How To Delegate Tasks Effectively

In working with so many 6 and 7 figure entrepreneurs over the years one of the most common complaints or challenges I hear from people is that they have been burned from hiring. Perhaps they’ve hired someone and didn’t like the work they did, or they felt that they didn’t get what they paid for. Despite wanting to grow and feel supported in business, a lot of entrepreneurs have challenges in this area which is why we are breaking it down in today’s episode. We are going to talk about the 4 big hiring and delegating mistakes and how to avoid them, so you can grow your team without feeling burned.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

What contributes to a poor hiring experience

There are a bunch of reasons that can contribute to a poor hiring experience. But a lot of the time when you really look at it, it boils down to this one thing: you aren’t an expert at delegating properly.

I know that it’s so much easier to say “they weren’t good enough” or “they did/didn’t do X” – but often when we really dissect what happened, we can find our own part that we played in the dynamic.

Delegation is a skill and it’s not something a lot of us learn how to do properly – which is why we get met with lukewarm results. So let’s break down the art & science of effective delegation.

Mistake #1: Lack of Role Clarity

The very first thing I’ve seen as a major mistake people are making when it comes to delegation starts before they even hire someone!

It comes down to a lack of clarity in what they actually want or need help with. So often I see entrepreneurs that are overwhelmed and burned out and the general advice you see is “hire a VA” or “what can you outsource”. I love to outsource and it’s a super valuable tool when growing your business, but it definitely requires a level of clarity.

When you try to bring on support before knowing exactly what you need, you often end up spinning your wheels and not making the most of how that person can really help you.

So here’s what I recommend – when you are starting to feel like it’s time to begin outsourcing, create a Master Task List. Write down every single thing that needs to happen in your business – and I want you to get super granular. This is going to really help you see exactly why you’re overwhelmed and where your areas of opportunity for hiring are.

Then go through that list and highlight the items using different colours. You might want to highlight everything that absolutely has to be you (like recording videos and customer fulfillment) in green. Highlight anything you truly dislike doing in red. And highlight things you’re ok at but would like help with in yellow.

From there, you can start to group those things together into different skillsets – maybe you have a lot of social media or marketing tasks that you don’t like doing – that would be a perfect time to start looking for a social media manager.

Maybe you don’t love doing all your website and tech stuff – time for a tech VA!

As you can see, this is really going to allow you to clarify who you’re looking for and what you specifically want them to do, which will ensure you have a way smoother delegation experience from the get-go.

Mistake #2: Overwhelming Your Team at the Start

One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is trying to go from zero to sixty right away. They bring on a new virtual assistant or other service provider to help them, and immediately want to offload everything that has been overwhelming them.

This doesn’t work for a couple of reasons – first of all, it doesn’t give that person a chance to be properly onboarded to your business, your style, and your expectations. Secondly, it also overwhelms them with too many things to do and not enough information about priorities.

What often ends up happening here is you get partially completed work, or you end up with a ton of stuff being late. This is one of the most important mistakes we want to avoid because it’s at the very beginning of your relationship with your new hire, and can set a really negative tone on both ends for all future projects.

So how do you make sure you’re not falling into this trap?

The first step is to make sure you’ve thought about a proper onboarding process for your new hire – what information and resources will they need to be able to perform their role? What do they need to know about you, your communication style, your expectations, and your standards? This should all be provided before you even begin delegating! It sets the tone that you care about them and setting them up to be successful.

The next thing to consider is the pace you start delegating at – even though it’s tempting to want to get allll the things off your plate that are stressing you out (I mean, that’s the whole point of adding in support right?) I recommend taking a slower approach. This allows you to test out your team members style, turnaround time, and quality. It also allows you to give clear guidance and feedback, and then you can steadily add more and more responsibilities more confidently.

Mistake #3: Lack of Clarity & Resources

The next mistake I see with delegation is a lack of clarity and specificity. We all have so much nuance and bias within our own business – the unique way we do things “just makes sense” to us because we are the ones who built it from the ground up. But often when someone else comes into our business, they don’t have all the same background information or understanding that we do.

It’s so important to take the time to really outline clear and specific guidelines for what you are looking for.

Here’s the thing – I know that it’s kind of a pain in the ass. I know that we all wish people could just know what we want and need. But the reality is that doesn’t work in relationships and it doesn’t work in business either. So here’s a reframe for you:

Instead of thinking about how annoying or time consuming it is to have to outline the detailed steps of what you want done, look at it as a time investment. Instead of being the one to do it yourself, you’re bringing on support to do it for you. By investing the time in setting that person up with all the details, expectations, and resources they will need to do the job well, you’re ensuring that you don’t have to re-do or over-edit the work in the future. That time investment the first few times will pay off ten fold in freed up time and energy down the line.

Mistake #4: Fear of Feedback

The last big mistake I see happening in the world of hiring and delegation is a fear around giving feedback. When something comes back to you and it’s not what you had hoped, so many entrepreneurs struggle to really say so. Either you internalize it and just say “oh it’s my fault I didn’t clarify” but secretly hold a grudge that it wasn’t done well. Or you disengage and think “well this person is a disappointment or not worth it”. Either way, you’re selling yourself and your team member short. The reality is that a great team relationship is built on trust, and part of that trust is built through effective communication.

One of the best things you can do for yourself and your team member is to have feedback conversations. You can learn to provide feedback in a totally caring and supportive way – this helps you feel supported in getting what you need, and it also shows your team member that you care and are invested in setting them up for success – it’s a total win win.

If this is a skill you struggle with, I have an awesome book recommendation for you. It’s called Crucial Conversations and it’s one of my fave books on communication I have ever read. I’ll pop the link to that in the show notes and highly recommend you check it out.

Final Thoughts

As you can see there are so many factors that go into successful team growth and delegation – learning these leadership skills does take time and practice but is so worth it. Not only will you get better support from the people you work with, you’ll also develop more long lasting relationships and friendships with them which are so rewarding.