September 1st, 2023

There is a lot on your plate as a business owner. Delegating tasks effectively is one of the best ways to get more done in a shorter period of time. But delegation can be fraught with anxiety and can seem a little hit or miss. You might ask Linda to do a task on Monday and she does it perfectly. But on Wednesday, you ask Alex to do a task and it goes south very quickly. And the week after that, you ask Brian to do something and he completes everything but not to the specifications you want. So you have to wonder, what is going wrong, and how can you set up your team members for success each and every time?

The answer lies in the capability spectrum.

Everyone on your team has strengths and weaknesses, and understanding those capabilities can really help you not only coach your team members to help them improve, but also decide whom to delegate which tasks to. You can give Lisa in accounting the task of updating your website, but if she doesn’t have the skill set to finish the task, it will be virtually impossible to hold her accountable and see that task to completion.

High on the capability spectrum

Let’s say that you have a bank reconciliation that you need completed each and every month. Lisa in accounting would be considered high on the capability spectrum for this task, and it could easily be handed off to her with a great degree of confidence. You don’t have to do a lot of follow-up, and if it’s a recurring thing, you could probably feel comfortable letting her own the task and the follow-up surrounding it.

Low on the capability spectrum

Handing the same task off to Brian in customer service, however, would be an entirely different outcome, since he is lower on the capability spectrum when it comes to accounting and spreadsheets. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be done, it would just require more side-by-side work, more follow-up, and frequent check-ins to help with any roadblocks or issues that might arise during the project.

Effective follow-up

Now it’s important to remember that no matter where the team member lies on the capability spectrum, effective follow-up is crucial to the success or failure of your projects and tasks. You can’t just hand one off and then forget about it. You have to make sure that you have a solid plan of how and when you plan on following up, and be consistent with it across the board. That follow-up might be in a project management tool. That follow-up might be that you are going to make sure that if, on Friday, you don’t see the completed email that was agreed to, then first thing on Monday morning, you’re going to ask about it at the staff meeting. Whatever works best for you and your business, be consistent with it and make sure that everyone on your team knows what to expect during the follow-up process.