Delegating is no small feat; sometimes, it feels like as soon as other people get involved, even simple projects become far too complicated. To combat this, some of us try to go for it alone, containing the situation as much as possible, until eventually, we burn out or lose control. Rather than driving yourself crazy trying to take on the world alone, try a few simple delegation strategies to lighten your load and get your team more involved. To start, check out this video on delegating to and communicating with your team, from our Youtube channel!
1. Allow for Some Growing Pains
It’s going to be hard at first, which is likely the reason you haven’t done this before. However, your business will only benefit when everyone can effectively share the load. Expect there to be mistakes and confusion at first. You can minimize these with clear communication, but make sure to allow for some wiggle room, otherwise your patience will dry up fast.
2. Utilize Meetings
Meetings may feel like waste of time, and sometimes they do have a tendency to get off track. However, when used correctly, they can be lifesavers. Meetings give people a chance to voice how they feel about their responsibilities, confusions, or potential problems they foresee. Rather than relying on “scrum” — a technique used by many project managers that lets everyone give fast updates about their work and how quickly they’re progressing, set an agenda and stay on topic. If more than a few minutes pass without addressing something on your list, gently remind everyone to get back on track.
3. Play to People’s Strengths
You do lots of things well, but you can only focus on a few things at work — there are only so many hours in a day after all. Hopefully you feel engaged at work, but what about your employees? If they don’t feel that their real talents can shine, then it will lead them to feel disconnected. Your employees may have a wide pool of skills you don’t even know about. Take time to get to know them, then delegate to these strengths. People will appreciate the efforts that you make to help them feel more valuable.
4. Start Small
Change takes time; introduce delegation gradually while allowing the process to trickle down through your team. You may start by assigning small pieces of your own projects to team members, and then transition to handing over entire projects after which you let the team decide how to split it up. Again, allow some room for error. When you find the right balance delegation and control, you’ll feel a weight lift from your shoulders, allowing you to be a bit more relaxed at work. Better yet, your fellow employees will feel critical to the organization and thus more committed to themselves and the work they do.
5. Stay Transparent
Once you delegate a task or a project, it’s important that employees keep you in the loop of their progress; this allows for issues to be addressed swiftly, and for you to keep the project on track without having do it all yourself. Try using an app like Priority Matrix to gain more visibility into your team’s activity without having to stand over their shoulder.
There are simple ways to take the steps needed to bring balance to the workload between you and your team. For all that you do, and all that needs to be done, learn to delegate before it’s too late!