Underdelegation

One of the most common problems faced by business, particularly small business, is the skill of delegation. This is a difficult area as there are a number of fine lines and contradictory objectives that need a sense of balance, rather than just getting over a threshold.

If there is one subject that constantly confronts us as advisers, it is that of delegation – or more accurately; lack thereof. To be truthful, I find it a constant niggle myself.

Symptoms

  • Working ridiculous hours
  • Holding back business
  • Restricting value of business
  • Wearing us out
  • No fun
  • Not enough family time

Causes

  • No-one does it like me
  • Micro managing tasks not outcomes
  • Lack of trust in staff
  • Explain responsibility and accountability
  • Defining tasks not responsibilities
  • Abdicating responsibility

Solutions

Select the low hanging fruit – pick the biggest time user/waster and write a procedure and train a staff member. With the time saving, work on the next biggest issue.

Staff induction is vital. You need to get the troops on board. You may be surprised to find that handing over responsibility will work well with good employees.

Structured meetings

  • Agenda
  • Clear purpose
  • Regular event
  • Actions – who, when and outcome
  • Documented
  • Follow up actions at next meeting

Warnings

Abrogation is not good. Delegation is the process of carefully handing over well-defined responsibilities in such a manner that an enterprising individual will derive satisfaction from doing the job. Abrogation is when you hand over a mess and expect someone to sort it out by themselves.

You will get what you inspect, not what you expect. Measure and monitor. The notion that actions will automatically happen is not realistic. If you don’t measure and follow up, don’t expect improvement.

Good luck with your journey, let us know if we can help.

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