The Best Way to Delegate Tasks To My Freelancer: 9 Tips for Effective Delegation
What Is The Best Way to Delegate Tasks To My Freelancer?
In this article, I'm going to give you 9 Tips For Effective Delegation + a Check Sheet and a Video Tutorial.
When I speak to business owners, many of them tell me that they started their own businesses, not with a desire to tell other people what to do, but so they could stop being told what to do by other people.
They started their businesses with the intention to do things as they believe they should be done.
To remove the red tape, unnecessary paperwork and pointless bureaucracy, so they could do what they love as it should have been done from the beginning.
Everything well organised, on time and with the kind of quality they know they were capable of delivering.
I’ve found the biggest obstacle when starting out as a small business entrepreneur is actually finding work.
Very often when that work finally comes, it doesn't come on its own, but it fills your inbox with work requests, tasks and deadlines.
The first time you miss a deadline or have to compromise on quality to meet one it might not seem so bad.
You'll get everything sorted earlier next time, right?
But then you miss a second or third deadline and that's when running a business on your own can start to seem overwhelming and you have to peel back your ambitions.
The truth is that to grow a business you are going to need help. Simple!
To get the best work out of yourself, you need to focus on what you are skilled at.
Both of these things mean that at some point you are going to have to delegate work to someone else.
However, the more I consult, coach and network with entrepreneurs, both existing and aspiring, I find that the thought of delegating work to someone else brings with it a feeling of fear.
Why Do You Fear Delegation?
If you've never been in a position to delegate before, or if it wasn't your business on the line when you were, then putting something in the hands of a near stranger and hoping you won't have to fix it all yourself is challenging.
I know this feeling of fear well because I had to overcome it myself when I started out years ago.
If you delegate and they do it wrong then you've made a bad investment, and worse, this could damage your reputation with clients or make you miss a deadline.
If they mess up you lose money by paying them, by having to re-do the work they messed up and, possibly, by losing future work.
Even if the work isn't wrong it might not be up to your standards, and, worst of all, there is always the chance someone else might rip you off.
When I hear these fears what I also find is that many people have never really considered the benefits of delegating. So the fear of delegating is allowed to take over.
Their first thought is usually;
Why would I pay someone to do the things I am able to?
Why pay someone to clean my work premises when I can so easily do it myself?
Why add the pressure of looking after someone else if I don’t need to?
A lot of these questions come from a misunderstanding of what effective delegation is. When people start to see how to delegate properly they stop questioning why they would want to do it. They stop letting the fear of delegating prevent them from growing.
What is Effective Delegation?
Effective delegation is when you give a task to someone who knows both what they have to do and how to do it how to get it done on time. It is giving a task to someone who can take responsibility for that task if it changes.
In essence, effective delegation is giving a task to someone you can trust.
Trust doesn't have to be a judgement of character, it can be the knowledge that without doing an adequate job the person you are delegating to won't get a reward. Whether that reward is payment, praise, experience, or more work.
What many people don’t realise is that finding someone that you can trust is as much to do with your management technique as finding the right person.
You don’t just find trustworthy people, you make them. You need to be certain they are capable of doing the task, but the process doesn’t end there.
When I delegate a task to a person I first make sure to clearly explain what I want from them. I can’t trust someone to do something if they don’t know what it is I want them to do!
Next, I give them the authority to make decisions without having to speak to me first. If I don’t show a person respect or trust, then I can’t trust them. I know they are capable of doing the task so I have to let them do it.
Most importantly, I am sensitive to the circumstances of every person I work with. For example, if I hire someone that highly values time with their family then I can't expect them to provide good quality work over the weekend.
This is why getting to know the people you work with is so important.
We can only learn so much from seeing how to effectively delegate -- we also need to learn from times people ineffectively delegate.
What is Poor Delegation?
Ineffective delegation is when you give a task to someone else and it doesn't save you any time or money. The main reason for is that you gave the task to the wrong person.
When I first began in business I would often blame other people for not being good enough, when the truth was I was just not getting the best out of them because I was delegating poorly.
I didn’t take the right steps to ensure the person I hired was right for the job and I didn’t give them tasks that were suited to them or their style of working.
It is your responsibility to discover who is best to share your responsibilities with. You do this by making sure you know what you want, by making sure the person you are delegating to is skilled enough, and by ensuring they can work well in your environment. How to delegate tasks without fear?
No matter how small your business is you need to delegate at some point. I’ve yet to find a business person that did better by doing everything themselves.
One of the most important rules I try to get every business owner to learn is that time saved is money earned.
The only way you are going to save time long term is to delegate the jobs you don't need to do yourself, or the jobs someone else could do more efficiently.
To make sure delegation saves time you need to find the right person and manage them properly, only then can you do delegate without fear.
