The difficult business environment has me thinking about productivity in the workplace, about doing more with less. In my experience, a key to improved productivity is the application of bottleneck remover or, said another way, delegate.
Productivity is nice, but delegation can be scary.
“What if they don’t do what I want done the way I want it done?”
“It’s faster if I just do it myself.”
“There’s nobody else with the skills and experience needed to do this job.”
Scary or not, delegation is important to improved productivity.
By harnessing your staff, by utilizing them to their maximum you win on several levels: with improved productivity, your ROI on salary expense improves (revenue per employee is orders of magnitude higher in high-performance companies), your employees are happier because they are being appreciated for their knowledge and skill and are being fully utilized, and your customers are happy, and happy customers are valuable customers, because they are getting better, faster service.
Having happy employees and happy customers, leads to huge productivity improvements and growth. Improve your delegation skills to do more and get more, with less.
- Be clear and specific. Be sure your staff understands both the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of the task being delegated, and the schedule.
- Don’t confuse different with wrong. Let your staff find their own way. You might learn something.
- Don’t be a helicopter parent. Give your staff the room and resources (time and space, and training, money, tools, etc.) they need to be successful.
- Make yourself available. Be a support resource, offer your expertise and experience but resist the impulse to do it yourself.
- Accept that thing go wrong. Inject yourself into the process frequently but gently, especially with a new resource, to course correct as required. Now go back and read the second and third points.
- Resist the guilt trip. “They are doing the work and all I’m doing is supervising.” You are doing something very important, you are creating the time you need to think about the next opportunity. You are also giving them the knowledge and experience they need to replace you. Scary isn’t it.