Keys to Successfully Delegating Tasks in a Small Business
Delegating tasks is an important leadership skill in all types of businesses, but especially for small business owners. In theory, it sounds easy: all you have to do is assign tasks to others.
For some business owners, however, delegating can be challenging. One common reason: it’s tough to let go of control when an owner feels no one else would ever be able to do the task as well as he or she can. Others put off delegating because they fear it will take too much time to train someone else to do the job right.
Investing time upfront to prepare to delegate tasks and providing critical support during the hand-off will save you time in the long run.
Identify tasks to delegate
Before you can delegate effectively, you must identify which tasks are best suited for others. Start with a self-audit of how you spend your working hours.
Tasks to consider delegating are ones that are simple, repetitive, and teachable, or tasks that are just too tedious for you. Also, there may be opportunities to divide a complicated task into two parts, where a team member does part of the task and you give it the finishing touches.
Choose the right person for the task
Know your team and their strengths. Have one-on-one meetings to get a better feel for those who might have an interest in taking on more tasks and learning new skills. You may discover that one of your team members is better suited for a task than you are.
When you delegate a task, make sure you have enough time to train the employee on how to do it and provide support during the learning curve.
Start with small steps on complicated tasks
Don’t give the employee more than they can handle at once. If given too much information or responsibility at once, they may be overwhelmed and not learn as quickly as they would otherwise.
If the task is complicated or requires specific resources, create a checklist or a reference guide for the employee taking on the task.
Give constructive feedback
Once the employee starts performing the task, meet regularly to discuss how things are going. Be sure to offer praise if deserved.
Remember, you can’t do everything yourself, and you don’t have to. Delegating tasks effectively frees up time for you to focus on important tasks that only you should manage.
If you would like to learn more about how this might apply to your business, let’s talk: