The Effects of Delegation in Business
“There are graveyards full of people who thought they were indispensable.”
— Karl Siebrecht, TAB Member and Manager of 35 Left Studios
If you have trouble delegating, you’re not alone. Most business owners say delegating administrative tasks is something they need to work on as a business owner.
One reason delegation is important is that it saves you time. But another big reason is that it builds trust within the organization.
How? When your employees and managers understand that you trust them with responsibilities, they will respond in kind. Employees have skills, they have opinions, they have ideas and they want to use them. When you delegate responsibility to an employee, you are telling that person: “I trust you.” Most will step up to the challenge, and when they deliver it will deepen the bond of trust between you.
Yet many business owners fail to foster a culture of trust with their employees by refusing to delegate — maybe out of a desire to maintain control or out of impatience. Building trust through delegating, on the other hand, requires ongoing diligence. And it is certainly worth the effort.
Don’t confuse delegating tasks with delegating responsibility. What’s the difference? When a task is done, the process stops until the next task is assigned. Responsibility, on the other hand, never ends.
Picking up tools, sweeping floors and taking out the trash are all tasks. Maintaining a safe work environment, on the other hand, is a responsibility. When you habitually assign and emphasize responsibilities, the tasks take care of themselves.
One place business owners often slip up when delegating responsibilities is being unwilling to empower employees to make decisions related to those responsibilities. Yet employees won’t feel fully trusted until they have that empowerment.
Start by understanding why an employee makes a certain decision, which will help you understand their thought processes and learn to trust their judgment. When your trust of their decisions becomes practice, they will be empowered to act more quickly, and your company will grow much faster.
Build a culture of trust by delegating responsibility and empowering employees to make decisions. Remember, you can’t grow the company by yourself.
“Delegation not only frees me up to do more strategic and important things, it makes me that much more available to my clients. I can respond from anywhere at any time. I have worked hard to develop and maintain the attitude that I need not be “in my office” to do what I do. Once you accomplish successful delegation, you too can benefit from this freeing yet effective mindset.”
— Anson Ross Thompson, CEO of The Thompson Group
Learn more about building a strong culture of trust by contacting us at (973) 540-0444.