The Importance of Delegation for Your Small Business
DECEMBER 4, 2012 BY LANCE TREBESCH
Whether you own a large corporation or a small business, chances are you can’t be everywhere at once. Imagine that, right? There is staff to manage, payroll to take care of, inventory to keep track of, business planning that needs to take place, and analysis that needs to be done, among many other things.
Taking care of all this may seem like a good idea as you’re just starting off, but as your company grows, you are going to see that you have less and less time to devote to each of the fields that need attention. You’ll begin to feel that you are working beyond your capacity, and this hurts everyone and everything at the company. Tasks can get overlooked, and speed, instead of attentiveness, may begin to hinder the overall product. And when you run a successful business, there is no field that can go untouched on a given day – no stone can go unturned, as they say.
This is where delegation, or the allocation of tasks to subordinates in the workplace, is your best bet to pay attention to those areas that really need your attention. Caesar had it right: Divide and conquer.
But it is really multiplying to conquer, in this case. By delegating work, you are multiplying yourself, creating extensions of yourself, allowing employees to take on some of the responsibility for handling tasks.
Four Key Aspects of Delegation
1. Allow yourself the time to take care of the important tasks
The most important part of delegating work to employees is that you, the owner or manager, can take care of the most important tasks at your business, such as planning, business strategy, business analysis, etc. With this concentration of effort on primary concerns of the company, the effectiveness of the company as a whole goes up, and people are able to work more efficiently.
2. Creating hierarchy
Many small businesses are now taking a more relaxed approach to the management system. This is good for keeping employee morale high, but it can also blur the lines of hierarchy and what employees are responsible for, as well as who they are supposed to report to.
Delegation creates a hierarchy within the company, which is important to creating authority and a system of responsibility. If employees know they have someone to answer to, other than their overworked owner/manager, they are more likely to complete tasks to the fullest of their ability. This authority runs from top to bottom, which creates relationships based on results, and that, in turn, creates a highly efficient company.
3. Maximizing employee potential
Not only does delegation help the manager or owner of the company keep the larger company affairs in order, it helps the staff feel as if they a part of the decision making process. It allows the cream rise to the top, so to speak, which allows the employees to flourish and grow within your company.
But, it’s motivation here that is the key. When employees are given more important work to do – work that they feel makes a difference in the company – they are motivated to provide positive results. This isn’t just for management positions or those in positions of authority. This trickles down through all the employees of the business. The idea of promotions and rising through that hierarchy is a great way to keep employees motivated.
And it is that motivation and ability to contribute that creates job satisfaction. Retaining quality employees is the hallmark to any successful business. If you have happy employees that can get the job done when they need to get it done, your company – and employees – will flourish. They’ll have the opportunity to develop their talents and skills, as well as work on their weaknesses. This is also true for all employees. Those in management positions are allowed to work on their communication skills, decision-making, supervision, motivation skills, and guidance.
This is how leadership is tested, and vetted, by you.
4. Help your company grow
When work is delegated throughout the company, you have more time to take care of important tasks, as was noted earlier. But this also creates an opportunity to develop and grow the company, as well.