Why investing time and effort in your workforce is so important in a business world dominated by Covid 19
There has rarely been a time with a genuine sense of ‘we’re all in this together’ as now with coronavirus wreaking havoc on just about every aspect of our lives.
But does there really need to be a crisis to foster such an all-inclusive spirit? After all, solid teamwork is the key to successful business organisations during both the good times and bad and at the heart of it is one word … delegation.
Yet do some business leaders actually know what it means and that it’s not a loss of power, authority and control for them? If done correctly delegation can totally change the way an organisation works for the better but it takes brave and determined leadership to put into practice.
It’s all about trusting your workforce, giving them a sense of responsibility and then letting them get on with the job. It gives them the ability to learn and develop new skills, enhances a sense of trust between staff, helps communication within businesses and improves efficiency and productivity. You’ll also discover each employee’s individual strengths which could lead to even more effective delegation.
OK, it may not always go right and that’s why a good manager needs to persevere, to lead, to encourage, to ensure every employee has the skills and training to do the job expected of them. So praise them in public, foster a sense of everyone working together for the common good and, if some stronger words of advice are needed, make sure they are said in private.
Before you delegate be clear of the standards or targets you’re expecting, but then leave your staff to do it. After all, they may have far more experience than a manager to do the task you’re wanting them to do.
How delegation can give you time to think
If delegation is done effectively through the organisation from top to bottom then the person at the top will be able to do what many senior managers fail to do … and that’s have time to think. This precious thinking time can lead to a whole new and possibly even more profitable way for an organisation to operate.
Business leaders will also have time to talk to managers and staff, listen to their thoughts on what’s working well and what could be improved. Delegation frees up time … and that time means a leader can find out so much more useful information about their own business rather than working day in and day out with their ‘nose to the grindstone.’
Top managers don’t want to be doing that. They need the time to look up to both see and understand what’s going on around them in the business, make necessary changes and shape the organisation’s future. How many get side-tracked by relatively unimportant tasks and things they could so easily delegate? How many are ruled by their egos that they have to lead from the front and are loath to let much responsibility go? What happens when they leave? What kind of organisation will they be leaving behind if it has become reliant on one person?
Every leader must think at some point it would have been quicker and easier for them to have done a specific task they have delegated – and it might have been for that task. But in the long-run if they try to do everything are they shaping their organisation to be too reliant on them?
Delegation also means that if the person at the top is absent – perhaps though a sudden illness – the organisation can continue running like the proverbial ‘well-oiled machine.’ The last thing you want is the leader taken out and people wondering ‘what do we do now?’ By building a capable team and delegating responsibility to them the whole organisation will go – and grow – from strength-to-strength and be ready and flexible to change and adapt during challenging times.
Over the last nine months businesses have had to think and work totally differently with offices shutting and employees working from home. Those businesses that have made the transition with a workforce committed to making it work will have survived and some may even have thrived. Delegating to people gives them a sense of both responsibility and self-discipline, realising the onus is on them to make it work both for themselves and the business as a whole … never more so than at the present time.
Why delegation leads to confidence and mutual respect.
The two other attributes that go hand-in-hand with delegation are confidence and respect – a couple of watchwords behind any successful business that continues to perform well whatever life throws at it.
Confidence in that the business leaders must always have an air of confidence and show energy and enthusiasm in everything they do – even if they may have their own doubts. No-one wants to follow someone who is indecisive, downhearted and lacking a sense of direction.
Confidence too in their staff and showing it by delegation and praise. Money is not the ultimate driving force for most employees, it’s a sense of worth, a feeling they are an important part in a successful team and someone the senior leadership trusts to do their job well. Staff – in fact everyone you meet – should be treated with respect at all times and by treating them arrogantly or in a short-tempered way will ultimately only reap a negative impact on the business. It’s harder said than done, yes, but genuinely good people will never do others down. Shouting leads to people working under stress and even in fear and in that kind of toxic atmosphere you’re never going to get the best out of them or, ultimately, their respect.
If anyone says they don’t respond well to positive reinforcement then I’ll show you someone who is being economical with the truth.
So, in conclusion …
In short, invest time and effort in your staff and you can only really do that by delegating responsibility to give you the time and, dare-I-say, headspace to do that.
Ensure they have the skills and knowledge to do what you’re asking, give them clear information on what it is you want them to do and the resources to do it and ensure you fully praise them when they succeed.
After all, the most valuable resource any business can have is its people. Without them the business would never move forward and the better the workforce, the better your business will be.
The golden key to unlocking their potential is to delegate.