Knowing how to delegate fairly and appropriately can often be difficult when running a business. The more leaders who micro-manage, the more their teams push for independence. Here’s how to break the cycle…
Invest in Innovation and Improvement
You know the saying ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. So, they key here is to delegate the objective, not the procedure. This is the key to not becoming a nightmare of a micro-manager. Set clear standards for what kind of results you’re looking for, and show the person how you do it. But tell them that they can do it any way they want, as long as it’s done well and it’s completed on time.
Learn to Trust Others
If you’re afraid of delegating because you don’t think anyone can do as good of a job as you can, remember two things: First, that almost anyone can get good at something with enough practice, and second, that you’re probably not as universally talented as you think you are. When you delegate work, you’re not just freeing time up for yourself – you’re also giving your helper a chance to practice a new skill or tackle a new kind of assignment. Be patient – with enough time, your helper will probably be able to do the delegated work about as well as you could have.
Measure Results Fairly
Managers who delegate effectively devise the right performance metrics and hold everyone accountable to them. You have to continuously gather data about what individuals, teams, the organization as a whole are accomplishing. Distribute that information—both the criteria and the results—to everyone involved. When those measures point to a person or team that isn’t delivering, it’s time to reconsider how that task should be delegated.
Build an Open Culture
Good leaders demand those they entrust with important work to execute it well, but they also stay open to considering new approaches. In those cases, a good manager requires their teams to back up new proposals with solid research. Hold opinions to close scrutiny allow everyone who might be a stakeholder in a change you’re considering weigh in.
Delegation of work is a big responsibility; hence the person who is being given the opportunity should be responsible and accountable for the work done. It is best to spell out work responsibilities during the delegation phase. If your business has different departments, each should be coordinated to accommodate the change.
Culture is not built overnight. It takes patience, sacrifice and vision. Read our Top Tips on Building a Long Lasting Office Culture for more advice.