Knowing When to Delegate
Any entrepreneur who has worked hard to set up and run a business wants to maintain control. It’s important, though, to put this in perspective. As a business expands, or as new ventures beckon, an entrepreneur must know when and how to delegate.
ResponsibilityEntrepreneurs are accountable for their businesses. This doesn’t mean, however, that they shouldn’t pass on responsibility for certain processes and jobs. After all, delegation isn’t about losing control.
Entrepreneurs’ belief in their responsibilities, and in themselves, can also lead them to assume they perform many tasks better than anyone else. This could be true, but such an attitude may not be good for business.
Is it really sensible, for instance, to persist doing jobs that could be handled by a member of staff? Becoming too involved in the daily affairs of a business can divert entrepreneurs from key issues. These include devising strategies to maintain business momentum, and making sure every aspect of an enterprise is working effectively.
TrustEntrepreneurs must therefore trust staff to take on the jobs they once did. If entrepreneurs have doubts about the success of such delegation, perhaps there are problems within the business.
Have employees had sufficient training, for example? If not, entrepreneurs must address this immediately. A skills audit can soon highlight what training individual staff members require.
Are employees reluctant to take on extra duties because they’re already overworked? Entrepreneurs need to speak to their team and identify those who need support, and those who should have their workloads reviewed.
The key factor throughout is for entrepreneurs to communicate with staff. Letting employees know what’s happening in a business and why there’s a requirement for delegation, rarely creates resentment; in fact, it helps build trust.
How to Let GoEven so, it can still be difficult to let go of certain jobs despite the obvious talents of staff to do them. One way of resolving this dilemma is for an entrepreneur to note down his or her daily tasks. An entrepreneur should then work through the list, and question how vital it is to retain each one.
If it helps, an entrepreneur should consider the tasks from the point of view of cost-effectiveness. In other words, bearing in mind the value of the entrepreneur’s time, is it cheaper for someone else to do the job?