Delegating Tasks to Team Members
There is a simple reason I don’t drive when our team is heading to and from jobs. It is not because I don’t enjoy the tranquility of the roadway. It is simply because my abilities are better allocated to various tasks that I can complete during the drive.
Strengths and Weaknesses
I delegate the task of driving to my husband; my skills are best utilized in my areas of expertise—business management, marketing, administrative work and any other productive task to keep the business running. Having a team to work with increases the number of jobs we can complete. But to achieve efficiency, I must delegate each member to tasks aligning with their skill sets.
To delegate is to trust someone with a task or responsibility. This can be hard for business owners when they feel like that trust hasn’t been “earned” and even more so when they’ve experienced that trust broken in the past. This is because the business’ survival is the owner’s responsibility. Their decisions determine if the company is successful or not.
But what is delegation, and how can we use it to induce proficiency and create a positive work culture? Delegation is very different than demanding compliance and sending out a to-do list of the things you don’t want to do. It can very well be the things we love doing that we must entrust to someone else.
Delegation can build trust and communication within a team and improve creativity and skills. It can create a productive work environment and improve efficiency. Assigning tasks allows business owners to focus on higher-level activities that other team members aren’t slotted for. It can empower your team and help them feel valued within the business, which indicates that they may stay with the company for a longer time. Delegation is not simply assigning someone a task and “seeing how it goes.” Effective delegation takes thoughtfulness, planning and an open mind.
Trusting the Process
Each team member has solid traits and skills. If you’ve ever worked in a team or led a group, it is clear that everyone has different strengths. Someone who is not a great speaker shouldn’t be responsible for answering the phones or going out to do consultations alone. This can be debilitating and discouraging, even to someone with the desire to learn this new skill.
Identify your team member’s skills and strengths, and you will likely be more successful when delegating assignments paired with those strengths. I suggest having your team do a personality assessment from outside resources such as Wonderlic. It can help you avoid costly mistakes someone will likely make and allow you to give them guidance if you know certain areas require more attention.
I did this test, and it advised that I am a person who can be hasty and skip over details. I remind myself of this each time I am tempted to skip minor steps that can be critical in certain circumstances, like a customer claiming damage on their vehicle when I regretfully failed to note the existing damage during check-in.
Be very concise on the expectations and objectives of the responsibility you are delegating and be willing to provide the tools and training necessary for them to succeed. No one is productive when they question or doubt themselves on what is expected. If you aren’t equipping your team with the tools and knowledge they need for specific tasks or responsibilities, you won’t get the desired results. Equipping your team with the skills and knowledge they need takes time, training and effective mentorship.