I Need to Delegate More

I need to delegate more  How to delegate effectively

“I need to delegate more.”  These are words I hear all the time from business owners. Most of the time they are followed up with the words “but I just don’t know where to start or what to delegate. I just don’t know how to explain what I need”.

The secret to delegation is to start by delegating something that you feel comfortable letting go of.  Usually, this will also be a time-consuming thing that you don’t like doing.  Most people are very keen to delegate things they don’t like.  I know I am.  I cried with happiness the day I took on an accountant for my business.

It’s fine to just offload one thing if that’s all you feel comfortable with.  Most of my clients start out asking me to do just one thing and we move on from there.  If you’d like some ideas for things you might consider delegating, you can find some here.

It is important to choose someone who has the skills you need so if you want someone to create content for your newsletter or blog, check out their writing style on social, on their own blog, and in the emails, they send to you.  Make sure you like that style or, ensure that you are confident that they can emulate your style or the writing style you are looking for.

Even an experienced freelancer needs a steer.  So in this example, you might provide the deadline, the length of the piece, the subject you are looking to cover, and whether you want images to be sourced.  Let them know whether you want to review the draft first (recommended) or whether you want them to just upload the content for you.

Then all you need to do is send it to your person, and keep an eye out for any requests for clarification that they might send to you.

It is worthwhile creating some check-in points and making it clear when these are going to be, particularly on projects that are ongoing.  You are building a working relationship after all and communication is important in any relationship.  Occasionally, misunderstandings occur, particularly when you are busy.  The short message you send on WhatsApp to confirm something can be misinterpreted.  You think you’ve given clear instruction.  Your freelancer thinks they’ve received clear instruction.  But somehow what you thought they were going to do, and what they’ve actually done, isn’t quite the same.

As with any working relationship, you both want the best possible outcome.  You want things how you like them.  Your freelancer definitely wants to deliver what you need.  After all, their business depends on this.

Delegation does take practice.  It’s particularly hard when you are a small business owner as you have so much tied up in that business.  It’s much more personal, isn’t it?  However, delegation is a great way to leverage your time and get help in areas where you have less expertise.  Delegation, done well, is a huge benefit to a business, helping it to move forward, grow and thrive.

If you’d like some help identifying the areas in your business where delegation might help you to move your business forward then get in touch.  

Work From Home: Can we really extrapolate from the current situation?

ACAS has carried out a poll which shows that 50% of people working from home felt isolated and 7 out of ten were missing social interactions with others at work. This started me wondering; we’ve moved to a work from home situation in a hurry and most companies have had to put plans in place fast and without the opportunity to think through choices as thoroughly as they might otherwise.

I work from home as a VA but this took forethought in terms of choosing workspace location, layout, desk size and height, IT equipment placement and spec. It took me a while to get the right set up.

Prior to working as a VA, I worked for a company which was very invested in working from home. I was in a remote team, provided with all the kit, software and training I needed and had to sign to say my workspace met safety standards. The tech included both messaging and conferencing software and a work mobile phone. I was encouraged to keep in touch with people and to build relationships across the company. This company had been able to take the time to set things up so that they worked well for their employees, test the technology to ensure it worked flawlessly and provide training in its use. They used regular virtual meetings to keep everyone up to date on what was happening across the business and in short, were fully set up to ensure isolation was kept to a minimum and productivity could soar.

The figures from ACAS are based on a very unusual situation and made me wonder whether they were representative of what it feels like to work from home in a well planned and fully supported way. That’s not to criticise the efforts made by businesses to make the work from home thing work, nor is it a criticism of the figures from ACAS. I just wonder if the situation, the strangeness, the underlying worry, all impact and make it less like a “normal” work from home situation and thus subconsciously affect the figures. After all, we are isolated from more than just our workmates and many people are worried, for themselves and others. All of this must surely impact on how people answer such a survey.

Finder.com quote a figure of 19% feeling lonely and I believe this figure to be pre-lockdown so it may be that the speed of change, lack of general access to communication methods such as instant messaging and the general concern and worry may be impacting the ACAS figures. I suspect that it would not show such a high level of isolation in organisations where they’ve had the opportunity to ameliorate that with considered tech choices and inclusive ways of working.

It’s going to be a very interesting few months in the workplace as we negotiate our way toward a new normal. It has certainly brought working from home up the agenda, something that many in HR will be pleased about, though not, of course, about the reasons for it being there.

I expect there will be increased interest in finding ways to make this work well for a variety of sectors and HR will be at the forefront of this discussion. and it will be interesting to see whether it stays there now that businesses have seen it in action and staff have experienced it for themselves.

I’m looking forward to supporting my HR Consultant clients with the challenges and opportunities that these changes in normal working will bring and helping to support a move to a new normal where, hopefully, working from home will be an option offered more often to staff in sectors where this is feasible and appropriate.

If you are looking to work with a VA who is an expert in HR Support, you can contact me here.