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Delegation = Growth

Do you do EVERYTHING in your business? Most small business owners do and sad to say, it’s also the reason most businesses are unable to grow and some even fail. You’ve attempted delegating tasks and it’s been somewhat successful, but it seems you simply delegate something to someone and hope they figure it out and do a good job.

Perhaps you have a few key employees. They make a difference don’t they?  Did you realize at some point that perhaps your business would be in big trouble if one or all of those key people left?  That could be big trouble if that happens but what can you do? You’re busy out doing what you need to do and they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. This can be a tenuous balance.

It’s not a good feeling to be held hostage by your employees is it?  You built this business. You sweat and took the risk to put it all together and here you sit, probably more nervous about them leaving then you were building the entire thing from scratch. This is that point where the rubber meets the road so to speak. This is where the bigger guys got it right. You may be at the point where you want to move forward but don’t quite have a grasp on how. You’re also tired of losing sleep over the possibility of your best people leaving and setting you back.

Usually this happens because you don't have a real system or process in place that anyone can do with specific training for that position. You get someone who is “great” at what they do or are highly skilled and they run it their way. The problem is that “their way” is not duplicatable with someone else. Granted, every new person has their own idea of how to do something, but if there’s no framework in place everything is left to their discretion and that can get ugly. You end up training every new person after the fact, meaning correcting their mistakes.

These mistakes can not only be financially costly but they are a time drainer for you. They add additional stress to your everyday duties as an owner. This training time needs to be systemized to get new hires up to speed quickly and proficiently.

By creating systems and processes for every aspect of your business you eliminate the need for the highly skilled employees that can become “indispensable” to your company. I understand you may need highly skilled workers for positions but there still must be a system for their implementation and conduct so they know they are not indispensable. Don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not talking about treating people like trash that can be taken out anytime. I’m talking about when people come into a position, they understand that they are not the only ones who can do this job.

A training system also creates confidence that the business is well organized and well run. It alleviates anxiety on the employees' part also. They understand the expectations involved in the position. They have accountability that can be measured. This accountability not only works for the employee but works for the owner too. Your stress level is decreased because you eliminate the “you never told me” aspect. You can confidently discipline when needed.

Another benefit is people like and need structure. Most people like to go to work, do what is expected of them and go home.  Sometimes we think everyone wants to be an owner but that simply isn’t the case. If you build specific requirements and regimens for positions people can excel at them within their parameters with minimized stress. Most people actually want to be good at what they do. The problem too many times is they are often kept from doing a good job because of the lack of organization from the top down.

This does require work on the owners part to create these systems so that things run smoothly. I recommend you take one job at a time and do a full breakdown of that position. Create a chart of every aspect of the position. Job requirements, pay, hours, how to’s and all other details to perform the job correctly. Do screen shots of each step of the process for your training manual with details circled and explained. Create an employee expectations sheet for the position and have the employee sign it stating they fully understand.

By doing all of this you create a duplicatable process for each position in your company. This enables you to be assured that if you do have personnel changes, you can quickly fill that position with perhaps not the greatest person, but with someone who can follow the basic established manual so your business doesn’t grind to a halt. The human element is always the weakest link to any business. No machine or product can screw up a business more than a person can. Regardless of the business this is the case, there are no exceptions.

After you create the detailed positions you must delegate these responsibilities in your business otherwise you can never grow. You must transfer the risk of creating an employee you can’t do without.  It is wonderful to have an amazing employee who goes above and beyond what their position requires. Just remember this is the exception not the rule when it comes down to people. Another good thing on this topic is, as you search for a great employee, you have a system that will enable an average employee to function in the position until you find the perfect replacement.

Periodically review these systems and keep them updated with changes. Involve your employees for suggestions of better ways to do things. They will feel appreciated when you ask and listen to their opinions. People do like to contribute and you should always be happy when they actually want to help make your business better.

If you create a culture of “Always Improving”, every new employee will feel a part of your team. You’ll draw better people who can take on these delegations and perform at a high level due to the organization you’ve put in place. The ramp up times for new employees will be faster to maximum output also. 

Review your business systems and processes and see where you can make improvements. If you don’t have any systems in place you need to get started. Six month's to a year from now you can be delegating with absolute confidence. You’ll look back and be amazed at how well your business is now running from doing this.

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