How does it make you feel when you hear “delegation”? Do you feel uneasy? Empowered? Calm? When we talk about delegating responsibilities, a wide spectrum of emotions can emerge, which are completely understandable. But, at some point, this part of running a business becomes unavoidable if you don’t want your progress to plateau.
I want to get you started on delegating by offering 10 items that are simple to let go of yet make your life a whole lot easier. Knowing when to ask for help is a significant part of being successful in any career. It allows you to spend more time doing what you love while freeing up your time to give attention to other things that need you most.
How do you delegate responsibilities to your team?
I see many business owners who aren’t aware of their need to delegate tasks until they are overwhelmed by responsibilities they can’t keep up with. Today, I will tell you the same thing I often share with them. No person is meant to journey through this life alone!
Even as entrepreneurs, we need to rid ourselves of this mindset that we are the only ones capable of running our businesses. Instead, it’s best to identify tasks that can be given to another person to help free up your time and energy. You will grow your business and safeguard your mental and physical health by putting your attention where it matters.
If you start to notice the signs of burnout, it’s time to make some changes. One way to ease your burden is to delegate responsibilities to people who can help. But first, you must identify what tasks you can offload.
How should you do this? The easiest way to start is by spending some time going through your schedule with a fine-toothed comb. Write down everything you do during the week or month. From this list, identify anything that ONLY you can do. This part requires some objectivity. Things like meetings with investors and strategic planning? Those would fall into this category. However, posting on social media and billing clients can be done by someone else.
If this is your first experience with delegation, don’t worry about creating an exhaustive list. The intent here is to become aware of your need and decide where to start. In fact, often, the best place to start is by hiring a personal assistant. This person can help take a lot of the tasks off your plate so you can focus on the things that need your attention the most.
How to improve delegation skills
The great thing about delegation is that it doesn’t just benefit you. You empower others to step into their own leadership when you delegate responsibilities. They become involved by taking a personal interest in developing and growing your business alongside you. And with this empowerment, they grow more confident in their skills, knowledge, and capabilities.
But the key to making the relationship of delegation successful is communication. As a leader, you should communicate the importance of each task you have assigned so your employees can connect to your values. When employees and staff understand the purpose behind their work, they find more meaning in it and will be more likely to put their heart and soul into everything they do.
As you communicate the importance of the task to them, you should also make sure your staff knows how much authority they have within their role. Setting these boundaries from the beginning improves your delegation skills and creates a healthy working relationship. Make sure they know what decisions they can make. What can they act on? Let them know your expectations so they can complete the task at hand.
Also, consider discussing with clients, vendors, financial institutions, or any other relevant business partners that you have given someone else authority to take over tasks that directly relate to them. This will avoid confusion and delays in processes getting completed.
Examples of delegation in the workplace
I want you to consider that when you aren’t delegating, you are doing everything yourself. And if you’re doing everything yourself, you are too busy to truly take ownership of your role as a business owner. When was the last time you had the opportunity to learn a new skill or improve your performance? Finding talented people you trust to take care of a few of these tasks will change how you do business.
If you are ready to delegate responsibilities to people willing to help (but don’t know where to start), here are 10 tasks that are easy to let go of and simple to train people on.
- Answer phone calls and reply to emails
- Create your company newsletter; manage social media
- File and organize documents; type your notes
- Fulfill product and service orders
- Open and sort the mail
- Perform research for product and service ideas
- Send thank you notes and cards for special occasions (birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc.)
- Schedule appointments for your calendar
- Update contacts and CRM
- Call contacts and plan events (parties, open houses, product launches, board meetings, etc.)
As you start assigning duties to others, find a task that will not only take a burden off of your shoulders but you can easily train someone to take on. In time you will develop strong delegation skills as you build up the support you need.
Get More Accomplished Through Delegation
Everything in your business is a journey–including letting go of tasks. So remember to be flexible. Hiring, training, and growing are a continual learning process for both you as a leader and the staff you hire. Always keep the bigger picture in mind: that delegation allows you to focus on growing your business.