Podcast Episode #25

Written by Scaleocity

On December 21, 2022
In today’s issue of Entrepreneur to Employer, our topic is near and dear to me, and it is the fear of delegation. To guide you through the concerns of delegation, I will give you a 3-part framework to push through the fear and start delegating.
Do not be that entrepreneur that lets the fear of delegation hold back your business growth in 2023. Instead, run these three plays, implement a system for delegation and grow your business.

The Fear of Delegation

A difficulty commonly faced by business owners trying to expand and evolve their business is the fear of delegating, the fear of allowing their team to start taking on tasks and responsibilities.

Naturally, there is a sense of insecurity in not personally overseeing an important task, right? What if it does not finished correctly or to your standard? What if it is not the quality work that you expect? As a business owner, that fear of delegation will hold you, your company, and your employees back.

Delegating, when done strategically, can lower your business risk factor. By delegating, you are avoiding burning yourself out and you eliminate yourself as the single point of failure.

Real control in your business comes from both proper risk management, and appropriate control release. So, let’s get into how to change your approach to delegation and start maximizing the performance of your team.

Identify Where to Focus

It is impossible to successfully delegate unless you identify the actions to which your time and focus should be directed to achieve maximum impact.

For most business owners, your highest value is strategic thinking, identifying business opportunities, building partnerships and relationships, developing sales prospects, and specific elements of the operation that support all of it.

It is quite common to realize that essential activities get overlooked, due to their absorption into the less significant, operational aspects. Plainly stated, “working in your business instead of working on your business.”

Tasks like payroll, spreadsheets, and customer service, are things you can start getting off your plate, and you might realize that the person you delegate it to does it better than you. Everything that is outside your core strengths and value contribution gets delegated.

Make a specific list and identify the key activities that require your relentless focus and where you can make the biggest impact to the company, your employees, and your customers.

Focus on three to five key activities, write them down, and anything outside this list you can consider as of lower impact. Lower impact does not mean insignificant, as activities such as bookkeeping, accurate financials, and payroll are important. It does mean that the day-to-day handling of activities outside of your core strengths should be delegated.

Identify the Fear

Vague feelings of discomfort will stop you from moving forward. Identifying and addressing the issue, allows you to break through to the next level. There are three prevalent fears when it comes to delegating.

One common fear is the fear of work not getting completed. Worrying that tasks that you hand off will not be completed, resulting in missed deadlines or displeased customers is a fear that will stop you in your tracks. This fear forces you to continually manage everything.

A second common fear is a fear the work will not meet the required standard. Worrying that deliverables, products, and outputs will not meet your standards will cause you to continue doing everything yourself.

To ensure the quality of the work delivered to you and your customers meets your standards, it is essential to establish proper training and set clear goals and expectations for your employees to meet.

A third common fear of delegating is the fear of inconveniencing others. Worrying that assigning tasks to your employees will burden or overload them and affect your perception as a likable employer.

If you as the business owner continue to be overworked, this only means things will be done ineffectively and hastily. A situation that will not only personally affect you, but will also seriously interfere with your company’s performance, in the form of lower efficiency, displeased clients, and stalled growth. At the end of the day, your employees are there to work and to help you advance your mission toward success, and you should challenge and push them to grow.

Recognize and analyze what your fear or fears are regarding the delegating process. Putting your fears in writing will give you a clear perspective, help you identify them, and develop a plan to work through each fear.

Minimize the Risk

Create a bullet point list of all the perceived risks, take the opportunity to address each issue, and figure out appropriate safeguards and balances to streamline the process.

For example, to oversee the perceived risk of work not getting done, set up a follow-up system for each task, such as a running list, deliverable review meetings, or a project dashboard. Communication is the key to making sure you know the work is getting done without having to do the work.

I maintain a client project dashboard. An Excel file on Google workspace, keeping track of all our clients and major projects, where employees daily update the progress on their respective tasks. This technique enables me to easily keep track of my team’s work and facilitate internal review and communication on progress. This allows me to manage the perceived risk and make sure it does not become an actual risk.

Another perceived risk is the concern of work not getting done to your standard. To manage this perceived risk, the task will require an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to create a roadmap for the employee to follow. Follow this process –

1. Document the task SOP and be sure to define what an acceptable outcome or work product looks like.

2. Create a training path for the task. The training path can be 1-2-1 training, recorded video snippets, and supporting training documents.

3. Check-Ins: When the task is in the early stages of delegation, schedule regular check-ins to make sure the progress is moving correctly. This ensures that you can help your employee course correct before it’s too late.

The micromanaging of processing and outcomes will decrease as your employees become more familiar with the process of their tasks and quality expectations.

So, what is your best-case outcome from delegating?

Imagine taking an amazing vacation next year because you have a team that can safely and effectively run your business for a week or two.

It is a great feeling when you can take personal time, enjoy life, and enjoy all the demanding work you have put in. And know that you are going to come back to a business that is not only, still there, but doing great.
Summing up, the three steps to overcome your fear of delegation:

Identify Where to Focus
Identify the Fear
Minimize the Risk

3 short lessons that should help you start down the path of delegating and growing your business.

See you next week!

Whenever you are ready, there are three ways I can help you –

1. If you are an entrepreneur looking to build the Best Places to Work Culture, start with an affordable community-based course.

→ Start with our Best Places to Work Operating System for Entrepreneurs course

2. Join the Entrepreneur to Employer community to DIY HR for your company. Get all the HR coaching, collaboration, and HR templates to support your business.

3. Work with the Scaleocity team if you’d like to have us manage all of your HR, Payroll, and HRIS requirements. We will provide you with a dedicated HR Business Partner, Concierge Payroll, and a robust Workforce Hub solution.

About the Newsletter

One actionable tip on hiring employee #1 and beyond, the steps to build your Proactive HR system, and how to develop a high-performing team to help successfully grow your business.

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