If it’s your first time hiring a virtual assistant, you might be asking what tasks can you assign and furthermore, how to delegate tasks. Task delegation is necessary as it helps boost the productivity of your business. It also helps to make sure your staff is maximizing the use of their time and your time as well. By delegation, you are also helping to develop the skills of your staff and bring out the very best in them.
Before you start assigning tasks to your staff, make a list of all duties that you feel you need help with. You need to determine the relevance and the difficulty of the duties at hand. Is it of low-level difficulty and relevance or is it a high-level difficulty-and –relevance task? This will enable you to efficiently assign the tasks to the right staff.
We have outlined 5 crucial steps to follow in the delegation process:
- Select which staff to assign the task to. Your best indicator will be their past performances. New staff will always be assigned the low-level duties as they have not yet proven themselves. As time goes by, you can assign higher level tasks after they’ve successfully completed the initial tasks you’ve assigned. As you go along, it will enable you to determine your staff’s capacity to work. If they are able to finish the tasks before deadline, then you may delegate more responsibilities to them. Examples of low-level tasks are data entry, online research, travel arrangements/planning, calendar management, customer service, receptionist duties and doing personal errands (purchasing gifts online etc.) Higher level tasks would include but not limited to bookkeeping, training of new virtual staff, email marketing, appointment setting, content creation, and social media management.
2. Have a talk with your staff. The tasks you will assign will be part of their KPI (Key Performance Indicators) so you have to give them a detailed instruction on how you expect the job to be done. Be clear with the outcome and make it measurable.
Example: If you want your staff to write an article for you, you have to give him/her an editorial calendar where she will have access to the topics you need to be written or you can teach her how to come up with the topics. You’d also have to be clear with the number of words per article and when you need each article to be done. Then you need to clarify the frequency and turn around that you expect.
3. Get agreement from your staff. Discuss with them the details of the project and set a deadline.
4. Be open for feedback. As part of their learning process, it is very helpful to let the staff know that you are open for suggestions and questions. There are times that your staff will have a very insightful idea or different way to approach something. Allowing them to have some latitude will encourage their best work.
5. Avoid micromanaging. Give full responsibility and accountability to your staff. Virtual assistants always give their close-of-business report every day so you can always quickly check if the work has been completed or are still in progress. There is minimal need for you to check the progress of the tasks you have assigned as doing so will only add to your current workload. Micromanaging forfeits the purpose of task delegation. It also does not encourage accountability on the part of your staff. Unless it is a critical task, allow your staff to finish it by the deadline and if it is a routine task you’ve assigned, you can have a bi-weekly feedback with him or her to check how things are going.
Do you find yourself swamped with tasks that you don’t know which ones to give priority to? Your business cannot reach its full potential if you are missing deadlines. Why not start delegating your tasks? Contact us and we will help you get started.