Many successful people in leadership roles still have a hard time delegating effectively. They sometimes fear that nobody else has the skills to execute the work or they are so dedicated to completing their own work they do not ask for help. Some believe that delegating work will take away from their own importance, and others don’t want to be upstaged by their subordinates. As a leader, you need to learn to let go. To be more effective in the work that only you can do, you should be outsourcing to your team. You can start by delegating small tasks and gradually adding more. We have some tips on how you can delegate effectively and free up more time to do the important work that nobody else can do.
Learning how to delegate effectively is an important management skill that requires a lot of communication, trust and coordination. As a leader, delegating tasks can help you lighten your workload. If you delegate effectively, you can increase trust and commitment with your employees, improve productivity, and make sure the right people are performing the tasks that best suit them. It can also help your employees gain new skills. Some reasons to delegate:
- It frees up time for planning and organizing
- Keeps from spreading yourself too thin
- Teaches you how to develop and manage your employees
- Encourages creativity and initiative
Know when to delegate
As a leader, it’s also very important to know when to delegate effectively. Here are some ideas of the right time to delegate:
- Small tasks that only take a small amount of time to do but can add up over time. Tasks such as scheduling meetings, booking flights for business trips can be delegated to an assistant.
- Tedious tasks that require little skill and can be easily delegated such as copying and pasting lead information to your CRM.
- If there is a task that you can easily teach someone else to do. This a great opportunity to teach someone a new skill.
- If you perform a task regularly that takes a lot of time, look for opportunities to hand off segments of that task to others.
- If you have a time-sensitive task but don’t have time to complete a task on your own, it would be beneficial for you to delegate parts of that task to other team members.
Understand your team’s abilities
As a leader, you should learn your team’s strengths and weaknesses, including their potential and skills. When delegating, always assign to whoever has the suitable skills for that specific task. It might seem obvious, but some leaders tend to delegate tasks to employees who are the most convenient or have the lightest workload. It’s also beneficial to be consistent. For example, if you delegate the same task to the same person, they will eventually excel in that task, therefore gaining or developing a new skill.
Always provide clear instructions
If you have specific preferences for how you want a task to be done, you need to include that information. If there is a strict deadline or milestones that need to be met, communicate those as well. This way you will be able to avoid a lot of communication gaps and it will allow your tasks to be executed effectively.
Provide resources and training
When you delegate a task you need to ensure that the person you have tasked with the job has all the tools and resources they need to complete the task successfully or provide them with a way to get the necessary tools.
For example, if you ask your employee to use a tool they have never used before, you need to ensure that there is a plan to help them get familiar with the tool first.
There are some tasks that require you to not only delegate responsibility but authority as well. Situations, where you might have failed to delegate responsibilities, could affect productivity, your employee having to come to you for instructions constantly, resulting in the task taking more time away from the both of you. It’s crucial to create an environment and culture where people feel like they are able to make decisions, ask questions and take the necessary steps to complete the work.
Always provide feedback
Feedback is an important part of delegating effectively, and it works both ways. If your workers have done well with a task you assigned, show genuine appreciation, and point out specific things they did right or well.
If they have fallen short, don’t be afraid to give them some constructive criticism. When you make a note of those specifics, you’re giving people a roadmap for what they should continue to do to be successful.
Delegating to a virtual assistant
Delegating effectively isn’t always easy, and the process isn’t always clear, but the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll develop the expertise to do it effectively. The process will never be perfect but learn from your experiences and always make improvements where you should.
Delegating is a major key to maximizing your productivity and keeping yourself sane during tight deadlines or large workloads. If you need more help in your business then hiring a virtual assistant for as many hours as you need is a good option. At AVirtual we can match you to the best virtual assistant to help you manage your work and time.