The 5 Things You Should Never Delegate

By Kimberley Borgens

Recognizing how and when to get help in your company is an important decision. It can be hard to let go of parts of your business if you assume no one can do them as well as you can. But as you begin delegating, you’ll find this is the most effective way to grow. 

When my clients spend time cultivating delegation skills, they are always more productive. It frees up their time to focus on what will help them achieve their goals. 

As you determine your needs and create a plan, always consider how each task directly affects your company’s future. You can delegate many things to reduce stress and focus on business growth, but there has to be a balance. So, as you assign responsibilities to staff members, keep in mind these things that you should never let go of.

How Do You Delegate Effectively?

Have you spent much time developing strong delegation skills? If you lay the groundwork with your employees from the beginning, I’ve found that you get more accomplished. Effective delegation gives you the time and space to focus on growing your company and establishes your authority as a leader. Once you’ve decided on the tasks you need help with, you’ll need to know how to successfully assign them to someone else.

Set clear expectations

When you assign tasks to employees, communication is your best friend! It’s easy to ask someone to do something, forgetting that they aren’t as informed as you are about your vision, your business, and how it operates.

When there is a lack of communication, you risk knowledge gaps that employees will naturally fill with their own experience. By communicating expectations for job duties from the beginning, you begin to close those gaps and bring clarity to the task.

Give them the tools they need

For delegation to be effective, your employees should have everything they need to complete the task at hand. This will include materials, equipment, software, technology, contacts, and training.

As you are going through the needs of each job, consider whether or not it will be performed remotely and what specific needs your employees will have. And don’t forget to create a training program as you familiarize staff with any new roles they take on.

Be available when needed

During the hiring and training phase, expect a lot of questions from new staff members as they familiarize themselves with your process. But as you and your employees create a relationship with each other, you should move into more of a support role.

If you’re going to delegate tasks, make sure you’re available when your employee needs help. They should know how to communicate with you and how to update you on their progress.

Resist the temptation to micromanage

It’s easy to fall into the trap of being too involved in every aspect of your employees’ work. (Especially if you are new to delegating!) But if you have created a healthy work environment set up for success, you will see that there is no need for micromanagement.

Usually, when leaders micromanage, it is a sign that they are struggling to let go of control. This can lead to burnout and resentment for everyone involved, including you and your staff. As you delegate tasks, remember why you decided to get help in the first place and let your employees take ownership of their own projects.

What Tasks Should You Not Delegate?

The simple truth is, having outstanding delegation skills isn’t enough. You need some wisdom behind it to know where to draw the line. Even though getting the help you need will take you far, believe it or not, there are things in your business you should never assign to someone else if you want to grow. 

1. Ideas for the vision and goals for your company

Your company was born out of your dreams. If you give this piece to someone else, you will see this part of yourself quickly siphoned away. Even though it may seem tempting to allow someone else to take over during a moment of stress, you risk your business becoming something unrecognizable.

To keep your vision and mission alive, make sure they come from you! Hold tight to these and keep redefining them as you grow. If you struggle to stay in line with your vision, find a mentor who can support you every step of the way. But never allow someone else to take over what you have created.

2. Responsibility for your business’s health

As you delegate tasks to other people, always remember that, as a business owner, you are still the one responsible for the outcomes. Whether things are going well or you’ve hit a rough patch, the health and direction of your business are up to you. 

When business is thriving, this is no time to get comfortable. Instead, examine what is going well so you can capitalize on it and figure out how to make it even better. During times when you struggle, avoid placing blame, even on yourself. Instead, identify areas of opportunity, such as training, support, or market changes. Course correct and be willing to try something different.

3. Your business strategy

For an entrepreneur, your business strategy is one of the most important things for you to know intimately. It will not only tell you where you’ve been, but it lays out a plan for where you are going. Without it, making plans to improve your business will become haphazard and futile.

For this reason, you should always know how everything gets done in your company. You will struggle to grow and expand if you delegate your business strategy to someone else.

4. The key driver of your business’s success and growth

Maintaining the stamina needed to keep your business going can be difficult for all of us. We’ve all experienced burnout at some point in our lives, but the challenge is trying not to let it affect you as you run a company. Although your passion, drive, and vision motivated you to create your business in the first place, it’s up to you to stay in control of future growth and development. 

Even during times of exhaustion and stress, make sure you are still in charge of decision-making, ideas, systems, and policies that directly affect the company’s future. During times like this, tap into the passion and vision to inspire you. Stay close to your “why” and keep your support team connected to your company’s values.

5. Praise and discipline

Even though your company’s health is ultimately your responsibility, one critical factor you should never forget is that you owe your capabilities to grow and expand to your team. This is why, as a leader, you should compliment them when anything good happens because they are part of your team. You want to be the first person who praises them so they feel appreciated and valued. When giving out praise, don’t let it be empty. Instead, tell the person what they did well and anything you would like to see more of in the future.

Of course, there will be times when you need to course correct, issue verbal and written warnings, and other forms of discipline. You should always handle this task until you are a corporation with an HR department. I know corrective action can feel uncomfortable. But if you approach the situation by asking, “What didn’t work? And how should we move forward?” you will have much greater success. 

Keeping A Balance In Delegation

Being unburdened by delegating tasks in your company will take a huge weight off your shoulders. Just make sure you don’t hand over meaningful responsibilities or impact your company’s future. Keeping those close to your heart will stay in charge of your business’s strategic growth. And you get to continue growing your dream and going after goals that started you in business.  

Kimberley Borgens

About the author

Kimberley Borgens was married at 18, a mother at 19, and divorced at 20, she has journeyed from being a single mom on welfare to recognizing her strengths, fighting for what she believes in, and successfully building 5 thriving businesses with hundreds of employees and million-dollar budgets. Kimberley is a speaker, business mentor, and coaches her clients to transform their small business into a thriving business. Kimberley is living her own legacy as she inspires and motivates women to be fearless, become more like a CEO of their business and life, and enjoy the freedom they've dreamed of. She knows what it's like to start from nothing and build a strong solid business and she can help you too.

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