In a previous post, we talked about how many business owners struggle under massive workloads that prevent them from being as focused, clear, and effective as they could be.
The solution, of course, is delegation—handing over tasks that don’t cater directly to your strengths and that drive business growth, so that you can spend more and more time on what matters most.
Of course, it’s easier said than done. Most business owners and entrepreneurs already understand intellectually that they need to delegate; they’re just not sure how to go about teaching others to perform critical tasks effectively.
Well today, I’m going to help you solve that.
In this post, you’ll learn how to hand off even complex tasks so that you can be confident they get done how and when you need them done. It’s called an “Apprenticeship Plan” and its a system for training employees that lets you spend more energy and effort on initiatives that’ll move the needle in your business.
First, find the right man or woman for the job. If you’re handing off low-skill tasks, look for someone who’s dependable and eager to contribute. If there isn’t someone in your company who already fits the bill, try hiring a high school or undergrad student who’s looking to break into your industry. These are often high-achievers who are also affordable.
For high-skill tasks, quality’s more important than price–because you’ll pay for it if your marketing, web development, or accounting work is sub-par. The key here is to look for experienced professionals. Hiring the right talent will more than make up for what you pay them in terms of the value they add to your bottom line.
Next, follow this 4-Step Apprenticeship Plan to train your people. The process of bringing someone up to speed on a new task doesn’t need to be difficult. Based on powerful learning principles that professional educators and trainers follow, here are four simple steps to guide you in the process:
- First, DO the task while your apprentice WATCHES you.
- Next, DO the task while your apprentice HELPS.
- Third, your apprentice should DO the task while you HELP.
- Finally, your apprentice should DO the task while you WATCH.
You’ll be surprised at how effective this is. Depending on the complexity of the task, you can also supplement with reading material and feedback sessions. In Step 1, if there’s some pre-reading they can do, give it to them. During Step 3, ask them how they think they did and add your own feedback about how they can do better. After Step 4, hold another short feedback session.
After this, they should be good to go–but you should check in with them occasionally and inspect their work every now and then, just to be sure.
Lastly, create a culture where your key leaders also delegate. Managers can often be as much of a bottle-neck in business growth as you are if they’re not delegating effectively. As you begin to hand-off important tasks to your team, your key leaders will naturally start to do the same. But be deliberate about it—work with them individually to set delegation as a goal, help them identify their own strengths and the strengths of their team, and coach them on what to delegate.
As you embrace delegation in your company, you’ll create a culture of growth, responsibility, and efficiency–leading to more free time for you, a calmer existence, an empowered and satisfied staff, and steadily increasing profits.
What about you? How do you ensure that your team members are empowered in the tasks you delegate to them? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below!