About a year ago as I was frantically running through the office looking overwhelmingly stressed from my workload, my boss said to me, “Not to be mean, but you are bringing this on yourself.” At first I was completely thrown off by his comment. I thought – the nerve! Here I was running around for the good of the company and he makes a comment like that. It wasn’t until I sat down with him to express my frustration when I realized…he was right. After talking about it, he made me realize that I had a problem delegating and I was trying to do everything on my own – partly because I felt I wanted to do it my way and also because I didn’t want to add more to anyone else’s plate. I felt like I would rather deal with the stress of it all and not impose on my reps or anyone else that could potentially help me out. Our talk really resonated with me and I haven’t been the same since. There are so many benefits to delegating to your team beyond just giving you more time to do the tasks you need to do.
I came across the blog How Well Do You Delegate that talked about the importance of delegating and working with others to get everything done efficiently. It offers some great tips and it even has a quiz that helps you determine how well you delegate. Without giving too much away about my results, my score today was a lot higher than what it would have been a year ago! The reason for that is because I now realize the benefits of it. Here are my top 3 reasons as to why you should delegate more when it comes to managing your inside team:
It gives you more time to focus on what really matters – managing your team. I am stealing this one from my boss because he says it all the time. As an inside sales team manager you shouldn’t be hunched over your computer to the extent that when a rep comes to your door to ask you a question, you shouldn’t feel anxious about taking the time to thoroughly answer the question because you are half focused on something else. If there are reports to run and spreadsheets to manage, you should consider delegating that to a senior rep on your team so you can focus on what you do best – leading, training and managing your people. There will be a bit of upfront time needed to train your reps on the tasks at hand and I think that’s why a lot of managers don’t delegate to begin with. They feel it is going to take so much time to train and that their team won’t get the job done quite like they would if they were doing it. While it will take time upfront, it will be worth it in the end. The work will get done and you will have much more time and much less stress at the same time.
It allows for more team interaction. I love seeing my team interact with each other and bouncing ideas off of each other. When you delegate projects you enable this type of activity to occur and it creates a lively environment where everyone works together. An example of this would be to have certain individuals on your team come up with a new script, email or voicemail and have them present to you and the team.
It provides opportunity for your team from a career development standpoint. This is my favorite benefit when it comes to delegation. You have a team of bright individuals working on your team that want to take on more responsibility and grow as a professionals. Millenials in particular want to be involved and odds are that your team is made up of many of them. If you present them with more responsibility, they will rise to the challenge and I can guarantee you will see an increase in their performance as well. Ever since the conversation with my boss, I’ve seen it happen several times and it’s really rewarding to see the growth and change in behavior simply because they are taking ownership of additional tasks.
There are always going to be tasks we’ll never be able to remove from our plate in the roles we are in. However, there are some activities in our day to day that we can delegate - we just need to figure out which tasks they are and take the time to teach our teams how to complete them. Check ins are crucial to ensure everything is moving along smoothly but it’s also important to know when it’s time to let go and focus your time on other tasks, while giving your employees professional development at the same time. How well do you delegate?