Divide and Conquer – The Art of Delegation

Many business owners – especially when they’re just starting out – feel like they have to do everything themselves. They understandably want to be in charge of every single aspect of the company, from the marketing work to HR, from writing business plans to checking stock and a million other things besides. No task is too small to be looked at in minute detail; after all, they don’t want their business to fail.

License: Creative Commons image source
License: Creative Commons image source

The Importance of Delegation

While it is obviously important to keep track of your business as a whole, it can be practically impossible to focus on every little element of the day-to-day running of the company; there’s no way that a single person can do everything – and still keep their sanity. Important jobs can need a lot of time spent on them in order to do them well, and if you’re trying to do too much, your work will suffer for it. That’s when the art of delegation – allocating jobs to others in your company – comes into play.

Delegation isn’t simply a get-out-clause, a way of shirking your responsibilities or escaping from your obligations; it is an incredibly useful tool which – when implemented properly – can help your company to improve and grow. In dividing your tasks, you will conquer more at the end of each business day. Some people feel that if they are delegating, they are somehow cheating or failing to fulfil their role as manager or owner of the business. This simply isn’t true; with spreading the work around, you not only end up utilising your own skills to their fullest advantage, but you also create a better working environment for your employees.

Employee Morale

No one wants a high turnover of staff, and if you want to avoid having to interview for a new sales assistant or administrator every few months, it is vital that you keep employee morale up and make your company a nice, satisfying, place to work. Giving them more tasks and responsibilities can help with this. For example, instead of being in charge of boosting sales over the whole company yourself, give each staff member a particular product or area to track and improve on. People like being appreciated for what they do, but they like seeing good, solid results even more.

If your business is doing well, stress levels will no doubt be kept to a minimum – and people who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be productive and efficient in their work. If the manager is concentrating on the really important business tasks instead of spreading themselves too thin doing all the little things, the business is more likely to benefit. As the staff start to see the company getting more successful, they can share in the pride of the achievement and will want to ensure the continuation of the accomplishment. They helped get the company to where it is today; they have a stake in it now and want to see it do well – just as much as the boss does.

Business Hierarchy

The use of delegation also creates a clear-cut hierarchy where perhaps there wasn’t one before (this can sometimes be the case with particularly small businesses). In generating new roles and new levels of authority, staff will feel like they can report to someone – or ask their advice – without having to go straight to the top. Knowing that there are more supervisory figures than just the boss, employees will be more likely to complete tasks quickly and efficiently, and soon your company will be a well-oiled machine, where every cog – or staff member in this case – is not only incredibly important, but also highly valued. Along with this idea of hierarchy comes the opportunity to create new departments and offer new roles to existing staff members – giving not only your company the chance to grow, but the individuals within it the chance as well.

By perfecting the art of delegation, you will be giving your company the best possible chance it has to grow and develop, not to mention the huge boost you will give your staff in terms of morale and motivation.

About the Author: This article is contributed by James Stewardson blogger for Sage Software. He enjoys sharing small business tips and advice.