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Effective Delegation

Wednesday, June 27, 2012   By Mike Reddy


Delegating (giving someone authority to act and react to situations without referring back to you) is an important management tool.

But many small business owners prefer to take on almost everything and find it difficult to divvy up tasks to staff members for fear of losing control.

Embracing effective delegation techniques will not only keep a business afloat but also help protect an owner from health risks.

Start by first analysing your own needs at a managerial level. Track your time. Create a simple system of recording how much time is spent on what and use this to analyse where strengths and weaknesses may lie.

Think in terms of the 'big picture'. Do not let yourself get caught up in the delegation of the tasks. Consider how the delegation will have a directly positive impact on your business' goals as a whole.

Building a team of trusted and capable staff is crucial. Embrace the value of these staff members and continue to provide information.

Identify who is right for the task and then communicate effectively. Agree on the task to be done and how it should be accomplished without dictating every single step.

Remember you are delegating the objective not the procedure. Take care not to force your ideas upon others. There is usually more than one way to do a job.

Set a deadline and have patience. Peering over one's shoulder kills motivation and implies you do not have the confidence in your staff member.

Do follow up and show that you are there for support and give compliments and encouragement. As the manager or owner you are responsible for the outcome of the project, whether you or a staff member completed it.

Try not to delegate just the boring or tedious tasks. Keep team members motivated by assigning interesting jobs and be sure to spread the work evenly throughout the workplace.

Consider hiring contract or freelance workers to take on additional responsibilities and tasks when things pick up. Delegation only works when you put forth the effort to nurture your staff and train them sufficiently.

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.