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Idea Box: Delegation Enables Growth
When managers or supervisors delegate tasks to other employees, it enables them to focus on more important responsibilities and allows for professional development of their workers.
Date Posted: 10/1/2012
In many small businesses, the owner or manager often has to be responsible for multiple tasks. However, once a business has grown to a certain point, this can actually hinder future growth of the company.
It is not always easy to delegate tasks when you have become used to just doing them yourself. However, by effectively delegating responsibilities to other employees you will save time and able to focus on bigger tasks that you really need to do and do them more effectively. It will also help you build productive and competent team. When you have your employees help with new tasks, it both makes them feel important to the company and gives them the chance to grow in their careers. Even if you don’t see the need to delegate some of your responsibilities, consider these tips.
• Making yourself replaceable is good for your company. If your presence is needed to have anything accomplished, then there is a problem. It is better for your company’s health for it to be able to run without you.
• If you often feel overwhelmed or work extra hours, you need to delegate some tasks. And if members of your management team often seem like they do not have enough to do, then you already have people in place to delegate those tasks to.
• Keep a daily log of your activities for several days. Then review the log and see what activities you spend a lot of time on. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to do this myself or can someone else do it?” Pass the tasks that you do not need to personally do on to someone else.
• If you do not have any workers that you think you can delegate tasks to, you need to start training someone. This can be approached by hiring a new employee or by finding a current employee that is self-motivated and can work without constant supervision. Many workers are interested in learning new tasks and advancing at their job and will jump at the chance to take on new responsibilities. It can also help them feel more engaged and trusted.
• Encourage your workers to let you know if they are interested in taking on new tasks. In some companies, workers don’t feel comfortable asking for new responsibilities. Tell your workers that if they are interested in learning to perform new tasks that they should let you know and make sure that you are available.
• Don’t “undelegate” something once you hand it off to someone. If you are used to doing a task yourself and doing it a certain way, it can be hard to stand back and watch someone else do it differently. Remember that different is not the same as wrong. Give clear instructions on what you want the results to be. Consider even writing these directions down so that they can be referred back to while the task is being completed. But then step back and allow them to complete the task before giving any needed feedback.
• Don’t stop delegation at the management level. Encourage those that report to you to determine what tasks they can delegate to those they supervise. By pushing responsibility on down the company hierarchy, you will free up time for many people and provide professional growth to all levels of employees.