By Thomas Griffin, Co-Founder and President of OptinMonster. Entrepreneur, investor and software expert.
“Delegate” and “micromanage” are two terms that you have probably come across in the workplace or in general conversations with your employees and colleagues.
To be a good leader and entrepreneur, it’s important to know the difference between these two terms. This will help you figure out which one to adopt and which one to avoid in order to improve your company’s work culture, increase employee satisfaction and be a better manager.
So, let’s find out how they differ from each other.
Delegation Versus Micromanaging
While delegating is considered to be the good and essential way of managing a business or team, micromanaging is widely viewed as negative.
As your business grows, it becomes difficult to manage everything single-handedly. So, you start hiring employees to help you. But some entrepreneurs find it difficult to delegate tasks to their employees because they want to have control over everything. So, instead of letting their employees do it, they start micromanaging the team.
In doing so, they closely observe their team and control them every step of the way. Such employers are often considered to be of a dictatorial nature, constantly hovering over their employees.
This can limit your employees’ creativity and make them feel overwhelmed with the mounting pressure. Instead of doing the work efficiently, employees will only try to get their work done and meet the deadline.
Delegation, on the other hand, helps you get your job done more effectively while allowing you to have the time for strategic thinking to take your business ahead. When you delegate a task, you become free to focus on higher-value activities. Because of that, you can use your time more productively. Also, it gives your workers the freedom to use their creativity and come up with new ideas to fulfill the tasks assigned to them.
Leaders sometimes find it difficult to delegate because they don’t know how to do it effectively. Let’s look at three ways to delegate to get your job done more efficiently.
Set clear expectations.
The first step to delegating effectively is to set clear expectations. Let your team know what you want them to do and the results you’re looking to achieve.
To avoid confusion and miscommunication, it’s helpful to document the process. This allows employees to refer to the documentation to clear their doubts instead of coming to you again and again. Have a section where you clearly mention the dos and don’ts, any specific instructions you want them to follow, etc., to make it easier for them to complete the task. This is a great way to streamline the job and make the delegation process smooth and effective.
When you delegate a task to your employees or teammates, it’s important that you give them the authority to make decisions if needed. Of course, you can set boundaries and have limits to the amount of authority they have. But offering some kind of decision-making power gives them the flexibility to manage the task more smoothly.
To make sure they use this authority well, match their responsibility to their authority. When they know they are responsible for a certain job, they automatically become accountable for it and do their best to accomplish it.
Focus on results.
When you delegate a task to your employees and teammates, you need to trust them with the way they handle it. Not everyone has the same way of doing things.
Give them the freedom to do it their way. Instead of focusing on how the job is done, try to focus on the results. Once you delegate a task, let that person handle it. Rather than being concerned about the work process, be concerned with the quantitative progress depicted by percentages and numbers on your dashboard.
In the beginning, delegation might appear complicated. But once you know how to do it effectively, you’ll understand how helpful it is in reducing your workload and freeing your schedule for productive thought and strategic planning for your business.
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