Have you ever tried to delegate something in your business, only to have it not go as planned and you're left wondering what caused the breakdown? You thought your instructions were clear and now you're left scratching your head trying to figure out why the results aren't what you expected.
You see, when trying to create an automatic business there are actually 9 steps to follow. When we skip steps... that's when problems pop up.
Most people start with the 8th step which is creating your How to List and think that's proper systematization and delegation.
Being able to delegate those lower-level tasks off your plate so you can work on higher-level activities will allow you to scale your business and not get stuck is only part of the process.
To delegate properly there are actually 5 steps. It's more than likely that you skipped one of the critical steps to delegation and this is leading to more chaos instead of harmony in your business.
Let's assume you have a new employee that you're training. You show them how to do a task and then you expect that person to do the job. You might think that's delegation.
Well, it's a good start, but there's a fine line between delegating and abdicating, which is kind of passing it off without much accountability, or following through until there is a mistake.
When delegating a process, your team member needs to understand how this role or process fits into the overall success of the company. If not, they are just going through the steps and will look for shortcuts to make it easier for them not to be aware of the consequences of their actions.
The first step in delegating a task off your plate is you need to have a process or a reference from the beginning and end in mind. This could begin by them shadowing you and writing down each step. Then have them take their notes and turn them into a process or checklist. They're building it for you.
The second step is what most managers skip because it takes a little extra time. After they shadow you a couple of times and follow their new checklist, you need to take time to answer their questions. Make sure they didn't miss any steps or misunderstood what need to be accomplished.
The third step is where you take the time to shadow them as if you were a fly on the wall. You watch and you listen as they perform the task. It is likely you'll be surprised with what you thought you communicated, or you thought they understood as there will be some gaps in the learning and execution. Any time they ask a question or need clarification make sure that it is added to the checklist to make sure it's crystal clear.
The fourth step is where you manage the process because ultimately you still own it. This is where you need to develop reporting, weekly meetings, or some kind of check-in, to make sure that they're held accountable for making the right decisions to following through and doing the task properly.
It doesn't stop there.
Step five is about the employee starting to take ownership in the process. They're now making recommendations. But at first, they're running it by you before they actually take final action and before the final decision has been put into play. Your role is to validate their thinking and judgment and align it to the process. This will help them to understand the process fully.
The highest level of delegation is when the team member takes ownership. This is where they can actually make the decisions, and take the right action to generate the expected result the company needs. At this point, there's not only accountability for results, but they are taking ownership of those results themselves.
If found that you have delegated with less success than you like, go back and think about which of these 5 steps you might have missed.
Was there not enough training time or documentation to help support the training? Did you not take the time to shadow them or make sure that they understood? Maybe it went a little bit too fast, and they're left on their own a little too soon? Or maybe there's a lack of accountability on an ongoing basis?
I hope that going back, evaluating, and building up your process in some of these key areas can help you as a business owner, to get more off of your plate that you do not need to be doing so that you can focus your time on areas where it's most valuable for your business to start working smarter not harder.
If you want to learn more about how you can implement this strategy in your business, schedule a free strategy call to discover the power of coaching.