By Anastasia Bennett, Certified Two-Brain Fitness Business Mentor
One of the key steps to looking after yourself is knowing when you should delegate.
So how do you know when you need to do it? When is it a good time? How can you afford to pay someone else to do the work?
Here’s an even more important question: Can you afford to burn out?
Delegate and Grow
Delegating is part of the growth of your business and your growth as a leader.
At some point, you will be overwhelmed by your workload, and your performance will start to suffer—maybe your health will decline, too. When that happens, your team will start suffering, and eventually your customers will suffer.
By delegating tasks and freeing time for yourself, you’ll be able to think about your goals, the bigger picture and the direction of your business. You will have more opportunity to manage and lead your team.
Delegating recurring tasks allows you to reduce stress and increase focus. Also, by trusting your team to do the work, you can create a more loyal and engaged staff. Bonus! As your staff members feel more trusted and appreciated, they will develop further and their self-esteem will improve.
Many leaders know all this. So why don’t we delegate before burnout becomes a problem?
- Because we think that no one can do our job as well as we can. But everyone is replaceable—including you!
- We think that it takes too long to delegate and teach, and we’re worried that we might have to “fix it up” in the end anyway.
- We don’t trust our staff to do the tasks.
- We actually like doing the tasks.
- We feel guilty. We think our staff members already do enough and won’t have time—or desire—to take on more work.
Your job as a leader is to manage your team, create goals and a vision, and make sure your ship is sailing smoothly in the right direction. If you are too busy doing all the work yourself, you won’t be able to keep your eye on the compass or track your team’s performance and progress.
Also, as a manager and leader, you must ensure you are helping your staff develop and find success. Delegating tasks helps you to do just that.
How to Delegate
First you need to figure out what you like and don’t like doing. Get rid of things you don’t like doing first. If you don’t enjoy something, the task will take longer to complete and you’ll waste valuable time.
Then identify how much your time is worth. (To learn how to calculate the value of your time, click here.) Let’s say your time is worth $50 per hour as you network, bring new customers to your business, manage your staff, etc.
But suppose you don’t follow up with leads because you hate doing it. How much would you pay someone to do that task for you? Above minimum wage? $17 per hour? If you hire someone for two hours per week, that’s $34 per week. Can you afford that if it the staff person brings in $100 a week in those two hours?
So would you rather make $50 per hour doing something you don’t like or $33 doing nothing? Of course, you won’t sit idle. You will be generating more income or maybe improving yourself by reading a book so you can grow your business.
Once you decide what you can delegate, create a list of tasks you would like the new person to do. Then create standard operating procedures (SOPs) for each task. Go through each duty step by step, and add some pictures if needed. The more effort you put into creating an SOP, the less time you will spend teaching someone how to do it.
Read more: “The Value Ladder”
Where to start:
- Create a “delegating mindset” and commit to fully letting tasks go.
- Make sure you are not just offloading tasks but also teaching your staff and giving them clear expectations. What results do you want to achieve? What targets does your staff have for each task?
- Get some input on how staff members would like to track performance so they buy into the new role and feel more valuable.
- Provide all required training and guidance, ask staff to follow your SOPs, and ask them to change the SOPs if doing so will improve things.
- Monitor and mentor—especially early on in the process. Schedule a regular check-in or weekly catch-up with reporting and time for questions and suggestions. Have set dates for follow-ups so you both know what’s happening and when.
- Evaluate and provide feedback.
Remember to be there to mentor staff, not micromanage them.
Do you have a task already in mind that you are ready to delegate? Share it with me at firstname.lastname@example.org—I’d love to hear what it is!