In the last week, how much work have you done that could or should have been delegated? Having spent more than ten years working with both executives and assistants, we know that the success of such partnerships often hinges on delegation, or the lack thereof. To ensure you’re on the right side of that equation, follow these eight steps.
1. Recognise your employee’s ability
We work with EAs and PAs who are highly educated, have great people skills, understand the needs of their managers and are committed to the field and eager to learn. If you have a great assistant, it’s essential to use her strengths. When you hire a new PA, take some time to have a coffee and get to know one another. Understanding her abilities and approach will allow you to delegate with confidence.
2. Let go of small tasks
Perhaps the biggest barrier to delegation is the belief that “it’s quicker to do it myself.” This may be true in the individual instance, but over time small tasks take up your valuable time and energy. So next time you’re about to quickly book a flight or arrange a meeting yourself, consciously let go of that responsibility. If nothing else, your assistant is trained for tasks like these and will possibly do a better job than you would.
3. Allow staff to develop skills
Often managers don’t delegate because they believe that their staff don’t have the experience or skills needed. However, instead of carrying out the task yourself, find a training course or ask another employ to act as a mentor for your new hire. This will increase your team’s competence and enhance employee engagement.
4. Accept imperfection
Unsurprisingly, perfectionists often have trouble delegating. If you feel the need to control every task, realise that overall your productivity is falling and you are achieving fewer goals because you are giving equal weight to every task; even the relatively unimportant ones. Strive for excellence rather than perfection and your team will get more done.
5. Carry out reviews
Having delegated important tasks, take some time to meet with your assistant and review how you both feel the work went. This allows you to flag areas you feel could be improved and your assistant to highlight any training or additional resources they need to do a good job.
6. Reward success
Delegation can be daunting for your employee as well, so when she performs especially well remember to thank her for her work. This will increase her confidence when working independently and improve output.
7. Acknowledge successes
It’s important to reward your employees when they perform well, but you should also remember to reward yourself. Be mindful of delegation successes and assess how your work was improved as a result. This will put your mind at ease when delegating in future.
At the end of the day, delegation requires you to trust in the abilities and qualifications of other people. You dedicated time and resources to finding the right person for the job, now it’s time to loosen your grip on the reins and allow them to flourish.
Till next time,