How can I delegate some responsibility?

15 March 2007
How can I delegate some responsibility?

Charles Trevor-Roper,Coaching to Success

Just telling people what to do does not work. Most hospitality businesses work with a young team who will have spent seven teenage years learning how to ignore any instruction they receive from their parents or teachers. They have developed a behaviour pattern that turns instructions into options.

You can overcome this in two ways. First, I bet you carry all your business around in your head. You know exactly what you want to achieve, but you have not communicated this effectively to anyone else in your team.

Commit your business to paper. Write down how you want your business run, day to day, in the form of standard operational procedures (SOPs). These ensure that your business will operate consistently to the standard you require, without your intervention.

Next, decide on your business aims - what you want your business to achieve what changes are necessary to make your business grow.

Now, you should certainly delegate all of the management of SOPs, and decide which of your business aims you can delegate.

Get your team together and tell them what you want them to achieve, but do not tell them how to do it (you know that does not work). For example, with SOPs, tell your team that you want to ensure that all these procedures are used on a day-to-day basis. Then ask your team exactly how they will do this.

By getting the team to decide on what they will do to achieve your aim, they take ownership of the decision, and they will be working to their own agenda. They have decided what to do - not you.

Finally, if you really want to empower your team, ask them to report back to you on a regular basis on how well they are doing - do not keep chasing them. That is delegation.

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