So How Do You Delegate Task Effectively?
Here are 9 points you should consider.
1 - Know What You Want To Achieve
You won't be able to delegate a task effectively unless you clearly understand what you want to achieve as an outcome.
You must be crystal clear on what you expect to be output once the task is complete. Once you understand and are clear on what you expect, then you can communicate that to someone else.
Once you understand and are clear on what you expect, then you can communicate that to someone else.
2 - Define The Task
You can't expect someone else to successfully complete a task if you can't give them a clear target to hit.
3 - Choose The Right Person For The Job.
Delegating to the right person is key to getting the task completed correctly. Don't make the mistake of assigning a task to a general assistant if it requires a specific skill set.
Don't make the mistake of assigning a task to a general assistant if it requires a specific skill set.
This means knowing their skill sets. Their strength and weaknesses. It also means checking their previous experience, starting them off with a smaller task or trial job, and ensuring they can commit to your business.
It also means checking their previous experience, starting them off with a smaller task or trial job, and ensuring they can commit to your business.
This can take many different forms including looking at reviews online or a portfolio.
One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is rushing the interview stage of hiring someone.
They take the first person they can find thinking it will save them time, only to then waste time finding someone else later.
Don't be afraid to ask questions and never make blind assumptions about how much work they will do or what the end product will be.
4 - Explain The Your Reasons For Delegating
Let the person know why you're delegating the task to them. This will give them some context to work with.
Is it for speed and convenience?
Is it an urgent task and you need a quick turn around.
Is it because you want them to develop a new skillset.
Whatever your reasons for delegating the task, by letting your staff know "why", will give them a better idea of "how" they should execute.
5 - Explain Required Results
If you want a PDF, tell them that you want a PDF. If you want an image in jpeg format, tell them.
There is nothing more frustrating, for both you and the person who completed the task, than when it is submitted and it is not the expected. So be clear!
It might seem like your giving to much information when you're explaining the task.
But it is better to give them too much, and have them be 100 percent clear on the result you expect, that for them to get the task wrong.
6 - Consider Resources Required
Are there any resources required to allow the person to complete the job successfully?
They may require that you provide them with access to a shared folder containing the files they need. They may have to download a specific app or software product.
They may have to download a specific app or software product.
Before you delegate, make sure you can give them everything they need to get the job done.
7 - Agree Deadlines
This is Standard Procedure! but you'll surprised how many people still think "ASAP" is a due date. If you want the task completed by
If you want the task completed by 2:30pm on Tuesday - then say so. if you need it back within the hour, then be sure to give a clear deadline.
8 - Support and Communicate
Working remotely can be a strange experience, especially if you're used to working in an office with other humans.
One thing that is make or break when working with freelancers in a virtual team, is communication and support.
Letting your freelancers know that you are accessible and on hand to support them if required can help ensure that targets get hit and tasks get completed to the required standard.
No matter how experienced or talented someone is, you need to be sure they can do the task at hand.
Even if it takes you three hours to show someone how to do a daily one hour task, over a month that is still 25 hours you've saved.
If it was worth delegating a task to someone then it is worth having them do it correctly.
9 - Have a Standard Procedure for them to follow.
A Standard Procedure lets other people know how you like to work, what you expect of them, and how you are going to ensure quality.
Let’s take the simple example of hiring a cleaner. A professional can clean-up in a fraction of the time it takes you, and having a clean workspace is important.
If you were hiring a cleaner you might show them where the supplies were kept, what time they had to start cleaning the building, and what level of cleanliness you expected.
To ensure your expectations were met you could ask them to follow a cleaning checklist that will give them the step by step cleaning instructions.
If you don't give clear instructions of the things you want and how to achieve them, then you can't expect them to happen.
Getting Started With Delegation
No business is just one person and no business ever grew by staying the same.
There are limits to what you can do on your own, but with the help of others your options become nearly limitless.
Once you have people on board that are more skilled than you at certain tasks, you will not only wonder why you used to spend three times as long doing them, but you will also see new avenues and ideas for change.
If you are still on the fence about delegation try to determine three tasks you do on a regular basis that you could easily delegate to someone. This could be anything: marketing, accounting, spreadsheets, maintenance, designing etc.
Once you have this figured out, calculate how much it costs you to do these tasks and research how much it might cost for someone else to do it instead.
Remember you can always negotiate price.
Now plan out what your frame for success is and what your objectives are including;
The time frame for the work (I’ve found people always work better with deadlines) What your exceptions for the end product are How you will communicate with this person (including how you will approach them and how to maintain contact).
Once you’ve done all this, the only thing left is to let them do the work.
To get started now, download this Delegation Checklist & Tutorial Video
This will give you a standard procedure to effectively and confidently delegate tasks to others.