if anything goes wrong. This will instill confidence in them to come to you and get things done faster.
Praise Your Employees When They Deserve It
This is very important for two reasons. One is that encouraging employees will boost their confidence and allow them to feel good about their accomplishments. That’s a major incentive to get better at your job. Also, it will encourage them to pursue better projects and take on bigger responsibilities.
Leaders delegate by habit. It involves knowing how good your team is and how to make them work together. It also involves knowing what you can handle and what you can hand down the line. This makes you a better leader and it also makes the business more efficient. That’s why delegation is not an act, it’s a habit.
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