You have a workload that never seems to lighten. You eat at your desk, sleep as few hours as you can get away with, your family never sees you, and still you are overwhelmed. If you can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to do what you need to do and still have a life then maybe it is time to delegate some of those tasks.
Delegation is often easier said than done, though. It seems that certain personalities struggle with this concept, having significant trouble letting go. These tend to be what employees refer to as “micro-managers,” “perfectionists,” and “control freaks,” - albeit behind the boss’s back. Any professional business coach will tell you, if you can’t seem to turn loose of some of your projects yet you are drowning in your work load, perhaps it is time to take a step back and give delegating a shot.
You are not alone.
Renowned Professor John Hunt of the London Business School claims that of the managers who believe they are good delegators, only about thirty percent really are. What’s more, of that thirty percent, just one out of three managers gets the good delegator award from their subordinates. Empowerment of employees is a skill that only about one in ten managers actually possess. If you are a terrible delegator just know you are not alone.
Identify your staff’s strengths and utilize them.
Each person on your team has their own unique strengths – and likely are better at some things than you are. Your job is to find out what they can bring to the table then find ways to use those skills and abilities by delegating tasks to them.
Virgin Group founder, Richard Branson, in a recent Entrepreneur article talked about how is not good with numbers. Instead of doing the accounting himself (and likely doing a bad job at it) he delegated that task to Jack who was really good with numbers, shared Branson’s vision for the company, and had a desire to be involved. Branson let go of the reins and the rest, as they say, is history.
Take baby steps; don’t let go all at once.
Take small bites if you fear you will choke on relinquishing too many tasks at once. Delegate a quarter of your tasks, then move to half, then a third, and so on until you have a work load that is comfortable. Don’t delegate everything to just one or two people though or you will wind up with the same situation at a subordinate level. Keep the workload evenly distributed so that your employees can have a life too.
Control your urge to be a helicopter manager.
Give clear instructions, keep an open door policy in case questions arise, and back away. Hovering over your employees will only serve to stress out your whole staff. Schedule regular updates if that eases your mind but don’t micro manage what you are delegating. That defeats the whole purpose.
Approach delegation with an attitude of elevation.
When you elevate you empower your staff by giving them responsibilities and teaching them new skills. This elevates them in their career while boosting staff morale. They aren’t the only ones who benefit, though. You are left with more time to build your business, expand it, and actually live for a change. And what’s a life if you aren’t going to live it?