If you are afraid of going on vacation because you think that your business will collapse, then you probably don’t have proper systems in place that enable you to delegate your tasks. In this quick tips episode, Mari-Liis Vaher shares 7 tips to help you become better at delegating.
If you’re afraid of going on vacation because you think that your business will collapse, then we're sorry to tell you this but you probably don’t have proper systems in place.
One of the most important things to ensure that your business keeps functioning without you is to get the information out of your head. This means documenting the processes and creating clear guidelines on different workflows.
We know - it can sound like a lot of work and you are probably thinking that you don’t have time to do this. But look at it as an investment - if you take this time to do it properly now, you will save a lot of time in the long run.
Another thing that most small business owners struggle with is delegating. But learning how to do that is essential if you want to scale your business - you simply cannot do everything on your own.
So, today I want to share with you some tips to make delegating easier for you and also to the person you are delegating to.
- Define the goal and set expectations. People think in different ways and approach problems differently. If you just demand them to do the task in the exact way that you’ve always done it, then they may miss the entire meaning behind the task. Make sure to explain to them why this task is important, what you are aiming to solve and what are your expectations around this - this includes deadlines, documenting, collaboration etc.
- Define what tasks need to be done in what time, and map out the process step-by-step until the last step that you’re able to plan for the time being. This is especially necessary if the project you're delegating involves many steps. By writing it down together and putting the tasks in the correct order helps them understand the dependencies and priorities. And make sure to let them know that as soon as they think that deadlines are nor realistic, they need to come back to you with that!
- Use mirroring. Once you’ve explained what it is that needs to get done, always ask team members to explain back to you what they understood. See how well they are able to explain their duties and whether they fully understood your expectations.
- Take time for teaching. Teach them what they need to know in order to execute, and ask them again how they understood this new knowledge. Be aware that depending on the complexity of the task, it might take 2-4 weeks to train someone to do a new kind of work. But taking this time is crucial if you want the task to be done “properly” not only this once but also in the future. OR what you can do if you dont know how to do it, give them time to learn and do some research and come to you with possible solutions themselves! You might be surprised at how it inspires others to be involved like this!
- Use project management and productivity tools like Trello, Toggl, Smartsheet, monday.com, etc. These help make sure that all team members understand their responsibilities, are openly committed to their deadlines and it’s easy for you to keep track of their progress.
- Agree on follow-up time and let people know when and how often you will check in on their progress. Follow-up is the most crucial part of every project. Follow-up time is a good time for them to ask for your feedback and help as well, and you can also use it to plan the next steps and deadlines for everyone. Keeping track of where they’re at in the process will give you peace of mind as well, especially when they’re on the right track. So make sure that the follow-up time is in everyone’s calendar as well as your own. Again this is the place where you can discuss weather you need to change the deadlines or do something else in order to complete the project or task.
- Closing and feedback: When a project or task is done, always give feedback. You need to bring out everyone's contribution and thank them for it. Describe what you expected, what you valued while working with this task, what might be improved next time, and the next steps moving forward.
We wish you good luck with organizing and we truly hope you get to take some time off this summer to recharge your batteries and come back stronger than ever!