In the previous part of this Time Management series we discussed delegation and how important it is.
When you delegate you borrow others expertise and time, to complement your own. By delegating you can have 10 people working full time while you just need to take care of following them up – you make your 40 hours/week worth 400 hours of work.
To be able to delegate though it is important that you trust the people working for you and that you can trust that they do the job they are assigned.
This takes that you create systems of follow up so that you both can see that the goals are achieved.
Be clear on the expected results
Before you delegate anything it is important that you both are clear on the expected results, do not expect anything to be understood. This often leads to misunderstandings and therefore conflicts.
Your employees want to do a good job, so describe and agree on what a good job is together them and how you are going to follow up on the progress of projects to see how things are going.
Be ready to help if needed
One thing that is important especially if you are just starting to delegate is to make it clear that you are ready to help if they ever need it. In the beginning since it is a new task they might need to ask your advice once in a while but as time goes by it should become less and less until you don’t need to help at all and if you do it is just because it is a completely unique situation.
Have a system in place for following up on the results
You need to know that the work you have delegated is being done and you need to have agreed with your employee on how this follow up should be done so that you both know ahead of time and no one feels as though you are micro managing when you follow up.
In the beginning you might want to have a weekly or even daily review.
Later you might move on to monthly or yearly review.
You might set a follow up based on written reports, on regular inspections or anything else that fits the situation.
What is important is that you feel confident that you get all the information you need and that you can relax knowing the job is done well and that you will quickly be notified if something isn’t going according to plan.
Get out of the way
Once you have delegated the authority and put in line the follow up systems you should get out of the way, if you break the agreed upon rules you both hurt the pride of the your colleague and show that the agreed upon rules really didn’t mean that much.
The systems you set up should be so good that you will get all the information you need from them, if you have created well enough systems you have no reason to look again. Your time is better spent doing other work.
Agree on rewards/consequences of completing/not completing the assigned task
It is very important that a delegated task has consequences, not only personal consequences but also consequences for the company, you want your employees to feel as though they are doing something important and worthwhile.
By showing your colleague what affects their work has you strengthen them and when added a personal benefit, examples could be a commission or more responsibility in the future, their motivation usually increases greatly.
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