You might be familiar with the expression "If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself." You might even live by it. But this motto is not only detrimental to your health and productivity, it can also have a negative impact on your business. Think about it - you're only one person. No matter how hard you try to do it all yourself, you will be limited - by the number of hours in a day, by all those menial tasks, by your energy levels, and so on. You have to come to terms with this. You can try to be a super-hero and eventually burn yourself out, or you can start delegating effectively.
Delegating will take some tasks off your plate and free up your time so that you can focus on more important tasks - the long term ones that affect big aspects of your business. It also limits your work in progress, which is vital to productivity and well-being. But it's not only a benefit for you. When you delegate, you're giving your employees the opportunity to grow. Effective delegation is important to your success and to the success of your employees - it fosters trust, loyalty, transparency, leads to the development of skills and allows your employees to gain experience. You're fostering talent and developing their skills and experience. In the end, you want to have a great team, and part of that is developing a culture of growth and learning. Let's take a look at some reasons you're not delegating now.
You're a know-all
Yes, you have the expertise. There's nothing inherently bad with knowing a lot. The problem is, when you know more than others you might feel the pressure to do it all yourself. Even when you do delegate, you might be micromanaging your employees. This is probably keeping you from focusing on the bigger picture.
You don't trust your employees
You don't think they will do as good a job as you would, or you think they shouldn't be trusted with certain information. Now, if this is actually the case, you might want to ask yourself why did you hire them in the first place? But chances are, your employees just need to be given the chance to prove themselves.
There's too much to teach
Sometimes, your employees might need more information before they can successfully take care of what you're assigning to them. You might feel there's too much they need to learn, and that it would be faster to just do it yourself. For now, it might be the quicker solution, but is it really productive in the long term for you to keep on doing that task yourself?
Overcome delegation anxieties with open communication
Fostering a culture of open communication starts with you - the leader - and there are many benefits to it. It increases engagement and collaboration. And it also gives them the chance to manage up by sharing their work challenges and constructive criticism.
One of the most important aspects of communication when delegating is giving your team members the big picture. It's vital to their success that they understand why certain things need to be done and how they are contributing to the greater good of your company.
And open communication also includes openly acknowledging your appreciation for the people you work with.
Trust your employees
If you're having trouble delegating, you might need to develop trust in the people you're working with. If you're the owner of a small business or startup, you are invested in your business in many ways. It's natural for you to only want the best work done - which often means you'll get it done yourself just to be sure. But you need to warm up to the idea that others will also contribute to your business. In the end, it's to their best interest too that the business thrive, isn't it?
When you delegate, don't wait for your employees to volunteer. Choose the person that you want to work on a specific task. By showing that you trust that person with a certain task, you will boost their feeling of ownership.
Keep in mind that delegating a task is about the objective, not the procedure. It's about getting it done. So what if your employee will take a different route to get to the same place? There's nothing that screams "no trust" more than micromanaging.
Make time to delegate effectively
You need to honestly consider whether you have enough time to delegate effectively. Be honest with yourself, but don't let it be a reason not to delegate. Consider how much information the employee needs and how quick of a learner she is. Maybe you don't have enough time to delegate this time around, but she can shadow you and learn the ropes.
Delegating might slow you down at first, but in the long run it will increase productivity. However, you need to set up your employee for success. You should remember there are different levels of delegating - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Maybe you can just get your employee to do research for you and then you'll make the decision yourself before you will be comfortable with allowing her to make the decisions. And of course, tasks that are critical for long-term success, for example recruiting the right people, always need your attention.