Delegating can be tough! You want your team members to take ownership of the role, yet they can’t read your mind.
So, how can you make the process easier?
First – think about the task or project. Is it a repeatable, process-driven task or is it more nuanced?
Once you figure out an easy way to capture a process, moving those repeatable tasks off your plate is not difficult.
The nuanced tasks, the ones where the person you are delegating to needs to make decisions, think outside the box, and make a leap – those are tougher! YOU instinctively know what you want to do – but it’s hard to explain to someone else how to think like you.
The goal is for the employee to take ownership – to stay 5 steps ahead of you – but how when all the info is in your head???
One of the ways to help your employees be more autonomous and take ownership of the project is to create some boundaries – or guardrails – around where they can make decisions. Having guardrails allows you to take a step back and not micromanage, and allows their confidence to increase as they successfully handle more and more responsibility.
Here are some guidelines for creating guardrails:
- Money – What is the threshold for you to feel comfortable with them making decisions? Example: You cannot accept a one-off, custom request for a customer below $1500.
- Timing – Do you have restrictions on days of the week, time of day, length of time for response, and length of time for projects? Example: You can pivot the FB ads project in 30 days if you don’t see at least 10 new opt-ins.
- VIP – Are there any people that must have your attention? Example: Respond to all clients except the VIP clients, which I’ll handle personally.
Delegating nuanced tasks is not an all-or-nothing process. Think about creating guardrails as a way to take 70% of the guesswork out – knowing you’ll still need to give guidance on 30%.
Over time you create more guardrails around more and more tasks so your team members can handle the majority of them without your input. And then you and your team will continue adding guardrails as new activities arise.
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