There are two crucial things to remember when it comes to learning how to delegate: be clear about how you will communicate and have a delegation process in place.
An open line of communication will serve you well as you begin to delegate tasks. Take some time to bring your team up to speed on your plan. They might not completely understand why you want to delegate and could be too embarrassed to ask the question that’s on many minds: What does delegation mean?
As the leader of the company, it’s your responsibility to have an open conversation so they feel comfortable and included in what’s happening. Explain how delegating will benefit them as well as the company. For example, be clear about how delegation will provide new growth opportunities to the team. Share insight on how expanding their responsibilities today can turn into a bigger role in the long term.
Introducing new concepts or processes can sometimes make a team feel unsure. Ease any apprehension around delegation by offering total clarity on the following:
- Your expectations
- The deliverable
- The timeline
How do you determine who should take on certain responsibilities? “Delegate to those who are better than you at the task that needs to be done,” says Madrid. It sounds so simple, but it’s easy for Executives to get stuck on the “who”. Take it a step further and tell that person why you’re delegating to them. It will likely make their day and ease any apprehension.
Whether you’re delegating work to your team or an outside service, it’s critical to have a clear hand-off process in place. Be prepared before delegating by organizing all documents, login information, contacts, etc. in one place. Doing so will keep you from micromanaging team members and avoid unnecessary back and forth. Your focus should be on making sure the delegation process works effectively (see below for a go-to delegation framework). Then, the team can spend their time and energy completing the task in a way that works best for them.
Corbin encourages this as well, saying that having a simple process for delegation will, “drastically reduce the time it takes to integrate a new person into the role.” She continues on, mentioning that “If you delegate to an outside service provider, they may already have steps in place for how to assist with the delegation, including their own process for you to follow that makes your time commitment minimal while all of the work is getting done.” Partnering with a company that exists to help you delegate only makes the process easier.