First of all, you should know that this is one of the commonest management problems for entrepreneurs, letting go of responsibility. The reason is majorly because most people start off in their business doing all the hard work (the day to day delivery of the service or product) and it is only as the business starts to grow that they are forced up into managing more people, more often.
You are so used to being hands on, how you do things and your personal standards are important parts of how you believe your business should run. So as a result, it’s got to be done your way.
Now there’s no problem with that, but… the million dollar question remains, how do you get them to do things your way when you are not there?
So, the key to delegating is this, you need to have trustworthy people to do the work and you must be willing to trust. But we all know trust is not something that just happens, and here’s how you can create and nurture that trust.
#1 Set clear expectations. Whether it is procedures and systems explaining how the job should be done or standards that say, “At the end of the day it’ll look like this”, get them out of your head and write them onto a page. Then, what you want achieved will be clear to others and they will have a clear standard that they can work towards.
#2 Clearly express relevance. It is not fair to assume that everyone thinks like you. Someone may think that not doing a particular thing is no big deal, but if it causes mayhem for the rest of your team later, then it is a different matter. Be explicit as to why you want certain things done and clearly state the impact of doing them wrong.
#3 Measure and reward success. You need some form of measurement and checking. Set up a process to randomly audit a certain amount of tasks a week. When you find an issue, bring your team back to the task. Find out why it was not done to standard and get them to fix the problem. Make them rework their own mistakes; do not take responsibility for them yourself. Repeat until they get the message.
#4 Create a feedback loop. Have a feedback process to recognize when people are doing it right and also bring up points of improvement when they are not. Create incentives to reward those people doing it right. Make it stand out to everyone in the team the results of work well done.
#5 Recruit the right people. Find people based more on attitude rather than skill. If you find people with willingness to learn and improve, then you are a winner. Do not get stuck with people that have the right skills but prefer to do things as they please. Get people who are willing to play by your rules.
#6 Let go! Take a chill pill. Create a weekly meeting to review progress. Give your team time to make good of it. Do whatever it takes to resist your natural urge to jump in and assume control.
Remember, the longer you try to control everything with your own two hands, the longer you are condemned to keep doing it. Realise your controlling ways and set yourself up to manage through others and watch your life get simpler.
About The Author
Steve Smit is a Business Coach with Reality Consulting. He works with business owners who want to increase their take home profits and work shorter hours.
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