You’ve become a successful business leader or owner because you know how to delegate. At least, you think you’re good at delegating – but do you really delegate with clarity? Do the people who report to you know exactly what you want to them to do, and what your top priorities are?
As business author Brian Tracy emphasizes in his bestselling management manuals, effective delegation is a crucial task for any business owner. Once you know which of your daily tasks you must handle personally, it is your responsibility to delegate the remaining tasks to your team.
Follow these simple tips to make sure you’re delegating with clarity, so the tasks you delegate get done the way you want them done – within the time frame you expect.
- Pick the right employee
If you want to task to get done right, you’ve got to start by picking the right person to handle it. Make sure the person you pick has the right abilities, knowledge, and dedication to handle the task. Otherwise you’ll only stress them out and create frustration for yourself.
- Describe the task as clearly as possible
A lot of times, the reason an employee fails to complete a task correctly is that they didn’t get clear enough direction on it. Don’t just hand off the task and walk away – give the person an opportunity to ask clarifying questions, and make sure they can describe the task to you.
- Pick your deadline
You can’t expect the employee to know how soon the task needs to get done. Assign a specific deadline, and make sure the person understands and agrees to it.
- Figure out how you’ll know when it’s done
The employee may think they’ve completed the task, and move on to something else – but they may not have finished all the steps you were expecting. Before you send the person off to work, make sure they understand exactly what results you expect.
- Decide what resources are necessary
This doesn’t just mean paper and pens – the employee might need the help of technical staff, or informational resources, or transportation. You don’t want the task to get hung up while the employee waits for resources to be approved – so figure them out and approve them now.
- Explain the context of the task
Talk with the employee about why this task is necessary, what it will accomplish for the business, and what would happen if no one finished it. The person will be much more motivated to complete the task – and much more able to solve problems correctly – if they understand the reason behind it.
- Write it down
Put the task on paper or in an email. That way nobody can claim there was a mix-up with the assignment, or that they simply forgot about it.
- Ask for updates
Delegation isn’t a “set it and forget it” thing – you’ve got to check back in before the deadline, make sure it’s going according to schedule, and find a way to address any problems that’ve popped up.
When you delegate according to these simple rules designed by Brian Tracy, you’ll see your employees turn your assignments into the results you expect. Take your time, agree on the details, and then turn your employees loose to get it done.
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