Delegating Responsibility

March 3, 2021

Whether you are new to business or have been doing things by yourself for some time, it can be challenging to consider delegating some of your responsibilities to others. Instead, it is often more “comfortable” making decisions on your own. Yet, it gets to a point where you can either run the business or grow it, but cannot do both successfully.

If you are working with a reduced staff due to hiring challenges or safety requirements, it may be even more important to include strategies to build a better support system within your business.

You may think your employees lack experience, are already too busy, that you cannot trust them to make certain decisions, that mistakes would be too costly, or simply that by the time you explain what needs to get done, you are better off doing it yourself. However, in most cases, delegation is the easiest and most efficient way to get things done. And by being unwilling to delegate, you may be shortchanging your employees in a way that leads to poor performance.

Here are a few factors for you to consider that may help make you more comfortable delegating:

  1. Choose the right person for the task. It is vital to recognize what we do best and what we don’t do as well, and in the same way, you can identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees to help match the task to the best person for it.
  2. It is also a good practice to begin by delegating smaller tasks so that you can better assess the level of expertise and increase delegation over time.
  3. Be flexible in the process. People may approach a task differently than you would. As long as the goal is achieved, the process can be different depending on the individual.
  4. Build-in status updates with checkpoints and goals for the task. Timetables and touchpoints to check on progress are essential for both the entrepreneur and the employee.
  5. Provide feedback, and not only when things go wrong. When a task is well done, as your organization’s leader, you foster an effective collaborative environment when your employees are motivated and willing to give suggestions.

Spreading yourself too thin often has negative consequences for your business overall. Taking a step back and assigning and delegating tasks to others is part of being a good leader and will help increase your employees’ confidence and motivation.

If you need assistance evaluating the skills in your team and designing a plan to allocate your resources better, connect with one of our expert advisors at no cost.

Request Advising

Written by Valeria G. Bisceglia, Connecticut Small Business Development Center Education & Training Programs Advisor