This article first appeared on December 1, 2010.
I’ve started up my business and have taken on my first members of staff. I’m glad to have them on board but I’m having trouble delegating properly as I’m used to being in control of everything. What can I do to let go and empower my staff?
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First up, how much of the workload do you want to let go? When you do know what you want, you can then communicate it to your new staff member.
Explain to them how you want to let go, that it is difficult for you, but for the business to grow, you have to let go and trust them.
Tell them your goals and vision for the business and the future and ask for their input on how to make it happen. Get them to set some goals.
Explain all the different areas of the business and invite them to offer their opinion on how you may be able to do things better.
Empower them to make decisions, whether they are right or wrong. If they are not sure, ask them to just ensure it is in the customer’s favour.
I suggest that you have a clear and detailed written job description for your employee, but most importantly, one for yourself.
Maybe even ask them to help you write yours – you will be surprised by how much responsibility they may be willing to take on.
If possible, schedule a weekly meeting, if not at least monthly, where you will both have the opportunity to voice any issues and concerns as well as planning for the growth of the business.
Just make sure you don’t do all the talking. Let them own it. It’s all about having clear and honest communication.
When possible, take yourself away from the business from time to time; let them run it totally without you and I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised with how well they can do it.
Always remember – they are never going to do it the way you do, because they are not you!