Asking an employee to screen your calls or inventory company supplies is not delegating. Delegating is not about giving away simple and easy tasks; it's about assigning meaty or challenging jobs. No wonder, then, that some entrepreneurs find delegation hard as it implies trust, responsibility, and empowerment--all leading to some loss of control and decision-making powers. What if the employee should mess things up?
But learning the art of letting go is a must, and simply because you can't do everything yourself. Effective delegation allows you to trim your to-do list and to focus on your real priorities (planning, organizing, goal setting and creative thinking) while challenging and empowering your employees without your having to relinquish total control. The key to getting results is in knowing how to delegate properly. Here's how:
1. Decide what responsibilities to delegate. The rule of thumb when delegating is to encourage initiative and get the work done to keep your business running in your absence. Marife Fuentes learned to rely on two assistants to manage her party-favor boutique after she won approval to operate another business. "Kung hindi ako magtitiwala sa kanila (If i will not trust them), I wouldn't be able to concentrate on my [canteen] business," she says. What she does to get a handle on things is to drop by the boutique once a day and to text and call to keep in touch.
2. Decide whom to delegate to. Liza Almonte, owner of ProQuest Publishing Inc., publisher of PortCalls, a shipping and freight-forwarding newspaper, attributes most delegating failures to choosing the wrong people. You make a big mistake when you assign something beyond an employee's ability to do or would make his or her workload too much to handle. Still, it behooves you to train everyone on your team for bigger responsibilities. Delegating tasks to only those people you feel you can depend on will create resentment among those you pass over.