Are you a business owner who is losing sleep because you're constantly thinking about tomorrow's endless to-do list? Are you constantly checking your phone's email to see if you need to respond back to a client? Did you spend countless hours tediously filling out an end of year report spreadsheet?
Then it might be time to think about delegating some of your tasks out to an assistant so you can stop working in your business and start working on your business.
You might be hesitant at first to start delegating tasks in your business. You think you can handle it all, that nobody can do it as good as you can, and you think that outsourcing is too expensive.
At the beginning you might try to master all of the skills that come with running a business. But, in the end, this will only hurt your growth and desired outcomes. You'll start to struggle to get everything done, you'll start feeling stressed, you'll make mistakes, and you might start doubting everything.
Once you decide to start delegating tasks out to an assistant you can start to move forward to better productivity, become more efficient, and you will be able to focus on core high level tasks.
In business, delegation is the assigning of authority to another person to perform specific tasks or complete a project. The ultimate responsibility for the task completion remains with the person who delegated the task out. When you delegate out a specific assignment you are trusting that someone else will be able to complete parts of your job.
10 tips for effective delegation
If you are a new manager or have never gone through the delegation process before, the following tips will help guide you through process, so you'll get your ideal desired results and final product.
1. Get organized
Take time to brainstorm what you need help with and decide what you plan to delegate to your team. It's smart to think about all the steps they will be taking no matter how small or large the task might be.
Having guidelines, systems, and workflows in place will help you to easily delegate tasks to your team.
2. Pick the right assistant for the delegated task
If you delegate a task to someone who has no expertise in that area, then your results will not be what you are expecting.
Review your team members strengths, skill sets, weaknesses, experience, and areas of expertise. You want to match the right assistant with the task, so be sure to confirm with them that they can complete what you require and can provide you with your desired outcome.
3. Explain the importance of the task
It's helpful for your assistant to understand why they are completing this task for you and how it will either contribute to the company's growth or to their own personal career growth.
4. Delegate the entire task
If you give one person the entire task this will allow your assistant to fully understand every step in the process.
If you breakup the delegated work into chunks for multiple team members to complete, then it will lead to confusion, more meetings, and possible duplication of work.
5. Provide detailed goals and expectations
Clear communication at the beginning of a task is key to effective delegation. If you don't let your assistant know what you are expecting as an end result, you may be disappointed in the outcome.
You should be sure to discuss the anticipated result, deadline, tools/software to be used, names of people to contact, resources they can use, funds available, and when they should report their progress to you.
6. Completely handover the authority
Trust that your assistant will perform the delegated task on their own within the specified time and guidelines.
7. Give support, guidance, training, and clear instructions
When delegating a task to your assistant provide them with all of the details you can at the onset. Let them know that you are always available as a resource if they have questions or get stuck.
If they need training on how to complete part of the task, make sure you set aside time to provide this to them before they get started.
8. Ask for regular updates
When you monitor the progress being made and ask for regular updates this will help you feel comfortable in knowing the work that has been done so far and will give your assistant time to ask you any questions they might have.
You'll be able to step in sooner to fix any errors and guide your assistant onto the right track.
However, try not to micromanage. You only want to help support your assistant if they need it.
9. Don't expect perfection
If you aren't completely satisfied with the end product don't take it back from them right away and fix it all yourself. This is a time where you can teach and instruct which will only strengthen your management skills.
Nothing will ever be exactly perfect in your eyes and if you can be okay with a delegated task completed to 90% of your satisfaction, that will save you time and energy.
You should focus on the progress that has been made rather than perfection. A task done is always growing your business further.
10. Review and reward
The tasks that you are delegating to your assistant will help grow your business and any feedback you receive should be shared with them. Let your assistant know if a customer gives you a positive review, if management is happy with the results, or if you see a spike in sales. This will keep them motivated to continue to work hard and provide you with top notch work.
Take time to provide any constructive feedback on what they can improve on for the next project. If you set up time to meet with your assistant right after they finish the task it will be easier for your them reflect on your feedback since the project is fresh in their mind.
Common reasons people don't delegate
Business owners won't outsource tasks to an assistant because they falsely believe it will hurt their business or productivity. When you first thought about delegating tasks out to a team member, did any of these points cross your mind?
Suggestions on ways to ease into delegating tasks if you're uneasy
Are you feeling a little skeptical still about the delegation process? If so, think about taking some smaller steps to test it out.
A high-performing team is much more productive than a high-performing individual, so take the time to delegate tasks and teach your assistant how to effectively help your business grow. You won't be a good business owner if you can't delegate tasks to your team.
Take our quiz to help you determine what you should delegate today:
More resources to read if you want to improve your time management and delegation skills: