4 Telltale Signs That Tell You To Start Delegating Work
Updated: Apr 15, 2019
In most industries, we hear people at work say “I have a lot on my plate right now” more often than we can count. And at some point, when tasks pile up at a faster pace than those we accomplish, we find ourselves mumbling those words, too. Yet, we end up taking the heat when things don’t go as planned or when all unaccomplished work add up, the business suffers. Then it hits us: “I should have delegated this to somebody”.
How do we know when it’s time to pass on work to someone else? Below you will find 4 relatable scenarios that prompt executives to seek help from a colleague, a subordinate, or at times, outsource to a third-party service provider.
1. The company stops growing
The very essence of sharing responsibility over tasks and projects is to avoid the risk of stunting the growth of your company, as well as your team’s. You’ve worked hard to get your business started. And in the early stages you’re used to doing everything by yourself and you find it rewarding to be able to do so. This is a good thing – up to an extent.
When you find yourself buried in a pile of paperwork to review and sign, or projects come in faster than you are able to finish at least one, it is high time that you hand off the tedious tasks you’re used to doing by yourself.
Knowing when to let go means getting the time to see the bigger picture and be able to focus on what matters most in the business so that you can make better, and informed business decisions to grow better.
2. Employees feel undervalued
When you take care of your people, they take care of the business. How do you make sure they are engaged? When you keep the most important projects to yourself, it doesn’t just take up too much of your time. It also leaves your most valuable employees feel as though you don’t trust their capabilities well. And as a leader, you don’t want that to happen.
As with all matters of a business, it is of vital importance that leaders of a company understand that when they let their team take the reins, it develops the team professionally and gives them a sense of job fulfillment.
Make yourself available enough for them consult you or ask questions if they need to – but not to a point where you’re still running the game. Instead, ask them how they would like to do it, trust in their way – and let them flourish by letting them do their job. You’ll be surprised. Best part is, that’s a plus point to your employee retention.
3. You use the “band-aid” method to resolve issues
We’re all familiar with this scenario: one of our customers complained about a product or a service. Our most immediate response? Issue a refund and apologize. Did it solve the problem? Perhaps. But did the response ensure you’re not going to run into the same problem in the future? Definitely not.
This is where analytics, re-visiting your internal processes that are involved in the outcome that resulted to the complaint, and re-evaluating the key performance indicators of your customer service come into play. What are your metrics as far as resolving an issue from an external customer as well as internal ones?
When you only have time to solve one problem at a time and you often find yourself doing the short-term solution (or the band-aid method) more often than not, it is a strong indication that you are not having enough time to plan ahead, and devise long-term solutions for problems that arise in your company.
4. A gap among team members
Just like all the previous scenarios above, unfortunately, I’ve seen this unfold in my previous company. As the company was approaching 5 years into the business, I, along with other leadership members of the company, have been observing a disconnect among team members within the company about a few company protocols. The root cause of this? There hasn’t been any management meeting in a few weeks because top management were too busy doing projects on their own that they have neglected the day-to-day operations.
While it’s totally normal to have disagreements within the office every now and then, it usually doesn’t cause a huge gap among team members when everyone is aligned with the company goals and standards. As the company grows, so should the goals and standards.
When the leaders aren’t able to align these with the all levels of team members of the company, it creates a disconnect among teams and thus, causes friction and unnecessary debacles when two sides aren’t able to see eye to eye.
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules as to determining whether to hand off tasks or projects to your colleagues, or a third-party agency. But when you do experience more than one of the above-mentioned situations within the walls of your office, it’s a telltale sign you may be due for some delegation of work.