When it comes to delegating, these are the top 3 challenges I hear from my clients. (I shared some strategies to help with the first two challenges in previous eblasts, so be sure to check out the links below if you missed them.)
- Who do I delegate to? My staff is already overloaded.
- How do I make sure that person I delegate to actually does it right?
- I just don’t have time to explain it, and answer all the questions . . . it’s quicker to do it all myself!!!
Now – for the BIG one . . . TIME!
You know that if you delegate just a ½ hour of work each day you’ll gain a full workday by the end of the month.
Yet delegating takes time, and often it can feel as if you’ve doubled (or even tripled) the time invested between explaining how to do the task and then answering question after question after question after question.
So, what’s the answer?
Delegate the OUTCOME . . . not the TASK.
I was recently working with the board of a non-profit organization and the board members kept sharing how frustrated they were. They were struggling to delegate the work to volunteers because they felt they didn’t have strong enough processes to share. If they hadn’t figured out exactly the easiest way to do the task, how could they explain the task to someone else?
Answer: YOU DON’T!
You delegate the outcome instead.
It is the difference between asking someone to make six phone calls each month to check on member satisfaction, and asking someone to be responsible for making sure members are engaged and happy.
In the first scenario the volunteer…
- will come back and ask for a script…
- then she may come back and ask what to do if someone expresses frustration over something the organization is doing…
- then there may be a question about what to do if the person doesn’t answer the phone – should she leave a message, follow up with an email, call again?
When you delegate the outcome of making sure members are engaged and happy – the volunteer can…
- decide on her own script…
- troubleshoot challenges with the membership…
- decide on a communication policy that demonstrates that the organization cares. (She knows the goal is to make sure members are engaged and happy.)
When the person you delegate to comes back with a lot of questions, it means that you haven’t explained the outcome you are looking for well enough.
They aren’t sure exactly what to do, because they aren’t sure exactly what you need.
But when you share the outcome they have an idea of the parameters you want them to work within.
Now, does this mean that when you delegate the outcome people won’t ask questions?
Not necessarily! There will still be questions, but I guarantee the questions will be fewer when you allow people to take ownership of the process.
Fewer questions = more time saved!
What could you gain if you had an extra work day each month? Comment below and let me know!
And if you’d like to explore how this would work in your own business, schedule a complimentary Productivity Breakthrough Session!