In a perfect world, you have plenty of time and energy to handle all the vital tasks that keep your business alive. In practice, a combination of real life and business challenges can keep the ideal from being your reality. Rather than working yourself to the brink of exhaustion, delegating to your staff can ensure all critical tasks are completed in a timely manner.
Tasks to Delegate to Your Staff
It’s important to remember that delegating duties not only frees up your time for more urgent priorities, it also prepares employees for future promotions by increasing their level of responsibility within the company. Remembering this key point can help you stay the course if there are bumps during the transition.
Although you can delegate any tasks you like to your staff, some tasks make more sense than others. Obviously, you wouldn’t hand off sensitive financial information to a new employee, but this goes beyond simple matters of confidentiality. Instead, focus on the tasks that:
- Are time consuming
- Can easily be learned by another person
- Don’t require high level decision-making
- Have a sense of urgency or a deadline attached
At first glance, it’s counter-intuitive to delegate time-sensitive tasks to an employee because of the time you’ll lose while you train them. While things will go slower at first, you’ll gain an employee capable of taking over a recurring task, clearing responsibility for that looming deadline off your calendar. Even if you don’t want to pass off total responsibility, having an employee capable of handling a time-sensitive task will keep you from dragging yourself into the office when you have the flu just because you’re the only one who knows how to do something.
Ways to Delegate to Your Staff
The beauty of delegating tasks to your staff is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it. Some managers like to delegate tasks to the employees they’re grooming for promotion. Other managers turn to the employee who’s always asking for something else to keep them busy. It’s really up to you to decide the best course of action for your company.
In general, it can help to explain why you’re delegating a particular task to someone, especially if the task is radically outside their usual job function. For instance, you may ask your accounts receivable clerk to assist with creation of marketing materials or a newsletter if they exhibit a high level of creativity. Explaining your rationale in this case can let your employee know you’re delegating this task to them because you recognize the diversity of their skill set, not just because you don’t have time to complete it yourself.