How to delegate at your small business

One part of being the leader of a business that can be particularly challenging is delegating. However, it’s really beneficial for both your employees and for you. You get help tackling your to-do list and your team members get to learn and practice new skills. It can be hard to loosen your grip on your control – maybe you’re of the mindset that you need to do do everything yourself to ensure that it’s done properly. But with a little practice you can get used to delegating. Here are a few tips.

Tips for delegating at your business.

1. Ask why you have a tough time delegating.

First off, you need to identify why you’re having a tough time being able to delegate to your employees. What’s holding you back and making you pile everything onto your own plate? Are you worried that the quality of the work isn’t going to be up to scratch? Are you worried that the deadline is going to be missed? Or do you fear that you’re going to have to do the work over if it’s not up to standard? If you don’t understand exactly why you’re not delegating to your team, you won’t be able to address it.

2. Pick what you’re okay with delegating.

So, the next step is that you need to take stock of the tasks on your plate and find the things that you can bear to let go of. You might want to pick smaller tasks that don’t have a lot of potential for catastrophe at first. Once you’ve let go of a smaller task and realized that the world kept spinning, you’ll be ready to relinquish slightly bigger tasks. It’s okay to be gradual about it and take it slow if that helps.

3. Put some thought towards who you want to delegate to.

You also have to put some thought into who you want to delegate to. You have to think about who has the right skill set to handle the task at hand. Is the person you’re thinking about capable of it? And are they able to take it on, meaning do they have the time for it? You don’t want to hand a task to someone who flat doesn’t have the time for it. Will the person be able to do the task without supervision? (It would probably defeat the purpose of delegating, after all.)

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4. Give specific direction.

You need to give clear instruction and direction to your employee when you delegate a task. They need to know what the end product should look like and what the deadlines are. The goals need to be clear to everyone. When will you be checking in to see how everything’s going? What’s the timeline – will you need one check-in or more?

5. Take a step back.

You also need to take a step back and resist the temptation to micromanage the project. Well, not only would that severely irritate the employee, it’ll just make more work for you. There’s a difference between checking in with your team to support them and micromanaging. That’s what it means to delegate, right? It’s important to back off a little.

6. Let the teammate do the work.

Along those same lines, you need to actually let your teammate do the work you’ve delegated to them. Yes, you need to be able to support them and answer questions to help them, but don’t overdo it with the hovering. Try having a set schedule for check-ins so you don’t go overboard with the micromanaging. The employee shouldn’t feel you breathing down their neck.

7. Have accountability.

You also need to have accountability for the work. Take the time to go over the results of the task and the finished product. It’s important to have feedback so you can recognize what went well – and present respectful constructive criticism if you have any comments. You need to talk to your employee and debrief on how the assignment went.

Delegating can be stressful at times. But it’s important for your business and your employees that you get used to it. Your employees can learn new skills while you get to have a helping hand with everything that’s on your plate. It’s a great skill you need to practice.

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