One of the most important things we can do to scale up a business is to develop a team. Successful delegation is a crucial part of team management and a powerful way to boost your productivity. While most people think they know how to delegate I have found them to be ineffective because they miss crucial steps. With these seven steps you can become an expert delegator:
Step #1: Decide on what to delegate
Before delegating anything, first ask yourself whether the task needs to be eliminated or automated? If the task is necessary and cannot be automated then I put it through the following matrix to see what to delegate:
As a general rule I want to keep all items in zone 1 – The Flow Zone with me. These are tasks that I’m highly passionate about and I’m very proficient at too. These are items that energize me and add the most value to my business.
I want to delegate all other tasks in zone 2, 3 & 4, starting with those tasks in my disconnection zone first. These are tasks that I have a low passion and proficiency for.
Step #2: Select the appropriate person to delegate to.
It was a revelation for me to find that there were things that were in my “disconnection zone” that were in the “flow zone” for other members of my team. This is why it’s important to build a complimentary team.
I have a team member who loves to follow up and close people on the phone. I, on the other hand, find it tedious. So it’s one of the tasks I specifically delegate to her. It keeps both of us happy!
Step #3: Communicate the workflow
In an earlier blog I covered 5 simple steps to systemize your workflows or process. This makes a task easy to delegate. The simple recipe is there.
Review it with the person you are delegating to if it’s the first time they will be doing it. Create a wiki for key processes. It makes things easy to find and it makes delegation easier. I typically use Evernote to capture all my processes.
Step #4: Provide the necessary resources
Provide the team member with the necessary resources. In the process note I also include what resources are required to complete the task.
Sometimes it’s physical resources and other times it would include access to digital resources for example a login and password to access a certain app or software.
Step #5: Specify the delegation level
This is a crucial step and often missed step leading to the failure of many delegation efforts. You have to be clear about the authority level you are delegating. Typically I see there being 4 types of authority:
- Do exactly as I say and do not deviate from my instruction.
- Do some research on a specific topic and come back to me with specific options.
- Do some research and come back with some recommendations for my approval.
- You make the choice and let me know what you have decided.
Each level is going higher and that signifies that you are developing a great second line. Typically the first level of authority is for entry-level team members.
Step#6: Give them room to operate
If you do the previous step properly then you don’t need to micro manage. You can give your team member the space to operate. This is one of the ways in which you can show that you trust your team member.
Step#7: Check in and provide feedback
You can’t delegate a task and just forget about it! Have a periodic system of check-in for work that you have delegated. Let your team member know when and where this check-in needs to be updated. It could be an additional part of an existing report.
Leave a comment below on what are some of the delegation challenges you have been facing.