There’s no denying that delegating jobs in the right way will increase productivity within your business. However, if you get it wrong, it could have a reverse effect.
In fact, a study by Opus Energy revealed that a large majority of British business owners don’t like to delegate tasks to their staff.
To be more precise, 62% of SME owners say that they check their emails constantly throughout the day, while 47% of them often work through the weekend.
As a result of this extreme work ethic, 74% of the SME owners say that their relationships with their partner, friends or family have been affected by the long hours.
So what’s defined as ‘good delegating’?
To help lead your business to super success, here are some actionable tips on how to delegate like a pro and leave yourself more time to focus on other tasks.
Establish an end goal
It may sound simple, but defining an end goal for a project or set of tasks will give you something to work around. After all, how are you supposed to know when you’ve accomplished something when no goal has been set?
The key to achieving this is to break your end goal into small and simple processes. You can then easily delegate certain elements to your staff and ensure you’re not burdening them with 1,000 tasks at a time.
And from your own perspective, it’ll give you a clearer idea on which tasks you can delegate and ones you should do yourself.
For instance, it isn’t necessary for you to sort travel arrangements to go meet a client, this can be completed by your PA or another member of staff.
However, a project for a picky client which has a tight deadline might be better completed by you or someone you believe understands the client’s needs.
Apply the Pareto principle
If you’re new to the Pareto principle, it’s also known as the 80/20 rule. This term was first used to describe a theory that 80% of Italy’s wealth belonged to only 20% of the population.
Although, in more recent years, it’s become a way of describing things in life that aren’t distributed evenly.
To put this into context, it’s the idea that 20% of your responsibilities are responsible for 80% of your business’ revenue.
Therefore, your contribution might be less in quantity, but the quality of what you do is integral to the success of your business. So, if you waste your time and expertise doing the less important tasks, the quality of results of your 20% might drop.
That’s not to say that 80% of the tasks in your business aren’t worth doing. On the contrary, they must be completed. But do they need to be done by you? Probably not.
Delegating these other tasks will also help you relieve some stress and keep your mind clear to do some great things for your 20%.
Categorise your tasks and theirs
Once you’ve got to grips with this Pareto principle and have established a clear end goal, you then need to categorise your 20% of tasks and your employees’ 80%.
This is arguably the hardest part of all, especially if we’re talking about a company that you’ve built up from the ground.
As a rule of thumb, you should be delegating tasks like:
- filling/emptying the dishwasher
- conducting research
- debt chasing and processing invoices
- data entry.
You can read more about the 6 office tasks that nobody wants to do in our previous blog here.
It’s also worth categorising certain tasks so that you can delegate groups of them to certain people. Otherwise, you’ll probably find it harder to do the same if they are just a list of random tasks.
For instance, filing, data entry and processing invoices can come under one category. In this particular example, you should delegate the task to someone who is organised, precise and good with numbers.
Teach your employees
One of the most common excuses from business owners and managers who fail to delegate is that they don’t believe that their employees will do the job as well as they would.
That’s why you should teach them. In a recent survey conducted by BambooHR, one of the most common reasons for staff leaving occurs when they don’t receive clear instructions on how to complete a task successfully. employers that don’t give employers who don’t give their staff proper instructions on how to complete a task successfully.
Show your employees that you’re confident in them and take the time to teach them. It not only will save you time, but it’ll make them feel valued as well.
Manage the tasks
If you want to get things done in a timely manner, you have to be willing to follow-up on your delegating.
The problem is, if you don’t ask them how they’re getting on and press them to finish it (in a nice way), they may start to feel like they can deprioritise your tasks.
Keep your standards high and give them constructive feedback as a part of your follow-up process. This way, they can continually improve the quality of the work they produce.
Remember, the key to delegating is to adopt a work smarter, not harder philosophy. Sharing some of your workload with your employees isn’t a weakness, it’s a step towards growing your business.
Be patient and don’t micromanage. Sure, employees might make an odd mistake at first, but with the right amount of nurturing and management, you’ll be able to focus on your 20% of tasks and see some drastic improvements within weeks.
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