Thoroughly assess your responsibilities, and determine which of them can be handled by someone else. At this stage, it is also imperative to assess your team in detail. Consider the workload of each team member, their skill sets, and their reliability. This will help you determine which tasks are suitable to be delegated to each of them.
Once you have decided to allot a particular responsibility to a certain employee, it is necessary to tell them why they have been considered for that particular role. It is also crucial to communicate to them the exact results you are expecting out of the delegation. Clarify the scope of the delegation, and ensure that the employee understands the extent of his authority as far as the new tasks are concerned. Set clear deadlines for the delegated tasks to be completed.
Document all the processes and information necessary for your employees to take on their new roles. This would be immensely helpful to them. Keep adding to this documentation, as and when new processes or information comes up. It is important to keep documentation up-to-date so another employee can take up the task if required.
If your employees need to upgrade some of their skills to take on their new roles, be ready to invest in them. Provide training to them, and help them develop the skills that they require.
The process of delegation can be made easy and more effective with the use of technology. Use technology to share files, schedule meetings or train your employees. Modern technology can be make delegation possible even if a part of your team is located in remote locations.
As your staff gets used to their new responsibilities, it is imperative for you to communicate with them regularly and clearly. Try and understand their problems after you assign new roles, and solve them as best as you can. Guide them as frequently as possible.
Give honest and constructive feedback to your employees on the new tasks that have been delegated to them. Tell them of the problem areas, and how to overcome them. You should also be ready to provide your employees with genuine praise for work that has been done well. Listen with an open mind to what your team members have to say about their new roles, as well.
Avoid reverse delegation
Avoid ‘reverse delegation’ as far as possible. Reverse delegation refers to the process of the employees returning the task to the manager, unfinished, on account of lack of time or clarity or other reasons. Encourage your team to try and solve issues on their own, and get the task finished.
Delegation can only work effectively when there is an atmosphere of trust in the organisation. Spend time on creating such a structure. Make your employees feel like they are a part of the organisation, that they are trusted, and that their feedback will be welcomed and acted upon. You, as a small business owner, should genuinely trust your employees, which will communicate itself to them.