Poor delegation can have a devastating rippling effect on your team, causing frustration and under performance. More importantly, over time, it will negatively impact your bottom line.
Delegating isn’t easy. If you’re having problems delegating effectively, it is possible to overcome them. Here are three effective steps to addressing poor delegation with your team.
1. Communicate Your Concerns
If you’ve noticed a decline in your team’s productivity, don’t automatically assume the problem is their fault. Perhaps your style of delegation could use some refining, but your team isn’t comfortable bringing it to your attention.
Before meeting with your team, jot down your concerns. Common problems that may need to be addressed include stress, the inability to meet deadlines, and missed opportunities.
For instance, let’s say your small business has hired two new employees. Yet your company can’t seem to stay ahead of the same number of orders from last quarter. When you talk to your employees, you’ll need to identify the reason behind why hiring more people isn’t helping their workload.
Also be prepared to offer solutions to potential problems. Your employees will have questions and you should have answers. It’s possible an employee may say your instructions are too specific and that’s what’s hindering the workload. And your response will be to simplify your process. Or maybe you’re a micromanager, who needs to step back and be a little less hands-on.
2. Ask for Feedback
Communicating your concerns is the easy part, getting honest feedback isn’t. Often employees don’t want to rock the boat, so they remain quiet, even when they’re “drowning.”
To put your team at ease and get them to open up, arrange for the type of meeting that will make them the most comfortable. If they’re extroverts, go with an informal group meeting.
If they lean more toward introverts, go with one-on-one meetings. Depending on the size of your company, you could provide an anonymous online survey. (A word of caution: small businesses may not be able to pull off anonymity.)
When asking for feedback, prompt your team with questions that emphasize how can you make x, y, and z better for them (e.g. If I changed mandatory meetings from three times a week to once a week, would that work better for all of you?) Then sit back and listen.
Employees who know their bosses listen will be more receptive when it comes to sharing their own opinions and suggestions.
Don’t get lax once issues have been addressed. Periodically check in with your team to see how those implemented changes are going. Arrange for a team breakfast or lunch, or if your team is remote, use Skype.
Whether it’s every month, every other month, or once per quarter, let them know you’re here for them and will do whatever it takes to keep things running smoothly. Your goal is to delegate more effectively, and to do that you’ll need consistent communication and feedback from your team.