Building a successful practice needs more than just winning work and being great at your job. You need a strong team working with you and that doesn’t happen automatically. This article explores effective delegation so your team gets stronger, more proactive and help you to grow your firm.
“My staff are not proactive… I need to tell them what to do all the time”
Have you heard yourself saying this before? How often do you hear others complaining that ’I tell them what needs to get done, even how to do it, and they still don’t do it right’, or ‘I have to continually keep telling them what to do – they never seem to take the initiative.
What are you delegating?
The reason you’re frustrated is probably because you are delegating tasks instead of responsibilities. In simple terms a task is when you dictate to your staff, ‘how’ to do the task.
There is never enough time to do everything by yourself, even if you had the skills to do so (and that’s another story). It is not possible to create a £500,000+ firm client portfolio on your own.
Effective delegation means you need to be delegating responsibilities; there are many benefits of this. For example your team are more likely to:
- take full ownership for tasks, improving the completion rate.
- take the initiative, if they feel they have ownership; then they take over this part of your workload permanently (rather than you always repeating how to do the task).
So effective delegation will save time, develop your team’s abilities and increase the profit on a job. What’s the catch?
The effective delegation trap
Don’t fall into the big trap of saying ‘how you want the job done’. This puts ownership right back in your lap and you have delegated a task rather than a responsibility.
Skilled professionals, like you, typically believe that their way is the right way. They’ve done it before, they can do it more quickly and their team should do it their way. But, for a team member to take full ownership, they need to decide, and learn, how they will get the role done.
Effective delegation needs you to trust your team, so you can relinquish full control of a responsibility. Many business owners don’t like to “lose control” , so they micro-manage. This wastes your time, stops you from growing your firm and will frustrate your team. Download our 6 page booklet on effective delegation , it's free and waiting for you to download right now. Click here for instant access (email address required).
The three things they need to know
Your team need to own the responsibility, not the task. It needs to become part of their role. Ensure they know:
- why the job needs to be done
- what the required end result is
- when the job needs to be done by
5 ideas for more effective delegation
- Control: You are delegating the responsibility, but remaining control. To exercise control agree the control method up front. It’s right to:
- discuss time lines and deadlines
- agree constraints, budgets etc – up front.
- agree milestones where you discuss progress and may make adjustments or make suggestions if needed. Important note – if they submit work to you as part of this process always review it properly, don’t just skimp over it.
- Be inclusive: Where possible, include people in the delegation process. Empower them to decide what is delegated to them and when.
- Constraints: There will always be some constraints and boundaries, things you don’t want them to do / exceed / go beyond. Ensure that you clearly identify these.
- Support: Provide support and be available to answer questions. Success comes from ongoing communication and monitoring. Support is NOT “doing it yourself“. You may need to answer questions and show everybody else you have faith in the person, but don’t let them delegate the task back up to you.
- Focus on results, not method: You want the results, and the benefits of effective delegation. Don’t be worried about how it gets done (within specified constraints).
In case you think I’m perfect, you’d better read my delegation confession!
What stops you from effective delegation?
Download our 6 page booklet on effective delegation , it's free and waiting for you to download right now. Click here for instant access (email address required).