If you’re a solo entrepreneur or a small business owner and you’re about to take the next step and start hiring employees, you might be thinking you know exactly how to do it. The thing is, it’s awfully hard to move from doing everything yourself, to delegating tasks to other people, who probably will not do it exactly as you do.
There are some management tips, however, that can make the entire process easier on both you and your potential employees. Learning to delegate properly will set up your business for the right kind of growth in the future.
#1. Decide what are the right tasks to delegate
You should continue to do the big-money tasks, the ones that make your business unique and successful. But you can delegate the jobs that you either don’t like to do, or don’t have the requisite skills for. This might include accounting and bookkeeping, marketing, and things of that nature. You will find that you are more productive when you can focus on your core competency and can hand off other tasks to your employees.
#2. You don’t want to hire people who do exactly as you say
While that sounds counter-intuitive, it’s really not. It might be great in theory, but if you have a person who does everything by rote, with no variation and no personal input, you are actually hiring a robot. This will keep your business static. If you hire people with enough brains and initiative to try new things, you will find that your business will grow and change in ways that may surprise you.
#3. Be specific about what you expect to be accomplished
On the other hand, you do need to tell your employee what needs to be done. A vague sort of job like “help out around the office” will lead only to frustration and complaints when tasks are not completed. Be sure to give enough instruction that your employee can actually do the job required.
#4. Stop interfering once you have delegated
Do not check on your employee ten times a day to make sure that what you assigned is in progress. You delegated the job for a reason – so that you could focus on the part of the work that you do best. So do that, and leave your employee to his work.
#5. Don’t start off by delegating everything all at the same time
If you are used to doing it all yourself, you may have a difficult time giving up the responsibilities to another. Start off by only delegating one or two jobs to other people. Once you get comfortable with their handling of their responsibilities, you can bring in someone else to take over another task. Don’t push yourself, but let your comfort level build at whatever pace you require. If delegation of responsibilities makes you nervous, you will get stressed out and may give up, which is not a good solution.
#6. If at first you don’t succeed…
You may not get the right person on your very first try. If you do, count yourself lucky. But if the first person you hire does not quite work out, the worst thing you can do is to take on all the work again for yourself. You just need to try again to find the right person. Once you do, delegating will be easy, because you will know that you trust that employee to do things right.
#7. Accept mistakes and avoid blame
Everyone makes mistakes, even you. So in the interest of improving your relationship with your employees, it’s important to let them know that you are concerned with solutions rather than blaming a guilty party. Mistakes will happen, but with the right attitude, you and your employees will learn from them, and they will genuinely take responsibility for their actions rather than engage in CYA behavior.
Have you any delegation tips?
Images: ”The word Delegate typed onto a scrap of lined paper and pinned to a cork notice board. Knowing when to delegate to others is an essential skill in leadership and time management. / Shutterstock.com“
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