How micro and small businesses start up can over time actually break them hence the very high failure rate of businesses set up by entrepreneurs. Commercialising a product or service without securing the investment and working capital required to take the business to the next level is common. From the get go and these operators are used to being all things to all people. They are the sales person, the financial controller, the HR manager and while they are performing these roles moderately well, there’s only so many hours in a day so what they’re actually good at is not getting enough focus – much to the detriment of the business.
One of the most underrated roles the small business owner will take on and hang to for as long as possible is human resource (HR) management. How hard can it be? It’s a specialist role that requires a lot of skill and arguably a particular temperament.
However one skill that can be well honed and usual in the HR manager role is delegation.
Just how hard can delegation be? Very hard if you’re most comfortable just getting on and doing the job yourself. Trust is an issue when it’s hard to let go and rely on someone else to deliver. While becoming a jack-of-all-trades is often part of growing a business, to take it the next level will require expert delegating skills.
How to Delegate, from an HR Management Perspective
Effective delegation means that you are generating results through the actions of others. As an employer, you can do so by:
- Knowing and becoming familiar with the strengths of your employees;
- Developing these individuals;
- Giving them the freedom to take on greater responsibility; and then,
- Holding them responsible.
We’ve outlined what this means with a step-by-step perspective.
HR Management: The 8 Steps to Employee Delegation
Here are eight steps that you can take to manage employee delegation.
Make an evaluation: recognize the primary opportunities for delegation based on the expertise of your staff
Define standards: determine the outcome you expect to see by charting out exactly what you’re asking for and when it needs to be completed
Assign the employee and agree on the terms: based on their skill set, try to see where both parties can profit from taking on the task. Confirm that there is a shared understanding of the task at hand and the deliverables expected
Provide training and support: educate your employee if they require more experience for the task, give them the proper tools for completion, and be available to offer support throughout the project
Monitor the results: have regular check-ins to keep the project on track and see where you can provide additional support
Provide constructive feedback: take time to share your opinion and approach this as a training opportunity so that your employee is learning new talents, while working towards result that meet your requirements
Assess performance: when the task is finished, compare the outcome with the standards you defined (step 2); share this with your employee
Show appreciation: thank your employee for successfully completing the task. Highlight their efforts, learnings, and where there are opportunities for them to take on comparable or bigger responsibilities to grow, as your business grows too.
What’s next? Repeat steps 1 to 8 and continue to delegate. Remember, employee delegation is an essential driver of structural growth.
There are other core skills needed in HR management including knowing how to prioritize and follow through i.e. execution.