I work with a lot of small busi­ness own­ers whose ulti­mate goal is to work less and make more mon­ey.  These same busi­ness own­ers are also involved in a lot of the day to day oper­a­tions of the busi­ness.  How can some­one work less when they are so involved?  The answer is easy…delegation!

Del­e­ga­tion is defined by Mer­ri­am-Web­ster as the act of empow­er­ing to act for anoth­er.  Empow­er­ing is a key com­po­nent of del­e­ga­tion.  With prop­er train­ing and process­es in place, own­ers are empow­er­ing their employ­ees to do their job well so that they can step away.  Once work is del­e­gat­ed to com­pe­tent employ­ees, the own­er needs to keep in mind the goal of work­ing less and let them do their job.

As a moth­er of two boys, I am find­ing it hard to let go, let them be inde­pen­dent and to let them make mis­takes.  As I am teach­ing them life skills I must keep remind­ing myself that just because they are not doing it the way I would (load­ing the dish­wash­er, putting clothes away, etc.), they are still get­ting the job done.  If I get frus­trat­ed and begin doing these things myself again, they are nev­er going to learn.  Over time they do get bet­ter.  As you are del­e­gat­ing things, you must keep this in mind.  If you cor­rect their mis­takes with­out them know­ing or con­tin­ue to do their job for them out of frus­tra­tion you are in no bet­ter shape than you were before you del­e­gat­ed.  The next time an employ­ee comes to you with a ques­tion on how to do the job you del­e­gat­ed to them, ask them first what they think the solu­tion is.  They will be amazed to know that they can solve the issue them­selves. This will empow­er them.

Let­ting go of the day to day oper­a­tions while still being held account­able for the out­come is dif­fi­cult for most busi­ness own­ers to do.  Be sure to sched­ule times to touch base with your employ­ees.  This is just a chance to check in and see how things are going.  Hav­ing these sched­uled times will help to avoid the desire to micro­man­age.  My expe­ri­ence is that peo­ple micro­man­age when they are not con­fi­dent that some­thing is being done prop­er­ly.  If you have the right peo­ple for the job and pro­vide them with prop­er train­ing and they per­form well, there is no rea­son to not feel con­fi­dent.  If your con­fi­dence lev­el does decrease, be sure to meet with your employ­ees to deter­mine the root cause of the issue and pro­vide feed­back.  Do not take back the task!

When del­e­gat­ing tasks make sure that you are con­sis­tent.  Avoid del­e­gat­ing when you are over­loaded or when a task is unpleas­ant.  By doing this you are not empow­er­ing your employ­ees, you are only mak­ing them a cog in the wheel.  This caus­es frus­tra­tion on all sides.

As a busi­ness own­er you should look at your dai­ly tasks and deter­mine what things can be del­e­gat­ed and begin the process of let­ting it go now!  This will allow more time to do more impor­tant things, like deter­min­ing where you would like to go for your next get away!