Boosting Productivity Through Delegation

Boosting Productivity Through Delegation text overlaying image of employeesAs a business owner it can be stressful trying to keep up with all aspects of the company. Between managing employees, overseeing tasks and making sure the organization is profitable, having your hands full is probably an understatement. While you may want to handle certain tasks alone, delegation is a useful way to spread out responsibilities. By delegating priorities throughout a team, your business can be more productive and focused. Even though this sounds simple, there’s a lot more that goes into it than simply assigning tasks. We’ve developed a guide exploring the intricacies of delegation and how to put it into practice. If you integrate some of these tools into your operations, you’ll unlock your team’s full potential and have more overall success. 

The Importance of Delegation

Don’t think of delegation as a weakness, but instead a strategy used to maximize efficiency. Even if you are the hardest working individual in your company, the truth is, you can’t do it all alone. Delegating tasks gives some duties to trusted employees to tackle alone or with other team members. In turn, it empowers you to have ample time to focus on higher-priority responsibilities. Additionally, assigning tasks that employees are less familiar with, helps them learn new skills. The team-building aspect also empowers employees to work better together on collaborative projects. This ultimately helps the organization accomplish more, and provides more structure to the workforce.

The Preliminary Steps of Delegation

Identify Your Team’s Strengths

In order to delegate assignments effectively, you must first have an understanding of your team members. Specifically, defining each member’s strengths and weaknesses is crucial for the process. Examine their special skills, experience levels, and preferences. This helps to ensure that each task is assigned to an employee who is well-equipped to tackle it efficiently.

Practice Effective Communication

To avoid mistakes and misunderstandings later down the road, clear communication is a must. This means being concise and straightforward with the job at hand. When delegating tasks, provide team members with a summary of the project, the ultimate outcome, and any important specifications. Also give employees a chance to raise questions if they have any, that way you can provide proper clarification.

Establish Goals and Deadlines Upfront

While it may seem obvious, you should always lay out the overall goal of the project when introducing it. Additionally, giving an exact deadline will reduce the chances of delays or procrastination. By giving your team a roadmap and purpose, you effectively make them more accountable for their actions. 

Mistakes to Avoid When Delegating 

Micromanaging

While it is a natural urge to want to know everything going on with your team members, resist the urge to micromanage. For delegation to be effective, your team must know that you trust them and their ability to excel. Micromanaging does just the opposite by limiting creativity, and making employees feel undermined. You might be hesitant, but let your team figure things out for themselves and only interject if it’s super crucial. 

Inadequate Training

Even though micromanaging will affect the team negatively, it’s imperative that persons involved in the delegated task are sufficiently trained. Delegating tasks to the proper team members upfront will help you avoid any issues in this area. With that being said, if additional training is necessary, invest the time and resources. This will make sure that everyone involved is well-equipped and confident in their abilities.

Over-Delegating

Some bosses will make the mistake of delegating too much work to employees. Trusting your employees is great, but over-delegation can lead to a lack of control in the organization. For this reason, we recommend starting off small and working your way up. In the beginning you can assign smaller, less impactful tasks. Once your employees have proven themselves, you can then move onto more significant tasks. Doing so will instill confidence in your workforce, while making sure no one is overwhelmed. 

Strategic Tips for Delegation

Prioritize Tasks According to Importance

Evaluating tasks to determine what should be delegated first is crucial. Take a look at your goals and then align them with the tasks necessary to accomplish those goals. You don’t want to be assigning work that has little to no effect on the company’s overall mission. Instead, look at what can be done to have a direct impact on the bottom line. Some business owners find it effective to rank tasks in a tiered system. This can help you define your top priorities and identify projects that can be put off for some time. 

Take Employee Workloads into Account 

As we all know, some employees are busier than others. This can depend on their level in the company, the time of the year, or many other factors. When delegating tasks, it’s important to keep workloads and bandwidth in mind. It’s best to look at each employee individually, their current workload, the number of tasks you plan to assign them, and the complexity of each task. It’s common for people to underestimate the amount of time projects can take, so be realistic. On the same note, if you have any doubts, it’s better to give a little more time, than not enough. By doing this evaluation, you can create an environment that promotes productivity, and avoid future downfalls. 

Rotate the Team Members You Delegate To

Designating all of your tasks to the same people can cause a variety of problems. It can make the assigned individuals feel overworked, and can make other co-workers feel undervalued. While the task at hand will contribute to who you decide to give it to, create a rotation system. It can be useful to create categories pertaining to separate areas of expertise, with employee names under the applicable one. That way when a task comes up, you can simply look at the category of the task and assign it to the next person in that grouping. This technique ensures that tasks are equally distributed. It also makes sure that no one is receiving tasks that they aren’t equipped to complete. 

Encourage Employee Feedback

The only way to get better at something is to identify the downfalls and adjust accordingly. When it comes to delegation the same is true. The best way to do this is by creating a work environment where everyone feels comfortable communicating. While some employees are direct with their feedback, others won’t be as upfront. With that said, it’s your job to ask your workforce for updates and ways to improve. While you oversee the entire company, the employees are on the frontlines, so their feedback is valuable. A good practice is planning periodic meetings where employees can speak their minds about current projects. During this time it’s important to be both understanding and also hold people accountable. When employees are like open books, it makes it much easier to optimize accordingly. 

Monitor Performance

To get the best out of your team it helps to monitor the performance of each task and team member involved. A great way to do so is by identifying measurable KPIs (key performance indicators). While results of a project can sometimes be difficult to measure until time has passed, taking KPIs into account is crucial. Not only do they provide feedback about individual performance, but they also give insight about the type of project and if it was worth the time spent. If a project takes a month to complete, and you can identify that it ultimately didn’t pay off, in the future you can avoid similar assignments. On the flip side, it’s great to reward individuals and teams for successful outcomes. This gives employees a sense of accomplishment and further instills a positive team culture. 

Use Technology to Your Advantage

There are a number of softwares and other tools to help expedite the delegation process. CRM systems are just one example, but there are plenty of others depending on your line of work. These tools help speed up delegation by digitally assigning tasks, tracking progress and more. Additionally, the use of communication tools helps team members interact more effectively with one another. Instant messaging and project management applications are some of the common communication tools often used by businesses. This helps make sure that goals are aligned and everyone is doing what they need to do. 

Wrapping Up

Using delegation to your advantage can help boost productivity, comradery and overall growth. While delegation by definition is simple, the process itself is ongoing and requires dedication from your entire team. By putting in the preliminary work, identifying employee strengths and weaknesses, defining goals, prioritizing tasks, and tracking progress you will feel less stressed out and employees will feel more valued. For some business owners it’s difficult to feel confident about outsourcing tasks, but ultimately it will help your company prosper. When encouraging collaboration and feedback, you’ll easily be able to make regular adjustments, and soon enough, you’ll notice changes for the better.

 

If you care about your employees and their overall success, you probably want them to be taken care of. This means being there for them in the workplace and in their personal lives. One of the best ways to do this is by offering a comprehensive employee health package. At GHQ we have experts working around the clock, helping business owners like you get paired with the perfect group health plan. The process is quick and simple, only taking a few minutes to complete. By the end you’ll be able to compare the top plans in your area and receive free quotes. If you have any issues or questions along the way, we’re here to help. To get started just fill out one of our forms or call us at 888-571-0291.

Brianna Hartnett
Brianna Hartnett

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