How to grow your business? Delegate, delegate, delegate. Here’s why:
One of the biggest challenges facing any artisan (or anyone who loves their job) who decides to grow their business, is that you actually have to stop doing your job.
By this we mean that to grow it is very important to understand how fundamental it is to stop centralising all the tasks on your own shoulders and – increasingly – dedicate yourself to training your team to take ownership and become more autonomous.
This is empowerment: the art of finding the best role for each member of the company based on their native capabilities and characteristics. In addition to this, it is also important to identify competent collaborators who can play strategic roles, replacing (or optimally supporting) the founder.
“If your business depends on you, you don’t own a business – you have a job. And it’s the worst job in the world because you’re working for a lunatic.” – Michael Gerber
Delegation works both internally, towards employees, and externally, towards professionals who provide operational support. The company that hires consultants and agencies, but then fails to rely on their professional capabilities, is wasting money, opportunities, resources and time.
This time would be better invested in a careful search for the right partner, and then entrusting them with the more strategic tasks: vision, control, research and development.
Delegation inwards not only frees up the entrepreneur’s time, allowing them to dedicate themselves to activities that use their know-how more productively, it also creates improvement across the entire team.
Empowering and making the people who work for the company autonomous leads them to express and improve their creativity and problem-solving skills.
Empowerment also means pushing staff to do more and abandon mediocrity, removing the usual role of safety net fulfilled by the entrepreneur, who assumes all responsibility with the aim of remaining in control.
It also increases motivation: giving the team responsibility means trusting in their competence, provide new stimuli and allowing freedom of execution.
To delegate, it is essential to stop giving specific tasks or assignments to staff, and assign objectives instead.
The team must then be evaluated based on the achievement of results and these objectives.
Delegation is not only the prerogative of the entrepreneur, but of every manager and middle manager within the company: the culture of delegation must, in fact, exist at every level.
This means that every manager must be able to delegate tasks that do not fit strictly into their duties to their collaborators (employees or external consultants). In this way, managers will also have more time to devote to more strategic and fundamental activities such as vision and monitoring of results, but also relationships with customers and stakeholders.
Learning to delegate means becoming coaches for your team: focusing on moulding the skills of each person, identifying and solving any weak points. This creates fertile ground for development and greater satisfaction.
Making team members accountable also means teaching them to make decisions without passing them upwards, to take risks, to learn from their mistakes. It means encouraging them to focus on truly effective and strategic tasks, not toiling under possibly outdated practices.
Remember, in order to delegate it is important to:
1) Assign objectives to be achieved, not tasks to be performed;
2) Establish a precise method of work;
3) Establish regular updating (checkpoints);
4) Always provide feedback;
5) Give employees the authority necessary to achieve the objectives;
6) Set clear objectives and precise evaluation criteria;
7) Ensure that the team is properly trained, understand any gaps.
Are you delegating?
If you’d like to find out more, write to us!