By George Otte
One of the hallmarks of a successful business is a clear chain of command through which tasks are effectively communicated and delegated.
Effective chains of command must be anchored by decisive leadership at the C-level. However, depending on the size and structure of the organization, they rely on honest input from employees, along with efficient workflows and delegation channels through the organization. Imagine a matrix, with ideas and insights flowing, and concrete strategies and directives emanating clearly to all personnel.
Here are 5 proven tips to make sure your business strategies are flowing and being delegated efficiently throughout the organization.
1. Know Your Personal SWOT Analysis
First, you need to develop a deep personal understanding of the opportunities and challenges that are presented to you and your team. This is an essential step in determining where to put your energies and talents to best use within your organization. This is a good step-by-step primer on conducting a methodical, objective assessment of your and your team’s professional capabilities.
2. Assess Your Current Workload
Next, look at your current workload. Make sure you have a healthy work life balance. Having the time to unwind has a direct relation to your productivity and creativity. Never sacrifice quantity over quality. It is important to trust and empower your team and delegate projects that will help managers focus on core activities while team members assist in task completion.
Use your strengths and weaknesses assessment to identify non-core or non-ideal elements of your workload. Set them aside as you work through the rest of this process.
3. Identify and Groom Trusted Subordinates
Now it’s time to identify trusted subordinates and prepare them to take on non-core parts of your workload.
“For each task that you plan to delegate, you need to identify the very best person within your organization. It is also critical that you empower them and provide them with confidence.” — George Otte
Delegating only works when you can trust your subordinates to do a great job.
4. Use Standardized Systems and Procedures Wherever Possible
Standardized, written systems and procedures are easier to objectively assess and manage. Whenever possible, develop step-by-step processes that your team members can follow and use clearly defined metrics to keep tabs on their work.
5. Manage Without Micromanaging
This is the hardest step for many hands-on managers: learning to manage without micromanaging. Set regular check-ins with your employees and use the standardized systems you’ve implemented to objectively measure their work. Provide feedback, redirects, and follow-up goals as necessary.
Learn When to Say “No”
Learn when to say “no,” and when to stick to your convictions to do so.
It’s human nature to want to please everyone you meet. Unfortunately, this is not a sound business practice. Managers who try to please everyone often end up pleasing nobody.
As business grows, policies and best practices need to be clearly defined through the organization so every employee has a clear expectation of the dos and don’ts. Experience will teach managers/supervisors to recognize which “asks” to countenance and which to dismiss.
Saying “no” with a clear reason shows employees that they are valued and encourages them to continue to learn.
George Otte is a Miami-based entrepreneur and executive with more than 15 years of multifaceted business operations experience.