For leaders and managers in any organisation, it is always a challenge to ensure that you have enough time to do the important things that only you can do, whilst being able to let go confidently to those around you who form your team.
By delegating workload, there are some significant benefits. If you have found it a challenge to let go of some of those things you believe only you can do well, or that you think your people cannot carry out effectively, this may be more to do with who you are, than anything to do with anyone else.
There are many benefits in delegating tasks to your people and here are the five that our experience tells us are the most vital for you, your people and the overall success of your business.
1. Share the Load
As a management consultants, coaches and trainers, the biggest complaint we have when we help leaders approach their challenges is that they simply do not have enough time to even think about taking on board our ideas. So one of our first activities is to really challenge what they can let go of.
Many times, we find business owners desperate to be more productive with their own time, and yet very cautious about entrusting their people with the responsibilities of delivering as good as they could themselves.
Yet by delegating to others activities that can just as easily be carried out with those at a less senior level, most managers can get on with what they are paid for, to manage people and maximize the return from them. Having more time to be effective managers is actually quite a challenge – indeed more so than doing all the basic jobs that are relatively easy, if time-consuming to do.
Sharing the workload more broadly provides that injection of time to business owners and leaders that can create the space for more marketing; additional support for individuals and even creative thinking and strategic planning that so often get left behind. Why not Google ‘Quadrant 2’ time and see more about this.
2. Develop your People
Another way that delegation works incredibly effectively is to build skills in those you employ. Whilst this might seem obvious, many small business owners simply use the skills of people they recruit for, without finding out what they might be capable of as well.
Failing to make the most of the assets you have, will not be fully profitable for you and that is a waste. By developing your people fully, you are getting the best value from them and making them much more useful.
Using step-by-step strategic planning to delegate to your employees over a period of time, they will become much more value-creating to you, as well as helping you share the load we already mentioned.
3. Motivate your Team
When people are in employment, there are a number of psychological levels that come into play.
Most people want some core elements to come from the work they do. To start they want an income to provide for basics and more. After this, they want challenge. It’s a natural human instinct to be curious and find out things.
By offering delegated tasks to individuals, we are fulfilling a need for their development that comes from them. Even though people may work well enough for you, they still get bored. When they get bored, a percentage of them will become demotivated and look for new challenges, which may well be with another employer.
By delegating tasks to stretch and challenge, within a supportive framework, small business owners will build motivated individuals into the teams that provide the resources necessary to grow the business.
And have happier employees too!
4. Succession Planning
Over time, as businesses grow, the critical importance of trained and experienced individuals becomes more and more defined. In stable businesses key staff are valuable; when they begin to grow with pace, they become invaluable.
Carefully nurturing the growth of your people is a critical factor in how you become bigger and more profitable. When you invest time and resources into those people, you want them to stay.
But it doesn’t always work out that way.
By using delegation strategies not only to develop those key people to the standard you need, but also to prepare a bunch of individuals who are ‘bubbling under’, you will have a sustainable workforce.
Should one of your key people become unavailable for any reason – from a choice on their part to being hit by the proverbial bus – previous experience through effective delegation can provide for a lower level of people just ready to step in and for your business to continue without hardly a blink.
This takes a strategic view of your resources that are great for you right now – as well as those who are ripe for development. Delegation of key activities to build confidence as well as skills, whilst still having the very best competent staff to support and overview their work is sensible planning and focus.
Creating a team of people ready and willing to step in is critical for the long-term and as you delegate and they grow, you are taking vital steps forward to ensuring longevity and growth.
5. Build Trust
Trust in one of the most important attributes in any relationship. In the workplace, employees need to trust their employer so that they feel comfortable giving their all. Employers need to trust their people, so that the business they have put their own heart and soul into can be en-trusted into their employees’ care with confidence.
Delegation works so well in both directions.
When an employer trusts an individual enough to delegate key tasks to them, they are showing the individual that they have confidence in them, enabling the employee to feel much more a part of the business. The employee feels trusted.
When delegated to, employees have the opportunity to show that the trust bestowed on them has been well-placed and they feel a trust in the employer because their experience has been a good one.
Delegation builds trust both ways and enables better performance, confidence in themselves and in the employer too.
As a tool, delegation has few competitors it cannot overcome. For small businesses there are few better opportunities to evolve committed, motivated and developed employees to help growth and performance.