So, what does delegation actually mean? Delegation is a term used to describe splitting assignments or responsibilities among others and usually the direction comes from a manager and trickles down to the rest of the team. “Delegation is important because it increases profits … and it also enables you, as an owner, to live your life,” says Dominic Chiarella, owner, coach and speaker from www.7of7best.com.

Delegate it right

There are three solutions to delegation: a short-term process, a foundational mid-term system and applications for long-term delegation.

The first solution has five main steps. You must find the right employees and identify all the tasks that you do throughout the day. For example, those tasks might be getting the mail or looking at contracts. When you identify all the tasks that you want to delegate, create a simple, one-page, step-by-step method to do that task.

Chiarella’s method goes something like this:

  1. WHAT: Task name
  2. WHY: Task description
  3. HOW: Who is responsible?
  4. NEEDS: Resources needed to do the work
  5. CLARITY: Clear result of the completed task

He explained that to be efficient, you must give your employees some expectations. “You have to train, train and train them again,” he says. “We start as owners first.”

The second solution is finding the right employee for the delegated task. According to Chiarella, organizational charts are representative of the future. There must be strategic objectives to making an organizational chart that makes sense for your business.

For solution three, long-term delegation, there are three components called applications. The first application is human resources. This includes growth, development and money.

The second is hiring and orientation. “Ask yourself, do these people fit your core values and culture?” he says. “Ask questions to help you expose their skills.”

The third application is career development. Helping your employees develop their careers will help your company.

Lessons From LawnSite:

One landscaper recently posted about suffering from burnout in his business. He had been running the company for more than 20 years and was growing his customer base, but he started to hate “handling the heat” on a daily basis, especially the physical part of the job. “Spring comes and I used to love getting out there on a mower … now I can barely get out of bed,” he says. Delegation was a big part of the advice he received from his industry peers. Here is some of the guidance they offered:

  • “The burnout stage of any career is very difficult to get out of. Happened to me a few years ago. Sounds like a good solution would be to remove yourself from the field and work on expanding and growing. Maybe spending days inside would be a relief to you.”
  • “If I had burnout now, I would look into changing the things that are wearing me down the most. If I was stuck in the field, I would hire a guy to replace me at least for a few months. I’d also see where my biggest headaches were (breakdowns, collections issues, etc.) and come up with a way to resolve them.”
  • “I know a guy who lost his passion and was ready to sell everything and change his career. After a short break, though, he decided to keep his business — this time reconstructing it to his image. Basically he stopped doing business how others always advised him and started doing business in a way that makes him passionate.”
  • “Take a vacation. And when you go away, unplug. Leave a small notebook in your office and have your staff write any issues down that they can’t work through. When you come back, you’ve got an excellent list of things that need improving. So that next trip, you will have (hopefully) a smaller, different list to work through and so the cycle continues until you have a smooth-running company.”
  • “Grow your way out of it. Get to a point where you don’t need to do the labor. Don’t be afraid to delegate.”

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