Written by Steven Rafsky on 8/12/13.
Many small business owners start out doing everything for their business themselves. However, as a company grows, it becomes vitally important to delegate tasks in order to keep it growing, while also enabling you to have a life outside of your business. Padgett Business Services®, a financial services partner to small businesses for 40 years, knows the importance of delegation in practice. We have created this guide to cover the why, when, what, who and how in regards to delegation.
What is Delegation? Delegation is handing off responsibility and authority to complete a task. In order to effectively delegate, business owners and managers must pair the right task with the right person (ensuring that the person has proper training to successfully finish the task), as well as to set performance expectations, give the person the authority to make the correct decisions to complete the work required, and leave feedback.
Why Should You Delegate? Delegation has several benefits to you, your employees and your business.
Benefits to you:
- Frees up your time to focus on the important aspects of your business
- Allows you to stop focusing on details and instead focus on more strategic work
- Will reduce your stress levels
- Enhances trust with your employees
- Delegated tasks may be better suited to someone else’s skill-set, so the task may be completed better than if you did it yourself
- Develops a successor to take over your job, so you can focus on growing your business
Benefits to your employees:
- Develops employee skills and advances their own careers
- Increases confidence, productivity, morale and career satisfaction
- Makes them feel more involved in the business and increases their commitment to the company
Benefits to your company:
- Saves money and time
- Increases teamwork
- Boosts productivity
- Increases efficiency
- Raises workers’ skill levels, which will boost a company’s long-term success
Why Is It Difficult to Delegate? Many business owners and managers have difficulty delegating work to their employees. There are many reasons for this, although they typically fall into these categories:
- Lack of trust
- Time management
For those who find delegation difficult because they are too controlling, they usually feel that they are the only ones who are capable of doing the tasks right, or they believe that being involved in every detail of the business is the only path to success. These managers must remember that an employee can be trained to do a task and that their job is to guide the business instead. There is only so much time in the day, and a leader’s work should focus on specific tasks that guide and grow the business.
Managers who do not trust their employees need to carefully evaluate their team members. Why did you hire your team in the first place? Why did you stop trusting them? Can this lack of trust be rebuilt? Do you need to do more training to develop their skills?
Business owners and managers who do not delegate may feel that it is quicker to do the task themselves than it is to train someone to do it properly. This logic has several flaws.
- If it is a task that occurs regularly, taking extra time to train someone will pay off in the long run. For example, if it takes you five minutes to sort the mail every morning, but it would take you two hours to train one of your employees to sort the mail themselves, you will still save yourself time within a month of delegating the task.
- By not delegating, you create an environment of dependency. If employees are not able to carry out particular tasks and make decisions on their own, they will become disengaged and dissatisfied.
- As a leader, your time needs to be spent in high-level, strategic tasks, and not in low-level details. You will be hobbling your own business if you do not delegate.
So far, we have covered the reasons why you should delegate. Our series on delegation will continue with the when, what, who and how of delegation. Padgett Business Services® has a proven track record of providing small businesses with the tax, financial and payroll services that they need. Contact us if you want to delegate any of your business financial tasks to us.