The life-changing power of delegation

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Everyone knows how hard it can be to relinquish control over certain tasks. It’s oh-so easy to think that it would be simply be quicker to answer that email, schedule that meeting, contact that supplier, or write that piece of copy yourself. After all, you have the information, you can do it immediately, and you know precisely what you want, so you won’t need to make changes later — right?

This may be true in the short term, but this kind of thinking invites failure in the long run. If your employees and colleagues never have the opportunity to develop their skills in certain areas that you deem “yours”, then they never will — and this means that you’ll forever be stuck handling that task yourself. This might sound like no big deal, but as your company and workload grows, this can become a near-insurmountable issue.

The solution? Delegate, delegate, delegate!

Making one person essential to your company — whether it be you or a team member — is dangerous, and leaves you at risk of losing a key skillset due to illness or circumstance.

Instead, trust your staff. You hired them for a reason! Thoughtfully select the appropriate team member for a particular task, offer them guidance while they find their feet, and support them as the scope of their role grows. Consider how independent that person is, what their aspirations are, their existing workload, their attention to detail, and other related characteristics when gauging their suitability for a given assignment.

This not only saves you time and frees you up for other tasks that genuinely cannot be delegated, but also signals to your staff that you’re invested in their personal development and career trajectory. Given the immense cost and inconvenience associated with high staff turnover rates and the process of on-boarding newbies, this is a win-win for employer and employee alike.

This kind of trust and collaboration also serves to boost morale and improve communication between different teams. For example, on a typical day there might be no need for your IT and marketing teams to communicate, but assigning individuals to diverse projects helps to build new connections and personal relationships within a workforce — and allows everyone involved to learn new skills. As an added bonus, collaboration between teams inspires creativity. The more minds, the better!

How well do you delegate? If you’re interested in finding out more, mindtools have a handy quiz to help you evaluate how well — or how badly — you’re currently delegating. If you’re feeling brave, why not give it a try?