Are you frequently overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done at the office and wish that you could delegate some tasks to lighten the load? Unfortunately, most of us get caught up in the hectic pace of day-to-day life and don’t delegate effectively. When this happens, the opportunity is missed, to not only to give your team a chance to shine, but to allow yourself to focus on the bigger picture…multiplying your results and growing your business.
What’s holding you back from delegating more to your team? Here are three of the most common objections:
- By the time I explain everything and delegate, I could have just done the task myself.
- I worry that something will be missed and fall through the cracks.
- I’m too busy to take the time to delegate.
The truth is that effective delegation helps you multiply your results by freeing up everyone’s time to focus on the right things. It also improves the collaboration and communication within your team as they work to get things done more quickly.
But before that can happen, the “3 Cs of Delegation” must be in place:
- Confidence – You believe that you can let go and delegate because you have someone fully trained to do the task.
- Competence – The team member to whom you will delegate is properly trained and knows how to get the job done.
- Continuity – There is a step-by-step process outlined, the tasks are correctly prioritized, and the process is embedded into the team member’s workflow moving forward.
There are two types of delegation. You can delegate a repetitive process with multiple steps or you can delegate day-to-day tasks. How and what you delegate will depend on the type of tasks that need to get done and the staff you have In place who are available to complete them.
Let’s look at the repetitive process first. Repetitive tasks should be embedded within a process so that the team member(s) working on them can check off the steps as they are completed, assuring that nothing will be accidentally skipped.
We’ve developed the Multi-Step Delegation Tool, along with a Process Guide, to help you outline all the steps necessary to complete a task. Make sure that the steps are written in such a way that anyone can pick up the tool and follow them. You can download the Multi-Step Delegation Tool Process Guide here.
Day-to-day tasks are those things that come up during a regular day that a team member already knows how to do. Even though these are “routine” processes and requests for your team, there are still ways to improve your communication so there is no confusion and you get the expected results.
The tricky part is, there are so many ways to delegate – email, mobile assistant, verbally, via phone call, passing in the hallway, etc. Talk about causing confusion! Most people utilize multiple methods and often are not completely clear about what outcome they are desiring. Delegating in several formats slows your team down and forces them to cross-check requests from multiple sources. Instead, we recommend that you select one primary type of delegation. Most advisors find a Mobile Dictation system to be the most convenient and effective. Choosing one form of delegation makes life easier for your team and helps you get those requests out of your head and into your team’s hands more efficiently.
As the delegations from the single source flow to your team, they can stay better organized by adding them to one to-do list. The most effective to-do lists will be categorized with headers. If the team can review one list and prioritize accordingly, their productivity will increase dramatically. This will help create continuity and prevent things from slipping through the cracks.
To close the delegation loop, each time your team member completes a task that has been delegated they should let you know. A daily wrap-up email will keep you updated and eliminate a plethora of emails and interruptions, The team member can transfer completed tasks from the to-do list to the daily wrap-up email.
This allows you to check it off of your mental list, and you won’t have to track them down to get the status. Some advisors use CRM systems with workflows and follow-ups built in, which allows them to see what tasks are complete and what is still outstanding. If this is the case, then a daily report from the CRM should be sent to you. This will give you the confidence that your delegation has been effective and things are being done by a competent team member.
Your team may have some objections when you start implementing these ideas, perhaps thinking that you don’t trust them to accomplish the tasks that you’ve assigned to them or feeling like you are adding more busy work to their day. Make sure they understand that putting these processes in place will improve communications and efficiency for everyone. For example, their jobs will be easier when you’re delegating with a single method instead of multiple methods. Your clients’ needs will be met without anything falling through the cracks. You’ll stop bothering them with questions and emails about whether something was done. And it will give them the opportunity to shine and show you how much they accomplish.
To summarize, here are a few Delegation Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind:
- Commit to delegating in one format
- Keep processes up to date
- Use a template when delegating to keep you on track
- Provide parameters on how much time should be sent on research
- Expect people to read your mind
- Delegate at the last minute
- Delegate in various formats
- Underestimate how long a task will take to complete
By adopting the 3 Cs of Delegation – Confidence, Competence and Continuity – you CAN multiply your results! Your team productivity will go up, they will feel empowered, your confidence level will rise, and you will be able to focus on the strategic planning that will take your firm to the next level.
While you’re on the go, listen to our podcast for more insight on how you can delegate and grow your business in the process.
If you have further questions, complete the form below to get in touch with one of our business development experts today.