As a business owner, you know firsthand how responsibilities can pile up by the minute. It may be tempting to own all daily tasks yourself to ensure things are done the way you want. Unfortunately, doing so can prove to be inefficient in the long run. Besides running the risk of spreading yourself too thin, you may overlook critical business aspects. Not to mention, hogging tasks can put you on the fast lane to burnout.
Successful entrepreneurs know that prioritization is critical. Focus on more pressing matters and delegate tasks that don’t need your immediate attention.
Why should you delegate?
The benefits of delegation go beyond lightening your workload. By entrusting some of your tasks to your team, you empower them to step up to the challenge.
Equally important, delegating can boost your team’s productivity. An innovative way of delegating tasks is outsourcing tasks to a virtual assistant (VA). You can hire a VA to take on necessary but low-priority tasks while keeping costs relatively low. In fact, a full-time VA can save your company as much as 78%. Though, affordability is just one of the many reasons you should hire a virtual assistant.
Delegating tasks to virtual assistants is just one of the many measures to master task delegation. Here are four ways on how to delegate effectively:
Evaluate your team’s strengths and assign tasks accordingly.
As a leader, you need to know your staff’s strengths, weaknesses, and career goals. Having a good handle of what each one can bring to the table is key to good leadership and effective delegation. It ensures that you are delegating the right task to the right person.
Remember, you are delegating to increase efficiency. Assigning your tasks to a team member with a different skill set and unrelated learning goal or someone with a full workload can be counterproductive. You need to evaluate which team member has the skills, experience, interest, or potential to accomplish the task. Looking into those factors will help you determine the best candidate to assist you.
If your team already has their hands full and your budget doesn’t allow you to hire another member, you can outsource to a virtual assistant. It’s a cost-effective solution to getting things done.
Pro-tip: After selecting, let them know why you chose them and set realistic expectations. This should motivate them to rise to the occasion.
Equip team members with training materials
After identifying the tasks and to whom to assign them to, prepare your training materials. Providing your staff with a step-by-step guide and specific instructions is an excellent way to speed things up. Having documented training materials, SOP, or playbooks also empowers your team to accomplish tasks independently without extensive oversight.
On the other hand, completely assuming your staff knows what they’re doing right away is a training mistake you want to avoid. Yes, your team is competent, but if you’re assigning new tasks, you have to expect a learning curve. By giving training materials, they have a reference they can quickly consult when in doubt.
Here are some tips to help you prepare your training material:
- Maximize video recordings
- Create an “if that happens, then this needs to happen” (IFTTT) cheat sheet
- Write the priority tasks first
- Use bullet points when writing instructions
- If necessary, provide screenshots or links as examples of what you’re looking for
- Indicate the deadline
You can also be proactive by using online task delegation tools to map out the project milestones and monitor your colleague’s progress.
Share your goals, strategies and be open to ideas
When you delegate a task to a team member, don’t leave out the project’s objective. You want them to set the same goals as you have and see the big picture. Similarly, sharing your strategies is vital to ensuring you and your team are aligned. Letting them in on your vision and strategy will boost their drive to work hard and encourage them to own their role in your team.
You also have to be open to new ideas, opinions, and suggestions from your colleagues. Regardless of their recommendations being implemented or not, you need to acknowledge their contribution and show that you appreciate it. After all, this shows that they genuinely care and are invested in your business as you are.
Encourage communication and provide constructive feedback
Communication is crucial for a company’s success. Employees who proactively discuss matters with their colleagues find more success with projects. So make it a point to encourage your team to approach you if they find something unclear or need help with a task you’ve delegated to them. When they complete their designated tasks, always thank them and provide feedback.
Remember, feedback is powerful. Positive and actionable feedback can inspire and help your assistant work more efficiently. It can also help your business grow further as you manage its revenue-driving aspects. Meanwhile, negative feedback, delivered in an equally negative manner, can be demotivating. Not only will it wreck your working relationship, but it can also compromise your staff’s quality of work.
Here are a few points to keep in mind when giving feedback:
- Give constructive criticism and deliver your feedback in a motivating and nurturing manner
- Pinpoint the areas that they can improve on and give them tips
- Acknowledge their effort to do a better job
Positive feedback is easy to give, but admittedly, it can be a little tricky when you find their work subpar or rife with errors. Nonetheless, it’s essential to let your staff know.
Monitor progress without micromanaging
Periodically checking your staff’s progress shouldn’t just be an opportunity to monitor how far along they are on their work. Take this chance to motivate your team and provide inputs to improve their process.
Be mindful not to micromanage as it can demotivate your staff and negate the time you’ve saved by delegating. Find the right balance when monitoring and giving feedback. You shouldn’t check in every five minutes, but you also shouldn’t leave them alone either. If possible, frame your feedback as a suggestion for improvement instead of a command.
Start delegating tasks effectively
As a business owner, it is easy to get lost within all the responsibilities. If this is happening to you, take a step back. Overexerting yourself can lead to mental fatigue, which can be dangerous in several ways. It can compromise company productivity, pose risks to your health, and affect your social and personal life.
When mundane and administrative tasks begin to pile up on your table, consider delegating. Effectively delegating tasks among your team or getting a virtual assistant will help keep operations going smoothly and allow you to prioritize critical aspects of your business. Keep the tips above in mind.
Knowing when to take a step back, delegate tasks, or outsource to a virtual assistant will help you ease your workload and ensure organizational success in the long run. To learn more about how a virtual assistant can help your business, schedule a call with Outsource Access today!