One of the biggest struggles for managers is finding that sweet spot between delegating too little (the more common problem) and delegating too much. The best managers tend to know what their job entails intimately, and they know the capabilities and job duties of each member of their staff.
Still, managers find it all too easy to succumb to the temptation to try to solve every problem and put out every fire that crosses their path. If schedules need to be shuffled around, then the manager’s there to take over. If a conflict needs to be resolved for a project to continue with interruptions, then a manager’s there for that too.
What managers have to realize is that all of these tasks can sap your energy. More than that, taking each of these unexpected scenarios on could limit your ability to stay focused on long-term strategy and carve a path that brings everyone’s talents to the fore. In short, missing opportunities to delegate saps your own vision of its strength and most likely misapplies the talents of your entire staff.
Managers worry that if they delegate out tasks then they’ll have less control and less room to dictate the details. The thing that managers should realize is that each member of their staff has different time management skills, talents, and professional experience to bring to bear. On top of that, where you might be better and fulfilling a long-term vision, some staff members might be more adapt at the details and tying up loose ends.
Choosing to bring on a larger staff or hire more remote workers can also shore up space for your full-time staff to carry out tasks that you hired them for. There’s a good chance that at least one member of your staff is either taking work home or carrying out tasks that s/he wasn’t hired to do.
You can solve both issues – overworking your staff and failing to put their talents to the best use – by hiring a larger, more specialized staff or choosing to go with remote workers. You might be reticent to hire a remote worker, but it might be an option to consider if it’s crunch time on a project and you’re understaffed. Simply hiring a freelancer to work remotely can take the burden off momentarily without your having to make any long-term commitments: the best of both worlds.
You might want to also consider delegating out tasks that are tedious, repetitive, or put an undue strain on your full-time staff members. Even with more complex tasks, if you can mesh them together into a teachable system, then you can delegate those tasks too. The payoff is worth it.