Delegating Correctly: Picking The Right Employee

by Mike O'Neill

Are you a business leader who’s struggling to scale your business? Do you spend more time working in your business than on it?

With deadlines looming and clients to impress, you may feel like your only option to get projects completed on time and up to your high-quality standards is to do all the work yourself. 

While this might work out OK for a while, you’re likely stunting your company’s growth because, in the long-run, you doing all the work will never be scalable. Working with employees isn’t easy, though.

If you’ve ever tried to delegate work to others before, you might have gotten burned. You may have even had to redo work that you paid someone else to do just because the quality was lacking. 

Don’t let your hesitation to delegate tasks effectively hold your business back. At Bench Builders, we’ve helped business leaders — just like you — get unstuck and find the perfect solutions for their problems. 

Keep reading, and we’ll share with you how to pick the right employee for the tasks you need to delegate.

Why is Delegating Crucial for Scale?

Did you know that 86% of business owners work on the weekends and 53% work on major holidays? Or that 60% say they take a yearly vacation, but they end up spending 75% of their time working on laptops?

It’s common for business leaders to adopt the mindset that in order for their business to succeed, they have to work nonstop and always be available no matter what. The problem is that this type of thinking is what leads to leadership burnout and holds your business back. 

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, an inability to delegate tasks effectively means your business can’t grow beyond yourself because you’re always stuck doing all the work. 

In this article, we’re going to cover:

  • What tasks you can delegate
  • How to choose the right employees for those tasks
  • And how to build processes designed for success

Let’s dive in!

What Tasks Can You Delegate?

It might not come as a surprise, but the easiest tasks to delegate are those that don’t require special skills and are time-consuming or tedious. An assistant could easily perform tasks such as these. 

Other tasks you might delegate are ones that you can easily teach someone else to do or ones that you’re personally not good at doing on your own. You might even consider outsourcing tasks that require special skills but are time-sensitive, so you can’t get them completed by the deadline on your own. 

To give you an idea of examples for each of these tasks, here’s a list of some of the things you might delegate:

Tiny/Tedious/Time-Consuming Tasks

  • Scheduling meetings
  • Booking flights for business trips
  • Deleting spam/marketing emails from your inbox
  • Managing your social media pages
  • Copying and pasting info from marketing tools to your CRM

Teachable Tasks

  • Cold Calling
  • Cold Emailing
  • Content Creation
  • Website Management 
  • Sales
  • CRM Management 

Tasks You’re Not Great At

  • Graphic design
  • Website design and development
  • Programming
  • Marketing
  • Organizational 
  • Administrative

Choosing the Right Employees for the Task

Once you know what tasks you want to delegate, you can think about what type of person will be the best fit for each job. Follow the steps below to help you choose the right employees for the tasks. 

Step #1: Make a List of Skills Required to Do The Tasks

For each task you put on your list, think about skills someone needs to perform those tasks to your satisfaction. For example, let’s say you want to hire an assistant to handle all the tiny, tedious, and time-consuming tasks for your business.

That means you’ll need someone who:

  • Is tech-savvy and knows their way around a computer
  • Has an average or above-average typing speed
  • Has experience using the software and tools you use to perform the tasks you want them doing 
  • High School or higher level of education

On the flip side, let’s say you need to hire someone skilled in marketing to take over your digital marketing efforts. In that case, you’d want someone who:

  • Has certifications and real-world experience in marketing or has a degree
  • Knows all the social media channels your company needs to market on like the backs of their hands
  • Has unique experience working with businesses in your specific industry
  • Knows how to use marketing automation software, such as HubSpot
  • Knows how to track and measure ROI for your marketing efforts

These are just two examples to help give you an idea of what skills you should look for depending on the tasks you want to delegate. Skills aren’t the only thing you should look for, however. Personality traits are equally as important.

Step #2: Make a List of Personality Traits They Need to Have

The personality traits of the people you choose to hire will significantly impact the type of culture you create within your organization. It’s important to select people who have the right personality traits to ensure you maintain a healthy and positive workplace.

Some of the personality traits that are always important no matter what job role you’re hiring for include:

  • Trustworthy
  • Accountable
  • Responsible
  • Empathetic

For specific jobs, such as an administrative assistant, you would want to look for someone flexible but organized and patient. Think about the job role you want that person to take on and what values you want your company to have. Then, make a list of personality traits for every employee and the specific roles you need to fill. 

Step #3: Interview and Rate Candidates Based on Skills and Personality Traits

After you’ve compiled lists of skills and personality traits for each job role, it’s time to create a job listing and seek candidates for the open positions. Each candidate needs to be interviewed and assessed to determine if they’re a good fit for the job.

To do this, ask your potential hires questions that’ll let you find out if they have the right skills and personality traits that you’re seeking. Rate each person you hire on a scale of 1-10 based on how close they match your lists. 

Once you’ve interviewed enough people, you’ve got a good batch of candidates to choose from, weed out the ones that aren’t a good fit, then compare those with the highest ratings to decide who will be the best fit. 

How to Build Processes Designed for Success

One of the hardest parts of delegating work is building a workflow process that someone else can follow. It’s easy to build processes for yourself because you know what works for you and what enables you to work at your best.

The challenge with delegating is that the people you hire won’t think or perform work in the same way you do. The processes you create need to enable their natural thinking and workflow process if you want them to succeed. 

Follow the 5 steps below to make sure you build processes designed for success.

Step #1: Create a System for Prioritizing

Before you can delegate, you need a system to prioritize which tasks to let go of first. You can do this by creating four categories to sort the tasks based on the effort and skill required.

Tasks that require the highest amount of effort and skill level should stay on your plate and not get delegated to others. Why? Because these tasks will be the hardest to effectively delegate.

Tasks that take the least effort and skill are the ones you’ll want to prioritize for delegating first. Doing so saves you time and money in the long-term. 

Step #2: Include Detailed Instructions

Even if a task seems simple and self-explanatory to you, that doesn’t mean it will be as simple and self-explanatory to someone else. Don’t expect just to write up a few notes and send some links and “poof” — the work will get done.

If you do this, chances are you’ll either end up having to answer 1000 questions, or the quality of the results will be extremely poor. 

You can’t expect someone to perform the tasks at the same level as you without detailed, step-by-step instructions to show them what you want and expect. The more detailed and visual the instructions you provide, the better the results will likely be.

Step #3: Don’t Shy Away From Teaching New Skills

Are you afraid that teaching someone new skills is the equivalent of giving away company secrets? Do you worry that the person you train will end up starting their own business and becoming competition?

Or maybe you’re worried about how much you’ll have to invest in training someone to perform the tasks you want to delegate?

Either way, don’t shy away from teaching someone new skills. If you already have an employee working for you that seems like they would be a good fit for other tasks, teach them what to do. The likelihood they could become competition is pretty slim, and in the initial time, investment is worth it — we promise. 

Step #4: Track and Verify the Results

Once you’ve created a process for your employees to follow, you need to track and verify the results. It doesn’t do you any good to just start sending lots of work their way without paying attention to the quality and timeliness of their efforts. 

To track and verify the results, you’ll need to pay close attention to the work they’re doing and be on the lookout for any potential problems. Problems you find could either occur because of the process or the people. For pinpointing, which is which, it’s a good idea to implement feedback loops. 

Step #5: Implement Feedback Loops

Feedback is one of the most important parts of building successful processes. Without feedback from the people involved in the process, you can’t improve or pinpoint problem areas that need your attention.

Incorporate ways to gather feedback so you can always know what’s going on with the people working in your process.

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