12 Steps to Effective Delegation

Updated: Jan 20

Have you ever found yourself doing tasks that just don’t inspire you?

Have you ever delegated to someone and they didn’t get the job done, didn’t do it how you wanted it ? Didn’t take responsibility?

Without delegation your business won’t grow.

You will be stuck at the level of your own competence and won’t be able to move beyond it.

In most businesses labour is one of the biggest costs.

If you are not delegating effectively you could be wasting thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

Delegating is often avoided because people don’t have a clear strategy.

It doesn’t have to be so hard. Following and practicing the 12 steps below will see you become a master delegator in no time.

There are 12 Steps to Effective Delegation

1. Understand the Processes. Map Them All Out

Mapping processes was the single most effective strategy I ever implemented in my business. Without mapping processes, it is hard to know what to delegate and to who.

This exercise took us about 2 weeks to complete but paid off almost immediately.

Your process map determines every activity from first contact with a lead, through the delivery of service, invoicing, after sales service and every step in between.

Once you are clear on your processes it becomes much easier to delegate.

Consider getting a business coach or consultant in to help with this.

2. Think the Job Through - Focus on Results

It pays to determine the exact result that you want. Think through all the actions steps it will take to get that result. Identify any knowledge gaps you have to get the result you want and find someone who has that knowledge to delegate to. Determine what the delegation will cost you. Work out what higher return activities can you be doing with the freed-up time in order to afford the delegation.

Don’t rush into delegating without thinking it through or it will create stress for you and the person you delegate to.

Ensure that the person you delegate to is clear on the result that needs to be achieved otherwise they may fixate on actions.

Delegating to people who are better than you at the task is the key to growth. Clearly communicate with them the result that you expect.
Allow them to determine the actions that will get the result.

You may also need to delegate to subordinates inside an area of your expertise who are less mature, experienced or skilled. This will require delegating specific actions, however still clearly communicate the desired results.

Determine the abilities of the person before you delegate to them.

3. Systemise & Automate

A software subscription or machine will often cost you far less than a person. Do you need to a person to do this task or can it be automated?

When you have a task you want to delegate it may pay to do a quick google search and see what systems and machines are out there.

The best tasks to automate are repetitive, daily or weekly tasks.

Is it a manual task that doesn’t require problem solving? More than likely there is a system or machine out there that can do the job.

4. Hire The Best

If you can’t automate it and need a person, it is better to hire one great worker than three average workers.

Elon Musk has a team of 48,000 people working for him and personally signs off on every single hire former Tesla recruiter Marissa Peretz told Business Insider December 2017

“He had to approve every single hire,” she told Business Insider. “We had to do written bios on every single person. The janitor. The assemblers. The cafeteria workers.”

Why? Because he is obsessed with attracting world class talent and sees it as a key determinant in realising his vision.

In the book Scaling Up Autor Verne Harnish makes the claim that one great employee can replace three good ones, keeping the total wage to revenue cost competitive.

He recommends attracting the best talent, pay above market rates and invest heavily in training and development to keep their productivity high enough to justify the increased cost.

Delegating to experts allows the business to grow beyond the limited competency of the leader.

5. Determine Abili