Agent Resources

Too busy to delegate?

If you feel like a hamster, running faster and faster round its wheel, you probably already know that you need to delegate some work. So why haven’t you? Here are some possible reasons, and ways to overcome them.

Not enough time to organise it

The problem is that delegation, like everything else, takes time to organise. Some business people are so time-short, they don’t have time to do the things that will make more time. Obviously, this is a self-defeating cycle and one that can lead to stress, burn-out and ill-health.

Solution: Set aside a couple of hours, and write down your entire "to do list" and put an asterisk next to those tasks that could be done by somebody else, provided you do a bit of preparation. Get them ready for someone else to do, including instructions. As you begin to claw back small amounts of time from straightforward tasks that you have been able to delegate, use that time to document job processes that are slightly more complex and that someone else can also take over.

Too complicated to explain to someone else

Some business owners feel that the tasks they do are too difficult to explain to a member of staff.

Solution: Try restructuring your business process, so that it is simpler and requires fewer skills to carry out. The really skilled aspect of your work probably only takes up about 50% of your time. A lot of the rest will be donkey work. This doesn't mean that it's not complicated - only that it is actually routine and could be done by someone else, provided they have a list of instructions.

Many jobs that appear to need doing by a manager actually don't. For example, checking holiday allocations, sick leave and timesheets is not something you should be doing, it is something you should be supervising. You can get an admin assistant to do this and to draw any anomalies to your attention. If you're worried that the admin assistant is not accurate, then audit their work by looking at 10% of it.

Fear of losing control

People who have started a business from scratch are often very reluctant to hand over any significant work to anyone else. This is despite the fact that they can't keep growing the business while doing everything themselves. In fact, their inability to delegate may actually be holding the business back. People who start businesses have often carried out every role themselves, from office manager to marketing expert to sales negotiator and web designer.

Solution: What these kinds of business owners fail to realise is that they'll probably only be average at most of these roles, and an assistant could probably do them just as well. It's important for them to assess what they really excel at and to concentrate on that. It may be that running a business is what they do well and the individual tasks that go to make up the business can be done equally well by other people.

No experience at managing performance

Of course, once you start delegating and give up micro-managing the entire business, you’re into a different game. You have to start setting goals for staff and both monitoring and managing their performance against those goals. It's often lack of confidence in negotiating this change of role that stops people delegating in the first place.

So if this is true of you, if you get some professional development in this area, you can start using delegation and actually get your life back.

Source: Nethouseprices, 30/09/17

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