Hints & Tips Blog

How delegation can be your business’s secret ingredient

In our previous blog, we looked at priorities and, in particular, the challenges that the current market conditions present. To be effective you must ensure you use all the tools available to you – and delegation is one of the most powerful tools that a business leader or senior manager possesses. It is also probably one of the tools that is used least effectively.

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 the business leaders we work with is that often delegation seems to result in more work not less, and an increased 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 ideas that will help you delegate effectively;

1. Delegate the right things to the right people

This may sound strange, but people have different skillsets, and delegating to match people’s skillsets significantly increases the chances of success. To start with, think about whether you spend a lot of your time on certain things because you’ve always done them.

Then ask yourself what the outcomes are that you want, what are the skills, experience and importantly the attitude that is needed for that project or task. Then delegate it to the person you know has these and will deliver the outcomes you want.

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?

2. 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.

3. 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 others and share responsibility for different parts of the task, 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.

We started this email by referring to the current challenging business environment. You need time to develop and deliver strategies to address these challenges.

Delegating is a component of this process, so next time you’re about to do something because 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 that you could be spending your time on.

Our team at BHP Consulting have all successfully run businesses, and we understand that every business is unique. 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