Tip #1026: It’s Hard to Hand Over Your Baby

Whether you are the founder or owner of a nonprofit or for profit organization, it can be hard to hand over the reins.

X  You‘re sure that no one else can handle things as well as you can.

X  You’re worried about the consequences of mistakes.

X  You’re afraid of losing control.

Let’s take the worry out of delegating responsibility and (gasp!) decision-making authority to your staff.

First, you need to realize that you have competent staff. You hired them, didn’t you?

Second, you also need to accept that your staff will do what you want, as long as:

✅ you can clearly explain what needs to be done, how well it needs to be done, and  by when;

✅ you set milestones so you can check on progress, where appropriate; and

✅ you give them the authority to make the decisions necessary to implement their new responsibilities.

That last one may sound scary,

but the good news is that you don’t have to lose control.

You can delegate decision-making authority in degrees.

At level 1, the employee makes all the decisions- and doesn’t have to tell you about them. For example, you don’t want a customer service representative to run and tell you every time they handle a call.

At level 2, however, if that customer service representative starts to see a troubling pattern, they should tell you about it, because you need to know.

At level 3,  it’s up to the employee to make the decision, but they need to run it by you first, just in case you have information that might affect their decision.

Notice, although the employee is making the decision, their degree of independence is shrinking.

At level 4, it is the manager who makes the decision. The employee can tell the manager what the employee feels the decision should be, but it’s up to the manager to say yes or no.

If the employee consistently proposes good decisions, the manager might move the employee up a level.

At level 5, the employee provides pros and cons for a decision that has to be made and makes a recommendation, but it is up to the manager to make the decision.

If the employee consistently provides excellent recommendations, the manager might move the employee up a level or two.

And at level 6, the employee can provide facts and information, but only the manager can make the decision. These are typically confidential personnel matters.

As the owner/founder/manager, you can decide what degrees of delegated authority you want to give employees for different tasks.

As the employees prove themselves trustworthy, you can give more decision-making independence.

We’ll look at how to decide what to delegate in the next Tip.

P.S. Is it hard for you to delegate some of your tasks to your staff?

May your learning be sweet,


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