Last week I talked about Decision Fatigue and how it can affect us. One of the tips to combat it was “delegate more.”
When I worked in the corporate world, I managed the bankruptcy department of a mortgage company. We had to follow procedures to the letter or you could end up breaking the law. When something different came up, it would be so much easier for me to just take care of it myself to make sure we were in compliance.
But I found if I did everything myself, that meant either no one else would ever know how to do it right OR they wouldn’t feel confident they could make the right decision.
It is a struggle to overcome the “if you want something done right, do it yourself” attitude. Or maybe you think it will take too much time to explain how to do something and it’s just easier to do it yourself.
Whatever your reasoning for holding on, you have to understand that delegating makes you a better manager AND makes your staff better employees.
Benefits of Delegating:
- Saves You Time. While the initial teaching phase may seem counter-productive, eventually you will have one less to-do off your list.
- You Will Have More Focus. Once you have those to-dos off your list, you can tackle bigger issues or implement important projects that really do require your expertise.
- Builds Your Leadership Skills. Managing your staff is part of your job. By delegating you show you are able to communicate and foster a more efficient team environment.
- Less Stressful Vacation Time. When you have people you can trust, you can take those all-important vacation days without having to worry about everything falling apart (or even worse – your staff calling you constantly with questions!).
- Professional Development for Staff. With every new task you delegate, your staff get to build their skill set and get better at their job too.
- Better Work Environment. Working for someone who values your input and trusts you builds confidence and cultivates a healthy team-forward culture. You will get more buy-in if they feel like they have a stake in what’s happening.
Tips on Delegating
To be honest, you probably already knew all that, didn’t you? But it’s just so hard to give up that control! Here are some ideas on how to get better at delegating:
- Ask your staff to hold you accountable (and listen to them when they call you out!).
- Do an audit of your workload. For every task you do, ask if someone else could do it instead.
- Build a culture that emphasizes staff training and development.
- Don’t look at delegating as just unloading your to-do list on someone else – you’re assigning tasks to get results.
- Communicate expectations such as how much authority they have to make decisions on their own.
- Use your team’s strengths and get input from them on what they like to do.
- Think about whether you could delegate to a prospective employee during the hiring process so you get the right team in place.
Resources on Better Delegating
- Managers Must Delegate Effectively to Develop Employees by The Society for Human Resource Management
- How to Get Better at Delegating [Infographic] by Caroline Forsey at Hubspot
- Why Aren’t You Delegating? by Amy Gallow at Harvard Business Review
- Why You Should Delegate from North Carolina State University