During the earliest days of running your small business, you might find that you’re able to handle most, or even all, of the tasks yourself. However, as your business grows, the demands on you as a business owner increase and you need to stop juggling before you drop the ball. It’s time to entrust a greater share of work to team members, contractors or freelancers so that you can focus on the tasks that matter and continue to grow your business.
“But I Hate Delegating!”
Many business owners initially feel uncomfortable with delegating tasks. This is often due to a fear of giving up control. Often, entrepreneurs subscribe to that old saying “if you want something done, do it yourself.” Unfortunately, this doesn’t really apply in the context of a growing business. Do you think Bill Gates handles Microsoft’s payroll himself?
If you’re reluctant to delegate a certain task, it’s important to weigh up whether or not it’s really a worthwhile use of your time. As a business owner, your time is a valuable resource so don’t waste it on a task that someone else could easily handle.
As a business owner, you understandably feel that you know your business best. Perhaps you just don’t want to take the time to teach a team member the ropes of a task you have been handling yourself thus far. However, taking the time to do so will save you a lot of time and energy in the future.
1. Communicate Clearly
Communication is the key to effective delegation. You should explain to your employees:
- Why you’re assigning them a task
- Exactly what is involved in the task
- What the goals of the task are
- What your expectations are
- Who they can ask for help and support
You should give your team members a chance to ask questions and raise any concerns that they have about handling a task. Starting off on the same page is the key to successful delegation.
2. Provide Tools and Resources
When delegating tasks to team members, it’s important to set them up for success by equipping them with the tools and resources they need. Consider their levels of ability and experience. If this is a team member’s first time handling a certain type of project, it may be helpful to provide them with past examples or ask another staff member to oversee their progress.
3. Use the MOCHA Model
The MOCHA model is a great way to outline which responsibilities belong to each team member with regards to the completion of a project.
- Manager: This is you. It’s your job to assign tasks to the right people and hold them accountable. You also need to provide the right resources, review progress and intervene if there are any problems.
- Owner: The owner is the person to whom you delegate the project. There should only be one owner of a project. If they need additional support, they can use a Helper (see below.)
- Consulted: This is another team member who is not responsible for the project but can offer the Owner advice and input.
- Helper: One or multiple team members who help the Owner with certain tasks.
- Approver: The person who must approve all decisions before they are finalised. This could be the Manager or a director or board chair.
4. Check In Regularly
Don’t disappear as soon as you have delegated a project. Make sure that your team members know you are available to support them, but don’t bank on them coming to you, either. Check in from time to time and provide feedback if you feel it is necessary. However, it is still important that you trust your employees and resist the temptation to micromanage them.
After the completion as a project, it’s a good idea to schedule a debrief. This will allow you to offer feedback and constructive criticism to the project owner and discuss ways in which you can help them to grow.
Conclusion: The Benefits of Delegation
Delegation not only benefits you, but your team members too. It improves company-wide communication, builds trust and makes your employees feel valued. It also gives your staff an opportunity to learn new skills and advance their careers. This helps to boost morale and employee satisfaction whilst allowing you to scale your business and focus on the things that matter most.