Do Not Waste Time
When organising your day’s work, it is important to prioritise and plan and stick to the plan. It works well to set up a timetable for various activities and adhere to this, especially when it comes to returning phone calls, even taking phone calls and also sending and returning emails. When others know your regular patterns on these matters they are likely to fit in with your time schedule in responding or expecting responses.
From experience, we know that many people will come into work and start answering emails straight away. They will not plan their day or decide what they are going to do and when, they just wade into emails. They answer as many as they can. Then more emails come in, so they answer those, then more and so on… until the whole day is spent answering emails. At the end of the day, the required work has not been completed.
Delegate - Don't Try to Do it All!
Whilst it is important to learn to delegate and to be pragmatic in your use of others, it is important to be aware of the balancing act between too much and not enough delegation. Do not confuse delegation with abdication of work. You may assign work to people in your charge, but as a manager you cannot dispose of your responsibility to ensure the work is done. Delegation is not just about giving someone a task to carry out. It is also giving them goals to be achieved and ensuring that they reach those goals. Hopefully it is also about developing your staff, their knowledge, skills and experience to give better performance as well as job satisfaction - which improves the company bottom line.
Not everyone is going to do a job the same way that you might have done it, but you should always consider how well they contributed to achieving the overall goal. It is a balance between letting go of the way you would do it and letting staff try, develop and use different methods, which may result in better ways of doing things and overall improvement when lateral or different styles and skills are used. Look at these three points when deciding to delegate:
- What tasks/jobs am I doing that do not need to be done at all?
- What am I doing now that someone else here could do?
- What tasks are there that can only be done by me?
We should also regularly praise staff for their hard work and achievement and give them credit for the work they have done. Everyone likes to be recognised for the good job they are doing, the staff also like to see the results of their efforts, it makes them feel part of something big, the manager gets ‘buy in’ when staff feel appreciated, are given challenged, incentives and rewards for a job well done. Some companies will honour staff efforts with a special Christmas or holiday bonus, or bonus shares in the company or other incentives and rewards. It is far easier and more cost effective to keep your existing staff happy and performing well than lose productivity and output wasting time on regular recruitment for replacements due to staff feeling unappreciated and ignored, even when they do a wonderful job and increase profits etc. for the business/ organisation.
When a manager focuses on what was achieved, rather than how it was achieved, the value of delegation will be seen in a different light.
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