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Dec, 01 2007

Diligent delegation

He had it all that is needed to run a catering company to its best. I had been in the wedding, he debuted his first catering service. And trust me, it was one of the best wedding dinners I had in all my life. The food, the presentation, the cutleries and

He had it all that is needed to run a catering company to its best. I had been in the wedding, he debuted his first catering service. And trust me, it was one of the best wedding dinners I had in all my life. The food, the presentation, the cutleries and above all the services were excellent. It perfectly reflected the taste and dedication its owner had towards his new business. Each and every item that was used starting from the vegetables to the cutleries was hand picked by the owner himself. No wonder, it came out to be a great hit on the first day of its launch.

But… it had to close down very soon. Reason… after a point of time the owner became too weary of carrying out each and every step all by himself. The problem… He could not trust anyone else. Be it selecting the vegetables or the poultry, he believed no one could do it better than him. He insisted on `doing it all` by himself which became difficult after a point of time. Thus things used to get delayed, the quality of food and service, both deteriorated. The end result often used to be nothing more than a mess. He started losing out on clients which eventually led to loss in his business. Hence, he decided to call it a day.

This above story relates to a problem that every entrepreneur faces while running his organisation. The organisation has started with his vision and he is the only person who knows how to make his products or services unique. No one can deny that. But the problem comes when he has to get his work done by some one else. Everyone has his own way of doing a particular thing. And it becomes difficult on the entrepreneur`s part to have it done the way he wants it to be. The net result might not be the way he had perceived it. It might take a lot of time. He can do it on his own in the time that would be required to explain the project. Or at times the entrepreneur faces confusion as to who is the right person who can do the work properly. Thus there are a lot of factors that pulls back an entrepreneur from delegating work to his employees. And sometimes this casts a very negative impact on the overall performance of the organisation.

Delegate work

In order to grow your business, you have to grow your team. And the first step in doing so is to get out of the `do it all by your own` mentality. Face the reality, you can not do everything. Hence focus on your strength and let the other people handle other part of the project according to their own expertise. Think about how you can be benefited if you leave the nitty gritties of your business in the hands of able employees. Here are few points:

• You can be free to run your business and focus the big picture.

• You allow your employees to grow and make them more valuable.

• You encourage your employees to build a stronger, more resilient team.

• Now that you can rely on your employees to take charge, you can respond faster to changes in your business.

• It will reduce your workload to a great extent relieving you from a lot of stress.

• It will give you a better work satisfaction to see both your organisation as well as your employees grow stronger.

What to delegate

Before you can delegate anything you should know what you should delegate and what you should keep for yourself. Evaluate your strengths. Consider the things that you are directly contributing to your business that is making it successful. These are the things that should be in your hands. The tasks that are outside your expertise can be delegated to people who can handle them best. This will help you distinguish between what to delegate and what not to delegate.

Delegate:

• All routine or even sporadic clerical duties (filing, counting, sorting, routine reports)

• Making minor decisions

• Answering routine questions

• Minor staffing problems such as scheduling

• Anything your employees are expected to do when you`re not there

• Jobs that can develop the employee in other areas for potential promotion

Don't delegate:

• An emergency or short-term task where there`s no time to explain or train

• Dealing and negotiating with important clients or business associates

• A presentation to investors about your company`s financial performance and future plans

• A job no one else in the company is qualified to do

• Personnel issues such as hiring, firing or disciplinary matters

Who to delegate

Delegating involves giving someone the responsibility and authority to do something that is normally part of your job. You have to set clear goals and expectations for the assignment. And for doing that you have to identify the right person whom you can delegate the work.

First consider whether they have the right qualification to take up the responsibility. Hence, hire your qualified employees. Choosing the right employees will make things much easier for you as a boss.

Ask your employees how they want to contribute towards the growth of the company. Try to find out their areas of interest in the company. Ask them if they would like to change their current job duties.

The answer to these questions would help you delegate duties to people who are interested in accepting them.

Also consider the working habits of your employees. Some people need a lot of explanations while it is much easier to brief your expectations and guidelines to others before you can hand it over to them.

How to delegate

Chalk out a plan

The first step while delegating is to chalk out a plan. You should have a clear idea about how you want the work to be done and what should be the desired result.

Communicate

You should be able to communicate with your employees in order to convey exactly what you want them to do. Explain properly what the final outcome should be by creating the specific, detailed steps needed to get it done.

Assembly line

Creating a proper assembly line will help to move the things faster.

Resources and tools

Evaluate the resources or the tools that are required to complete the task and make sure that they are available to your employees. Ask your employees whether they need any kind of assistance in terms of advice as well as in terms of infrastructure to get the things done.

Deadline

Discuss with your employees to determine the amount of time will be required for the project to be completed and fix up a deadline accordingly.

Follow up

Even after delegating the work, it is very important to overlook how the work is being done. At the end of the day it is your organisation that is going to be benefited. Don`t just set the target and forget it.

Be available

Be in touch with your employees, take feedbacks from them, give suggestions and hold meetings to discuss how things can be improved. Always be available and approachable to your employees. But avoid looking over the shoulder in order to check up with the work.

Tackle Errors

Be prepared to tackle errors. It is human to commit mistakes. Allow them to learn from the mistakes. Short term delays due to these mistakes surely have a long term benefit as they will make your employees alert in future.

Stress on quality

Harp on quality work. Do not accept anything that is not up to the mark. Accepting below standard work will neither do any good to your organisation nor to your employees.

Appreciate hard work

Last but not the least; give praise and awards at the end of a well completed project.

Advisory

Delegation is very important if you want your organisation to grow. It will not only reduce your work load but also help your employees to be more responsible and capable to handle projects on their own. So get rid of all your mental blocks and allow your employees to take charge while you can focus on the bigger picture like how to expand the organisation further to achieve new heights of success.

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