Do you find yourself feeling harried or having difficulties creating time to work on how to improve and develop your business? Do you sometimes find yourself asking, is a lack of professionalism hurting your business?
Perhaps your problem lies in your delegation skills. Of all the skills that a manager must have in order to be successful, one of the hardest to acquire for many is the fine art of delegation. The reasons for this are many: concern that the person delegated to will not do as good a job as yourself and finding time out of your busy day to properly train someone to do the job are just two of the many reasons. However, as your responsibilities grow, as well as your business, the practice of delegating work becomes even more important.
The reasons why delegation is important are as many as the reasons for not delegating, and much more important. One of the most central of these is that as your responsibilities grow your workload increases and soon becomes unmanageable no matter how good a manager you are. Things will fall through the cracks. In addition to this, trying to keep up with so many tasks makes it harder to sit back and look at the bigger picture; to focus on your business and analyze problems systematically, to look at your business practices and processes and find ways to improve them, or to look at your industry as a whole and look for new opportunities. All of these are the primary responsibilities of a good manager.
There is also one other very important reason to delegate – to train your people. As a manager it is your job to make sure that your people know enough so that when you are on vacation they can handle the work without the business breaking or even slowing down.
Delegation though involves more than just dumping work on a person. First you have to identify which of your tasks can be delegated and to which person. This involves looking at all your work activities and identifying which ones are of primary importance and which, while still necessary, are not as important. It will also involve you knowing your employees and their strengths and weakness. In the beginning it will also probably mean spending some time training that person to handle that job, but the time spent up front will wind up paying large benefits down the road.
You will also need to communicate clearly what the job is and what the expectations are in regards to results. Once this is done then you will need to let it go. Watch and monitor from a distance, ask for updates (but not too often), but do not micromanage; allow your employee to own the job and do it his way. And finally you will need to evaluate the whole process. Delegation is a process like any other and will need tweaking and adjustments in order to make it work as effectively as possible.
So, if you find yourself worried about what will happen at work while you are on vacation or if you find yourself working ridiculously long hours week after week while those under you are seem to always leave on time then take a moment out of your busy day to consider how and what you should delegate. It will be better for both your business and for yourself. It is the professional thing to do.