Delegation – it’s probably one of the most useful tools for a business owner – and potentially the least well executed.

Delegating effectively is critical to making sure you have time to focus on those things that only you can do. However, a common theme from business leaders we work with is that often delegation seems to result in more work not less, and an increasing rather than reduced level of stress.

If you’re often disappointed with the way people execute what you’ve asked for, the results aren’t what you wanted, they haven’t done it quite the right way, or if you don’t have confidence that things are on target, then the chances are you haven’t got the delegation process right.

So here are some key tips to help you delegate effectively – and make it work for you;

Delegate the right things to the right people

Sounds obvious right? – but it’s worth thinking about whether you spend much of your time on some things because you’ve always done them but that others could now be doing? Then ask yourself what the outcomes are that you want, what are the skills, experience and importantly the attitude that is needed for that particular project or task, and then delegate it to the person you know has these and will deliver?

If you look at your team and can’t find the right person, then you should also ask yourself if you have the right team around you?

Invest the time to get it right

Clarity is key. Yes, taking the time to outline exactly what is needed, why it is important for the business, if there are specific processes that need to be done, what success will look like and how it will be measured, and scheduling in update meetings for milestones along the way can seem onerous. But time invested at the outset will avoid additional work later and is far more likely to deliver a successful outcome and give you confidence things are indeed progressing as you would expect.

Delegate accountability as well as responsibility

If you want something done right, the person doing it needs to have the ability, time and resources to deliver it. While they may draw on support from other and responsibility for different parts of the task shared, the person you have delegated to needs to be aware that they will ultimately be held to account for its overall delivery and, equally, will be given positive acknowledgement for its success. It’s far easier to do this if you delegate the whole task, ensuring they have control of all of the elements that are required for success, rather than keeping hold of some parts yourself which can lead to a lack of clarity about who is really accountable if things go wrong.

Ultimately, it’s simple economics that the most expensive and valuable resource in the business – you, should not be doing things that other less expensive resources could do. So the next time you’re about to do something as it will just be ‘quicker and easier’ to do it yourself, remember – it is not just costing your business money in terms of your time, but in the opportunity cost of other more important things you could be spending your time on. Plus, by delegating some of your tasks you will be increasing the capability, skills and capacity of others in your business.

Making delegation a key tool in your business armoury is only one of the key skills of effective business leaders. Our team at BHP Consulting can help with many other aspects of management and achieving the greatest results from your team – and they have all successfully run businesses themselves. Our practical approach to supporting our clients enables us to share our real world experience to positively impact on the performance of your business. To arrange a call or an exploratory face-to-face meeting, please click here.