Five Tips for Successful Delegation

Successful delegation is critical to maintaining your sanity as a business owner.  Whether you’re working with a vendor, a personal assistant, or a 500-person staff, you have got to depend on others to get stuff done for you. 

The biggest challenge for most of us is satisfying our inner Control Freak.  If you use a systematic process for delegation, you will find you are suddenly getting much better results.  And your inner Control Freak can breathe a sigh of relief!  Here’s how.


Define the Task & Result

If you can’t clearly describe what the result will look like, and exactly how you will know whether it was done right, STOP and clarify the task definition.  Otherwise you risk being unpleasantly surprised by where the employee ends up.


Document a Process

You need to develop a clear process of what steps to take to get the task done.  That way, it will be done in a way that gets the results you want.  Either document the process in advance of delegating it, or document the process as you first teach it to your employee.  Either way, one of the employee’s responsibilities becomes to refine and update the process document.  (Hold onto it for the next person who needs to learn this task!)


Agree and Record Deadlines

Mutually agree on realistic deadlines, and document them in writing.  Sending an email recap is a great way to record what you agreed upon, so you avoid finger pointing later.


Communicate Proactively

Make sure you are proactively checking to make sure the employee understands your expectations and is on track to success.  Also, help decide between competing priorities as needed. But be careful you are not micromanaging!


Check the Work and Refine the Training

Carefully review your employee’s work, and provide training and guidance in areas where the result is not meeting your needs.  Over time, the employee’s skill will increase, and you will feel comfortable checking the work less and less often.

What has worked for you to delegate more effectively?  Let me know by posting a comment below!

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