This year has started very busy for me, which is a good thing. With all the things I have to do, I started thinking about the possibility of expanding my business so I can delegate to others. Successful business owners have this dilemma of how to handle the workload once the business starts growing.
Personally, I would prefer to do all the work myself, but that is not always going to be possible if I want my business to grow. The one word that goes hand in hand with delegation of responsibility is “clear.” Everyone has to be clear on the timelines, communication and responsibility. And those are my three rules for delegation:
- Clarify timelines: Adhering to timelines can make or break your company. When delegating, be clear and specific how much time it will take to complete the task. When someone says it’s due Friday, does that mean I should get it to you on Thursday? A better due date would be please have this back to me by 9 a.m. ET on Friday, March 20, 2015. If the task cannot be completed by the date and time given, then the team member that was delegated with the task should notify the appropriate person immediately.
- Be clear and specific when communicating: Communication is important, but clear and specific communication is key. Emails can be “read” into or interpreted incorrectly. A phone call can usually clear something in a matter of minutes when several emails going back and forth got confusing. Not sure when questions became a bad thing, but it’s best to always ask questions. The clearer the task is understood the better the outcome of the product.
- Identify who is responsible for tasks: Responsibility of the task and expectation of what is to be accomplished is sometimes not clearly or specifically spelled out. Ever get an email that has several people on it and there is a task from the sender, but no one knows who is the “lead” or what is doing what part? It can be confusing and maybe even no one does anything. Clearly and specifically, assign the responsibility of task and the expectations for that task.
When the time comes for me to start delegating, I will have steps and processes in place to accomplish my clear, specific and expected communication plan to my team. Of course, it’s nothing is perfect but a game plan is a good start.
Do you want a VA who believes in asking questions to be clear about timelines, communication and responsibility? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation.