7 Benefits of Delegating
In the previous blog, you learned the difference between accountability and responsibility, and now it’s time to learn how you can remain accountable while delegating responsibilities to others.
Many of you will admit that delegating is difficult. For some, it’s perfectionism or a lack of trust that keeps them from handing over tasks. Others feel that it’s just easier to do it themselves, they don’t want to impose, they enjoy the tasks they’re completing or they just don’t feel they have the time to monitor and follow up on delegated tasks.
Letting go and trusting that others will complete tasks is a big problem for many business owners. They think that micromanaging is a better, more comfortable solution…but they end up disempowering their staff and generally driving down their businesses.
The practice of business owners doing the highest value jobs, whilst passing other lower-level tasks to employees (or to managers, who then delegate to employees), is a good business practice that will ultimately result in the following benefits:
- You can devote the majority of your time to those tasks most important to building your business, its relationships and its reach.
- Employees get opportunities to grow and to feel empowered with responsibility.
- Employees feel challenged and proud of what they’ve accomplished, meaning they will be champions for your business—at work and on their own time.
- You are not highly skilled in every task. Chances are that someone else within your organisation is better at a lower-level task than you are.
- There’s no better or more efficient way to get things done than to delegate tasks to those people who are best equipped to complete them.
- Something that feels tedious to you will feed someone else’s passion.
- Developing your delegation skills (and overcoming your fear of it) is a valuable skill that will help you to advance your career.
Even with all of these benefits in mind, it can still be difficult to get started in learning to delegate. Many leaders choose to bypass the acquisition of this valuable skill—and unfortunately, their businesses suffer.
A survey has found that 46% of companies have a high level of concern for their employees’ delegation skills. However, only 28% of them offer training to develop those skills.
It rarely works well for the same person to be both accountable and responsible for any task or project. For this reason, delegation of duties is crucial to success. But as you can see in the above stat, there isn’t a lot of support for developing those skills.
So, what can you do to get started? The first step is recognising that everybody in an organisation should be doing tasks that are their highest value. What tasks/roles do you have that add the highest value? Focus on freeing up your time to do more of these higher value tasks and hand down everything else. Specifically delegate those tasks that are:
- a complete task, rather than part of a bigger task
- of interest to an employee
- within an employee’s specific skillset
- important for building an employee’s skillset
- outside your own skillset
- of low importance
- not urgent (yet!)
After you have identified tasks that would work well for delegation, follow these guidelines when communicating the tasks to your employee(s):
- Give a clear explanation of what the job entails.
- Stipulate what you expect the employee to learn by completing the task.
- Ensure that the employee knows where to go for help or support.
- Clearly communicate what you expect as an end result, but leave the method up to the employee.
- Ensure that the employee knows who is accountable for the task (i.e. who should be reported to).
- Invite questions and opinions.
- Agree on a plan of action for moving forward (due date, etc.).
- Articulate your confidence in this person.
- Monitor their progress, particularly the first few times they complete this type of task.
- Give feedback and recognise the employee for a job well-done.
- Remember to reward the completion of tasks, over time, with benefits, raises in pay, promotions, etc.
When you learn to delegate, you learn to help your business succeed. You may not realise it, but many of your employees are just waiting to be given more responsibility—because that is an indicator of your trust in them. Learn to trust your staff and to delegate and you will be surprised at the level of talent already in your business waiting to be discovered. By learning to delegate you are developing your staff by helping them to grow and increase the highest value tasks that they can do in an organisation. If everyone spends most of their time doing their highest value tasks your business will grow rapidly.
Need some guidance as you break through your fear of delegation? Or are you wondering if your current delegation plan is the most effective and efficient it can be? Let’s schedule a 30-minute consultation. We’ll discuss how you can use delegation to fuel your business’s success. Contact me here.
 Institute for Corporate Productivity