As a small business owner, do you find yourself overwhelmed with everything you need to get done to keep things running smoothly?
Delegation is the process of assigning tasks to members of your team. Good task delegation can increase efficiency and free up your time to focus on other things, including important strategic decisions.
Sometimes delegating tasks can seem even more daunting, as it requires giving up control, but delegating tasks and managing your workload are important if you hope to scale your business.
Effective delegation can sometimes be difficult to implement, but it’s important to know how to delegate tasks and manage your own workload to ensure leadership success.
In this article, we will cover why delegation is important and how to delegate a task effectively.
Find a mentor with experience leading teams for more guidance on delegating tasks and managing your workload.
Why is delegating important?
When you delegate tasks, not only are you freeing up your schedule, you are also showing your team members that you trust them.
You, as the leader, retain oversight over the quality and timeliness of the tasks, but you allow your team members to take over projects, increasing their sense of accountability and ownership.
Delegation helps organizations to thrive by allowing team members to discover and practice their strengths and decreases the bottlenecks that can occur when you try to manage everything yourself as a leader.
When you exercise effective delegation, you:
Nurture talent and develop resources
Great leaders know how to recognize and develop talent on their teams to help their organizations continue to evolve and thrive.
Build a thriving company culture
When employees feel a sense of ownership, they also find a greater sense of accomplishment and pride in their work.
Improve pathways of communication
Employees who feel supported communicate more openly across all areas of business.
Why is it so hard to delegate?
There are many reasons why delegating tasks can be difficult as a leader. Below, you will find a list of some of the most common reasons that managers have a hard time delegating. Make note of areas where you think you can improve and discuss them with your mentor.
When you started your business, you were likely doing everything yourself. Your business can feel like a part of you! You likely have a vision for how you want things done and do not want to risk someone taking things in a different direction.
When deadlines are tight, you might not feel like you have the time to show someone how to complete a task or project. You might think that training your employees to do something will take more time than doing it yourself.
You might not trust your team members to complete tasks at the level of quality you expect. They might be less experienced or have underperformed in the past.
How do I know when to delegate?
When you try to do everything yourself, you are risking burnout and are more likely to make mistakes.
Wondering whether it is a good idea to delegate a task instead of doing it yourself? Ask yourself the following questions:
Does this fit in my employee’s job description?
Take a look at your long list of things to get done. Do any of these items fit into the job description of your employees? Remember, you hired employees for their skills—don’t be afraid to put them to use.
If you are considering hiring, look for these essential characteristics that will help you feel confident about delegating more tasks:
- Good listener
Could this be a good teaching moment?
Maybe you have done something so many times that it has become second nature to you. You are no longer finding intellectual stimulation in the work. This could be a great growth opportunity for your employees.
How do I delegate tasks?
We’ve put together a list of the dos and don’ts of effective delegation:
- Communicate who is being delegated a task and why
- See yourself as a mentor, trainer, or coach
- Empower and support your team members along the way
- Remain flexible to your team members’ needs and ideas
- Micromanage a project
- Retake control over a task
- Fixate on mistakes
- Shut yourself off to new ideas or approaches
- Take credit for the work of your team members
Final notes on delegating
Delegating may not always be a smooth path forward. You will make mistakes and your team members will too. You may also need to invest more time upfront in training an employee to finish a task.
Keep in mind that in the end, delegating will pay off and will reward you with improved leadership skills, more free time, an influx of new ideas, and professional growth for your employees.
If you find yourself wanting more coaching on how to effectively delegate tasks, find a mentor who can help you improve this important leadership skill.