These all need to tie back into the main focus of the business. People need to collectively understand why they are doing something so they can do their best work. If this sounds like just another job that’s been assigned to them, chances are there will be a half – hearted effort put into it if they can’t get their arms around what value this brings to the company, the customer and why it’s important that they are doing it.
- Example 1: You run an electrical contracting business and you want your top electrician to handle scheduling – all scheduling needs to be completed by Friday at 3 PM for the next week. That way, project managers know what resources they have to allocate on Monday morning. That allows the teams to be put in motion quicker and get to the job site sooner.
- Example 2: Say you run a computer networking company and you want to hand off the process of estimating for new installations. Your KPI’s may come down to Gross Margin (how much you expect to make on the job); Resource allocation (the best people and tools for the job); Timeliness (How quickly you get the estimate back to the client).
- Example 3: You run a call center and you want to hand off management of the entire staff. This is a bigger assignment, but you may want to consider: Net Promoter Score (the likelihood the caller will refer you to a friend); Customer Retention Rate (how long the caller stays a customer); Employee Turnover (how long the call center staff stays with your company).
What is different about all of this?
- Hoarding. Delegating only the mundane work or the work you don’t want to do. Delegate some plum assignments. Give people some tasks to do that allow them to shine.
- Fuzziness. Being unclear on the task, the outcomes, the deadlines and your expectations. As with many things in life, how it starts is how it goes. The better you set the task up – the better the outcomes you’ ll get.
- Micromanaging. Set it up clearly. Define your non-negotiable. And then get out of the way.
- Narcissism. Expecting that someone will do it “just like you.” They won’t – so get over it. In fact, they may even do it better than you.
- Dumping. Delegation does not mean dump and run. It frees you from doing a specific task, but that does not mean you don’t have to do anything. You have to do different things. Consider coaching and providing feedback, reviewing progress at regular intervals, and conducting and “after action” review to solidify learning.
- Set a clear qualitative and quantitative outcome on what you expect from the result.
- Develop measurable KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) that help define progress and major milestones.
- Establish a timeline or at least a “due date” when everyone agrees it will be completed.