5 Delegation Strategies To Help You Flourish With Less Stress

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One of the hardest parts about owning a business is getting it off the ground and establishing it. However, once you make it a success, the responsibilities increase, and you have to let others take control of certain tasks to maintain the business’ momentum.

Delegation can seem terrifying to a business owner. Taking someone into your company and trusting them to do a job is a big leap for someone who’s been handling every aspect of the business from day one. Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to maintain smooth operations while letting go of control.

Related: Want to Succeed? Learn to Say ‘No’

1. Find someone who excels at the task at hand

It’s crucial to find the right person for the job. When looking at resumes, pay attention to employment histories with similar duties to those you seek. During interviews, ask questions regarding their past responsibilities and follow up on their responses by asking them to elaborate on how their skill set would translate to the type of work you need them to do.

If you’re stuck between two or more candidates, closely consider those who have experience that aligns with your field. Prioritizing skill over availability is always a smart move, especially when the work you require is specialized or imperative. The ideal person is likely to complete their duties more efficiently than someone who is less suited for it but more available.

2. Maintain a watchful but trusting eye on their responsibilities

When a team is small, it’s especially vital to stay aware of everyone’s duties and daily work. While you must delegate tasks and loosen up control on certain aspects of the business, you also need to be in the loop, as errors and overlooked responsibilities can have a detrimental impact if you don’t pay attention.

For a business that includes sales or frequent client interactions, one way to stay on top of events is to have your staff BCC you on every email they send. This way, you are still trusting that they can complete their tasks, but you can also look over things should any questions arise and quickly jump in on any conversations.

Reduce mishaps by having your team utilize email templates when writing people outside of the organization. A business that involves continual back-and-forth with others often follows similar patterns of conversation. Identify those themes and copy the proper responses into a shared document that workers can reference when they’re responding to someone. Google Drive is an excellent tool for this type of collaborative work.

Related: 10 Simple Ways to Build a Collaborative, Successful Work Environment

3. Recognize their skill and adapt accordingly

Even if someone seems like a good fit, they may struggle at first to learn their responsibilities and how best to complete them. If the company is smaller, their job may have a larger scope, with many small but cumulative elements that require time to master. When a team member seems ambitious and reliable but slower in the first few days, offer more guidance and support. Thorough training of an individual with talent pays off.

If they seem to be still struggling with specific tasks later on, it can be helpful to eliminate those from their job duties and have them focus on what they are good at. Hand those tasks to someone else on the team or hire another person who is comfortable doing them. When outsourcing is not an option, resetting your expectations may be beneficial. The job might be done differently than you would do it, but it is still getting done.

Related: 5 Invaluable Soft Skills to Seek in Your Next Hire

4. Set clear expectations and define success

To do their jobs well, workers need to know what exactly you need from them. As workers settle into their position, help them understand what is important to you as their superior and what you expect to see from them. Outline specific goals, such as ‘we want to increase sales by 25% this year’ rather than ‘we want to increase sales this year.’ Providing tangible measures of success will enable them to create a plan to reach those benchmarks.

Timelines are also useful, preventing staff from spending too much time on one task or not enough time on another. Each project or assignment should have an expected due date, helping to establish priorities.

Provide workers with resources for support so they know who or what to turn to in case anything goes awry. Examples include going to their manager for advice, looking at company email templates or giving them access to specific company information so they can problem-solve on their own.

5. Keep an open line of communication

For staff to effectively take charge of a task, they need to be able to speak with you or a manager without difficulty. Similarly, you need to be able to come to them when you have questions about any of their responsibilities.

There is no shortage of ways teams can stay in contact. Google Chat is especially useful for businesses using Gmail as their company email. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Discord are other chat apps popular with businesses of all sizes. Try to only utilize the chat feature for quick questions, and always hop on a video or phone call for clarity. Typed words tend to get lost in translation and can seem ambiguous.

Regardless of the method you choose, workers need to know they can always approach you for advice, information or general dialogue. A company’s success is synonymous with its ability to communicate effectively.

Mastering the art of delegation is a transformative chapter in a business owner’s life. When you can confidently pass on responsibilities to a competent employee, you can establish a healthy work-life balance and focus on what you do best: growing the company. By choosing skilled, reliable workers, adapting to their abilities, setting clear goals, and fostering communication, you lay the foundation for a thriving business environment.

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