How to Delegate Your Most Important Tasks with Confidence
Many CEOs and managers haven’t learned how to delegate important tasks as they’re caught in a loop of working ‘in’ their business and not ‘on’ their business. CEOs are typically the ones that started the company and their business feels like their baby.
They’ve been waking up early to roll their sleeves up and get things done for years on end, so they aren't used to delegating tasks.
So why do managers choose not to delegate?
- They are used to having to do everything themselves.
- They worry that their staff will think they’re lazy for passing over tasks.
- They feel it’s easier to just do the job, rather than taking the time to train someone else to do it.
If a job keeps recurring, then it’s probably time you delegated it. You need all the time you can get to steer your business in the right direction. A series of recurring tasks that could be completed by someone else will only slow you down.
Delegating is actually hugely beneficial to your team when carried out correctly: you’ll gain more time to tackle your top priorities, and your staff will improve their skill sets. So if you’re currently stacked with repetitive tasks, it’s time to delegate.
3 questions to ask yourself before you complete any task:
- Could someone else complete this job if I took the time to explain it?
- Is this task likely to reoccur again in the future?
- Will delegating this task help develop an employee’s skill set?
Was it a yes for all three? Delegate it.
How to delegate your most important tasks with confidence:
1. Let go
‘If you want something done right, do it yourself’ – it’s a classic quote, and there’s definitely some truth to it, but this can sabotage a leader’s mindset. Once you’ve seen a task arise again and again – and you know you don’t need to be the one that does it – it’s time to delegate it to a trusted member of staff.
2. Explain why you are delegating
It’s polite to explain to a member of staff as to why they are being given this task. Take the time to explain it, why you are delegating it to them, and what the ideal outcome would be.
This is an essential step in how to delegate your most important tasks. You and your staff need to be on the same page. Explain the task thoroughly to ensure it gets the attention it requires.
3. Ensure staff are fully trained
Staff may be quick to say yes to the task you’ve asked them to do, but be sure they are feeling fully confident in completing it.
To avoid disaster, run through the task to highlight all areas that they need to complete – ask if they feel like they’ve everything they need to complete it smoothly.
4. Monitor and follow up
Once you’ve delegated the task, micromanaging isn’t the way to go. You’re going to need to delegate many tasks in the future, so micromanaging multiple jobs is just as time-consuming as doing the job yourself.
Check in with your staff at key points during the task; these can be agreed before it begins to give you peace of mind. And once the task is finished, follow up to learn how they got on. There might have been some parts that they found difficult, and they might have a suggestion to improve it.
5. Thank staff for completing the task
Some managers fear that staff will lose respect for them if they are always delegating tasks, but they shouldn't worry. As long as tasks are thoroughly explained, with support being offered, and staff being thanked for a job well done, staff won’t view you delegating tasks as lazy.
Ultimately, delegating provides your team with opportunities for growth – both for individual team members to learn new skills, and for you to focus your time on key issues. It will take some time to get staff up to speed, but the time it will save you in the long-term makes it a smart investment.