Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

How to Delegate for the Best Results: The Internet Marketing Quest Revealed

Delegation, Outsourcing, Management and Micro-Management

It is crucial we understand which tasks we take on ourselves, which jobs should be outsourced, and which ones to be delegated to others in your own organization. In fact, it will also determine when to add people to your organization and how to effectively and profitably train them, using them to their fullest advantage. This is a balancing act, one that will ultimately determine whether your organization is profitable and, ultimately, whether you remain in business or not! For that reason we will discuss delegation at length, with outsourcing being covered in subsequent articles.

In delegating effectively, there are six steps that you must take in order to be successful. If you neglect any one of the six steps below, you run the
risk of miscommunication, misunderstanding, demoralization, and poor performance.

One of the biggest challenges in business, and in Internet marketing for that matter, is the ability, or inability, to communicate effectively.

We often think we know what we are saying, yet the message being conveyed may be substantially different. It is vitally important in business that we not only listen to others…but we also listen to ourselves. Equally important is body language, combined with intonation, how we are saying what it is we are attempting to communicate. Interestingly, the two are often quite different!

Step 1: Make Sure You Have the Right Man or Woman for the Job!

The match-up between task and skill level often means the difference between success and failure, as well as overall employee morale. If the connect is not a good one, skill to task required, failure and discontent are inevitable. There is a ripple effect in your organization, as many times the improperly assigned employee ends up quitting, causing the business to suffer a two-fold loss, the expense of re-training another employee and the loss of an otherwise valuable employee. Additionally, the failure may infect the company with negativity, a powerful force, one difficult to overcome once it infects the employee base. As the manager of a team, and that is ultimately what is created when you hire employees, how you coach the team will mean the difference between a winning and/or losing season…or year.

Additionally, and perhaps of even greater significance, is time. The cost in time while the wrong individual struggles with an improperly assigned task, the time to re-assign and finish the project, and the time to find, hire, and retrain a new employee may be the difference between the winning or losing for the entire business.

Translation: If you don’t delegate properly, and match-up is key, the business may lose money and perish.

Summary Point: One of the great time wasters in the world of work is delegating the task to the wrong person. Often the task is delegated to a person who is not capable of doing it properly or getting it done on schedule.

Step 2: There must be complete agreement on what is to be done, the parameters of the task to be assigned!

This is also a communication-based step. If an employee assigned to a task cannot restate the parameters of the task, they do not understand it and will ultimately fail to implement it properly…or in a timely manner.

Once you have selected the right person, the person you believe is best for the job or a person you envision taking on this sort of task on a regular basis within your organization, and you take the time to discuss the task with them, agreeing upon what needs to be accomplished you are ready to take the next step. Remember! The more time you take to outline, discuss, and lay out what the end result or objective should look like, the more effort you put into achieving and absolute, crystal-clear vision, the sooner and faster the job will be accomplished once it is commenced.

Again, once you have explained the project and walked through it both verbally and visually prior to the outset, and then having the individual charged with its implementation restate in detail the undertaking, the end-result will usually be to everyone’s satisfaction.

Step 3: Without Micro-Managing, Explain Your Expectations: How to Implement and Carry Out the Task

In addition to the parameters of the assigned task, a time frame should be set for its completion. As in life, setting and achieving goals is as much about clearly defining the specific time-frame as it is the task itself. Without a set schedule, often with built in quality checks along the way, the task will be back-end heavy and its accomplishment unlikely. By this I mean that the employee will generally procrastinate, cramming most of the job into the period just before it is due. This is inherently human and to be avoided. In order to avoid this issue, a good manager will stay on top of the day-to-day progression of the project without micro-managing; and, that is a tough one to balance, but it must be done!

Explain to the person your preferred approach or method of working. Explain how you would like to see the job done, and how you or someone else has done it successfully in the past.

Step 4: Once Again: Just Prior to Initiation of the Project Have the Individual Assigned Repeat Back the Parameters

Ask the person to restate the parameters, including any specific instructions, back to you in his or her own words. Have them outline what you’ve just explained and what he or she believes you have agreed upon. This is the really the only way you can be sure the other individual has actually internalized and understands the task he or she is responsible for completing.

Then, have the individual detail the project guidelines in terms of the overall time frame, including a day-to-day projection toward completion. Once a concrete plan has been laid out, clearly discussed, restated, and written out…you are ready to begin.

If any of the above steps are lacking, this is the time to go back and refit the steps into a workable template.

Step 5: Set a Deadline Inside the Deadline!

Thus far we have the following steps within the steps:

1) Set a deadline and schedule for completion of the task.
2) At the same time, arrange for regular reporting and periodic inspection.
3) Invite feedback and questions if there are any delays or problems.

Once the above steps have been laid our and solidified, the plan submitted and approved, a rock solid deadline should be set.

Now, this is key…nothing and no one should allow the assigned individual to get off task. Every resource should be brought to bear to support the undertaking and ensure its timely completion.

That being said, and this is crucial, no one should know the actual due date for the project assigned. The actual due date must be well beyond the target date provided the employee. In management, as well as in life, deadlines get pushed back for a myriad of reasons. Significantly, when human beings are involved minimums become maximums. In other words, a projected range from minimum to maximum almost always results in the minimum becoming the maximum. If you provide ten days, the personal responsible will attempt to take ten plus one hour…it’s just human.

< strong>A good manager will make sure to prepare for this by setting the employee’s deadline well inside the actual one! If you fail to do this, you will end up failing and the company, and the client or clients, will feel the effects, as well.

Step 6: Manage by Exception? A Proven Strategy for Proven Employees!

Managing by exception is a useful and powerful management tool, particularly as it relates to time management. When managing by exception, you attempt to work more efficiently with others by staying out of their way, allowing them to run with it until a question or an issue arises requiring your involvement. In other words, if the assigned task is on schedule, managing by exception means that the individual is not required to check back with you. The assumption is, if you don’t hear from her or him, you may assume everything is fine. The employee reports back when a specific exception arises. The exception is defined by a problem getting the task accomplished on deadline and/or at the level of excellence required.

Significantly, and this should go without saying, the level of trust described above must be earned. Until an individual has demonstrated, on more than one occasion, that they are capable of working effectively on a deadline, periodic checks must be part of the day-to-day project reporting. Once again, it is crucial that you not micro-manage the employee or the project. However, you are ultimately responsible for the timely completion of the assigned task and for that reason it is imperative, particularly during the training period, during the probationary period as well, that timely checks are built into the system. Keep in mind that the checks do not have to be detailed and may only last a matter of a couple of minutes, but they are vital, particularly in the early stages of the relationship with the employee assigned the task…and the client.

So in conclusion, it is crucial that each of the above steps are implemented and then tracked in order to ensure optimal results. Setting the task’s parameters, a deadline within a deadline, and building in timely checks will provide for the completion of the task, on schedule and on budget. However, the project is still under your guidance, and ultimately your influence…you are responsible! Once an employee demonstrates competence and a level excellence, the reins must be loosened and the employee allowed to run with it. This is a process that takes time and communication but once your expectations are understood and met the process of delegation becomes easier and ultimately an integral aspect of our business model, you are then able to duplicate yourself with the knowledge that each and every employee who has undergone this training will be an asset and invaluable to your organization. Managing by exception becomes a reality and delegation at this level, and following these steps, becomes every bit as valuable as any management tool at your disposal.

Professor John P. J. Zajaros, Sr.
Skype: johnzajaros1

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