Has delegating tasks in a way that actually works been a struggle lately? If so, you’re dealing with a pretty common problem.
In her businessnewsdaily.com article entitled 3 Elements of Delegation Every Manager Should Know, Marissa Sanfilippo shares the following reminder:
“As a leader, you can’t possibly do everything on your own. Instead, learn to lean on your team and trust them to get the job done. As a result, you’ll see that your company can accomplish a lot more without bogging you down.”
Sounds easy enough, right? It’s human nature for some to figure, “How hard can it be? I just assign tasks to my employees and then move on.”
This overly simplistic approach to delegating has been the bane of many a naïve manager though. Learning how to delegate isn’t nearly as easy as some make it out to be. Still, solid delegation skills are in reach for those who persevere.
Delegating mistakes can lead to even more work than before if you don’t learn to avoid them. They can also hurt your company’s reputation if you fail to deliver your best efforts.
What do you do if you’re struggling to implement effective delegation and it’s costing you big? Here are some examples of common delegating mistakes and how to steer clear of them.
As a manager, it’s easy to micromanage your staff without realizing you’re doing it. And the problem is that pretty much no one enjoys being micromanaged. Worse yet, if you have competent staff, it slows down the project and keeps you from getting other pressing tasks done.
The feeling of empowerment is an important aspect of your employees doing their best work. For that reason, delegate the outcome rather than the process it takes to get there. If you have a competent and creative team, they’ll take care of the how. The main thing you need to communicate is what needs to get done.
Of course, this needs to be balanced out if some training is necessary. Just be sure to call it what it is–training, not delegated work.
Failing to Provide Any Direction During the Project
Now that we’ve discussed the dangers of micromanaging, we should also mention the hazards of laissez-faire leadership taken too far. Providing no insight into a project part way through could lead to a disappointing and inferior outcome.
If that happens, you’ll be all the more tempted to micromanage the project the next time around. Often, you can provide regular feedback without feeling too suffocating to your staff.
Are you starting to lean too much towards micromanaging the project? Keep lines of communication open with your employees and tell them your goal to provide just enough info to create success without hampering the project by hovering over it too much.
Once your staff realizes you’re in their corner, they’ll help you find that balance. Another positive side benefit is they’ll respect you a lot more for your transparency and approachability.
Not Allowing Room for Mistakes
A seasoned virtual manager or on-site manager knows you can’t prevent all mistakes from happening. And the most skilled managers know that to an extent it’s okay. Setbacks or failures are an important aspect of staff having the courage to learn new skills.
Imagine a parent wanting their toddler to walk perfectly but never letting them stumble or fall along the way to their goal. Trying to prevent failure in that child would only lead to greater failure in the long run.
The same holds true in the workplace. A good in-person supervisor or manager online should keep their staff from making any glaring errors while realizing mistakes will happen.
Also, be sure to stay communicative with your staff so they feel safe about coming to you if something doesn’t go as planned.
Thinking Delegating Tasks Should Only Happen In-House
Another common delegating mistake is thinking the only way to get a task or project done is through your everyday hourly staff. Today, more than ever, that’s not always the best route to go.
Sometimes you need skills now that your staff doesn’t possess. It’s also possible your staff is too overloaded to have extra items added to their to-do list.
There’s no reason to fret over lost productivity. You can get in touch with us to find out the benefits of delegation. Feel free to schedule a free 30-minute consultation with us and start realizing your full potential.