How To Delegate Better & Get More Done
There’s no better feeling than clicking “Assign” on an order, knowing your team will handle it from here on out. Unfortunately, for founders like us, it’s sometimes hard to relinquish control of our business’s core competencies.
Even if you’re not ready to have someone else handle client orders just yet, you can start by delegating specific tasks. Learning how to delegate better will help you handle more clients and ultimately grow your agency.
Reasons to delegate
Lots of people have trouble delegating tasks. With delegation demanding some up-front effort, sometimes, doing the task on their own is more appealing.
Other times, you might be more knowledgable on the subject matter of the task at hand. For example, you know your service inside out. So you’ll have an easier time designing and writing the content for a brochure you plan to hand out at the next convention.
But can you really have someone else cover this information?
You have a firm understanding of what you need for the content. And the benefit statements come to mind with ease. All you’d have to do is take the time to create it.
The real question here is, “Should you spend your time on this?”
Even though a task might seem as though it’d be easier to accomplish on your own, you need to consider two things when you’re considering delegating a task.
Are your skills best used on some other aspect of your service?
The answer is likely “yes.” When you’re doing remedial tasks on your own, you’re not using your time in the best way possible. In this example, you can likely spend your time on further developing your strategy for this event, or even think of other ideas to better promote your service.
Will delegating this task make your life easier in the future?
When you assign a task to someone else, you’re enabling that person to develop skills and abilities that will be valuable to your service in the future. Eventually, when a comparable project comes along in the future, you’ll find delegating it easier because you know the person will fulfill the role without forcing you to involve yourself.
In essence, when you delegate a task, you’re freeing up your time and skills to focus on something more important. And as you delegate tasks, your team learns and becomes a more dependable part of your organization.
Knowing when to delegate
While delegation can help your service grow more efficient, you can’t delegate anything.
So how do you know when to delegate?
As you decide what tasks are and aren’t worth delegating, consider the following questions:
- Do you have someone who either has or can understand the information or expertise required to fulfill the task? Can someone else complete this task, or is it essential that you do it on your own?
- Will this task be recurring? If the task will occur again in a similar way in the future, this could be an excellent opportunity to train someone to complete it for you.
- Is this task providing you with a chance to expand on another team member’s skillset? By taking the time to train them now, you could save a lot of time down the line.
- Is there a time constraint on the task? Will you have the time to delegate this task effectively? You’ll need time to provide enough training, answer questions, provide answers, check on the progress, and rework the completed task if needed.
- Should you delegate this task? Some tasks may require your personal attention. For example, if the task is essential for the long-term success of your service, you should devote some of your attention to it.
If you can confidently say any of these bullets apply to the task at hand, delegating the job could be the right move.
How to determine the perfect person to delegate tasks
Here’s what you should consider when determining who should complete your tasks.:
1. What experience, knowledge, and skills are required to complete the task?
If there’s some sort of experience, knowledge, or skills necessary for the task, you need to make sure the person possesses them. And if they don’t, you need to make sure you have the time and resources to give them any essential training.
For example, if you need someone to complete an email sequence for your marketing, you’ll need to ensure the person understands what an email marketing sequence is, copywriting, and several other skills.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if the person has an understanding of these skills if you have the time and resources to give them these skills.
2. How does is this person at completing work?
Analyze this person’s work style. Is the person an independent worker? Or does this person need you to keep an eye on them?
Consider the person’s long-term goals and interests. Do these work well with the project you’re planning on assigning them to?
3. Does this person have a current workload?
If the person is incapable of taking on this task, you need to know it. What is this person currently working on? Will this new task force them to put off other responsibilities? Do you have someone else to take on their workload?
Essential tips on how to delegate better
1. Teach new skills as part of your process.
While you might not have someone who has the skillset to take on a specific task, it’s still possible to delegate the work. The majority of skills are learnable, and some are easy to pick up without any experience.
2. Include instructions — regardless of how easy the task seems.
While a task might seem obvious, you need to include a set of instructions for every task you’re delegating. Be sure to include preferences, milestones and information about the deadline.
3. Set priorities.
Begin developing a priority system for your tasks. This system is dependant on your expertise, your industry, and the kinds of tasks you typically need to handle. But you’ll want to create some categories exhibiting the level of effort and degree of skill your tasks demand.
The category for the highest-skilled tasks will contain the tasks you need to handle on your own. Lower-skilled categories can be delegated to others. The degree of effort will show which tasks you need to delegate. An example of this is how you can assign a high-effort, low-skill task to save a lot of time on your end.
4. Understand that letting go is essential for your success delegating.
It’s difficult to let go. At times, you’ll feel you need to remain dedicated to getting things done on your own. And while completing your own work might be appealing, it’s essential to know that other people can help. Other people on your team either have or can learn the skills and abilities your tasks call for, meaning letting go and letting others handle these tasks can benefit you and your organization.
5. Use your teammates’ strengths.
You’re the leader of your organization, meaning you need to know your workers’ strengths. Learning these individuals’ strong points and shortcomings will ultimately benefit your organization. When their potential and range of skills are known, you’ll know who you can assign certain tasks.
Consider who has the most skills relevant to the task. When you know your teammates’ strengths, shortcomings, and skillsets, assigning tasks relevant to your team members becomes an easy decision. Once you know who is best for the job, remain consistent. By delegating the same kind of tasks to the same person, that person will become better at completing those types of tasks.
6. Incorporate feedback looks to make delegation easier in the future.
Feedback will help with the delegation process, and you’ll want to give and get it to improve upon your delegations. When someone does an excellent job on the task you assigned them, publicly thank them and offer praise for a job well-done. If they haven’t done a great job, provide them with constructive criticism to ensure they do better in the future.
You’ll also want to get your team members’ thoughts on your job delegating the task. This is your chance to become better at delegating. By requesting feedback, you’ll learn if you aren’t providing enough information, the task is too difficult, and more.
7. Trust but verify.
After delegating a task, you need to trust the person to execute. This ensures the person can complete the task in their own way. But feel free to step in at times to check on the task. This will help you ensure everything is on track to be completed within the time frame allotted.
This can be as easy as sending a quick verification email to check on the person’s progress. By doing this, you’ll keep lines for communication open.
While delegation can be complicated at times, knowing how to delegate better with these tips will help you get more done. Knowing the processes and understanding perfection isn’t always an option will help, but learning from your experiences and making any necessary adjustments for improvement will assist you in improving how you delegate tasks to your team.