Many business owners hesitate with delegating because of the time commitment. It does often take longer to tell someone how to do a short-term task you already know how to do yourself.
Besides the teaching, you also have to check in on progress and potentially fix problems you could’ve avoided by taking the task on for yourself.
There’s the chance your employee won’t understand what you wanted in the first place or when you wanted it, and all of this adds up to a lot of potential headaches. It’s easy to understand why many business owners hesitate to delegate.
However, resisting delegating will leave you with many smaller tasks that you should be able to entrust to your employees.
As a business owner, you’re the leader of creative thinking and planning for your company. All of these small tasks take time away from that primary responsibility.
You need energy and time to keep your company running smoothly, to lead the way with new ideas and critical innovation and to make the many difficult decisions that will decide the future of your company.
As a responsible business owner, you have to create the right circumstances to have that energy and time. Delegating is the first step.
Besides your personal benefits and the preservation of your sanity that effective delegating will get you, your employees will benefit significantly as well.
Delegating begins with trust, which comes from feeling your employees are equipped and reliable. Your employees will appreciate the time you’re spending on them and feel like a significant part of your company.
Training will ensure that they are integral to your company’s success and allow them more responsibility.
Delegating also involves open and clear communication. Many problems with delegating result from complications in communication.
With practice, you’ll be able to open lines of communication you probably didn’t realize were closed. When you delegate to your employees, you share with them your expectations and desires.
You have a chance to listen to what they find difficult and what their successes have been, and to both help them and celebrate with them. This will create an overall more positive work environment and more enthusiastic work attitude.
So how do you set these tasks in motion? You already understand the kind of time commitment involved with your personal planning sessions. These make up one system for the success of your company.
Along similar lines, your business will benefit from systems across the board. Systems are steps taken to reach results consistently.
When you have these steps set down, you can better test what is working for your company and what isn’t.
The steps first ensure that there is protocol to follow that reflects your company culture. Then when you are looking for better results, you can change specific steps to test out what will work better.
With systems set down on paper, you can rely on others to carry out important tasks. With the knowledge that others are following a specific protocol with proven results, you have more time to work on your business.
Systems create the circumstances to enable change. They streamline basic tasks, which leaves more room for the activities and ways of thinking that can’t be streamlined.
You and your team have more opportunity to think creatively, and to examine business procedures critically. This is what a culture that embraces change looks like.
All of these processes require communication, clear and consistent. Company culture must be communicated to your employees, through speech and through action.
Delegating requires several levels of communication, and lines that stay open even after tasks have been completed. Systems are written and shared, communicating how work should be done.
All of this communication, if happening over the course of many small meetings and emails, can become difficult to keep track of.
It can quickly unravel into confusing questions about who said what, and risk turning all these big changes you’ve been trying to incorporate into time wasters.
Which is why in order to most effectively communicate, your business must be deliberate about its methods and meetings.
So what does this all amount to? Planning. Scheduling regular meetings where you have specific topics to cover and know what to address to avoid questions and repetition.
This means working to become more deliberate about your meetings, and implementing regularly scheduled meetings between your management and employees.
In order to make sure your meetings are covering all the important topics, consider what your employees need in order to do their job as well as possible. For example:
- To understand what your goals and vision are for the company
- A clear articulation of what is expected and required of them
- An outlet to discuss their current progress, the issues they’ve come up against and expect, and their successes
- Knowledge about how they’re expected to prioritize their duties
If you have a system in place for these meetings, for how they should be run and how often, they will likely make many smaller meetings unnecessary.
You can address common issues that require drop-ins and frequent back-and-forths via email. More deliberate meetings allow room for change by giving your employees a clear and open line of communication.
These meetings can also be put in place to give your managers more time. Instead of having to answer questions at random times that halt their progress on other projects, they have a chance to go over everything at once and stay up to date on how your employees are doing within your company.
These meetings allow a venue in which your company’s employees and management team can discuss, communicate, go over expectations, ask questions, and make suggestions.
Developing a culture in a virtual world
Where is the necessity to be open to and ready for change more obvious than in the fast-paced innovations of a virtual world? As you continue to run your business, you’ll find that there is technology in place to help your business run smoothly and more easily than ever before.