How to delegate effectively

Delegation is an important skill, isn’t it?

If you’re growing your business (in fact, it’s the only way to grow your business). You have to get other people doing the jobs you used to do.

As your business grows, the jobs get bigger, and your time is less free, so you have to pass these jobs on to other people, or you run out of capacity.

So everyone delegates, but the vast majority delegate poorly, and then, of course, you get poor results or poor performance from your people (That poor person you dumped the responsibility on). The usual way to delegate is to have a handover meeting, perhaps after you’ve asked and your person has accepted this new responsibility.

You meet with them and hand over the job with a verbal vomit of instructions.

Job done, job successfully delegated. 

Your employee is probably responding, ‘ok, yep, got it’ but in reality, they probably haven’t not properly, and when it comes time for them to complete the new job, they’re most likely floundering a bit. They can’t remember it all; your explanation left something out or there was something that doesn’t make sense to them now they’re actually doing it.

So what happens? Your smart, capable person is stuck – they’ll either call you for help (annoying if it happens a lot), or they’ll guess what to do (risky).

They might be fine and you might be disappointed with the results you get. It could cost you money or efficiency or a relationship (depends on what it was).

There’s a better way, a way that supports your people (that’s your job, remember).

I’ve written a worksheet that my clients use to write a delegation process. Put your hand up if you want it. 

It goes something like this; 

To delegate properly, sit down with your employee, and hand over the job with detailed, written instructions. Take them through these instructions – if it’s an onsite job, maybe take them through the job on site – show them what they have to do, ask and get confirmation that they understand. 

Then monitor them – the first couple of times they do the job – check-in, call or go to site and make sure they’re doing it correctly. Make sure they feel supported and have understood everything. 

This is delegation done properly. 

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See you later.

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