Are you delegating correctly?

Delegation does not just mean passing on a job that you are unwilling to do yourself. Consider the following questions:

Communication

  • Do you make it perfectly clear to the other person what they have to do, or are you not clear about it yourself and simply hoping that the person you are delegating to will come up with something?

Setting deadlines

  • Do you ask for results by a specified time, such as 'By the close of business,' or 'In an hour'?

Your response

  • When you have asked someone to do something 'urgently', do you then action it immediately or leave it lying around on the desk for days?

Support

  • Do you periodically check how the employee is getting on and offer to answer any questions he or she might have, or do you just leave them get on with it?

Feedback

  • Do you keep the employee informed of what happens after you take the work back, or do you just say, 'Thanks, I'll handle it from here'?

Purpose of delegation

  • Do you delegate only boring tasks you dislike, or do you delegate exciting and enjoyable tasks to give others an opportunity to learn?

Employee development

  • Do you give the same employee the same piece of work every time because they are good at it, or do you say, 'You seem to be getting the hang of A, why don't you have a go at B, this week'?

Effective delegation allows small businesses to grow into large ones. The most successful entrepreneurs are those who can strike a balance between trusting the people around them and keeping the lines of communication open.