Why Business Owners Struggle to Assign Tasks and What to Do About It

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Do you have a hard time telling your staff what to do? You aren’t the only one. Many small business owners struggle with assigning tasks to someone else.

That being said it can be a big barrier to our productivity when we don’t have the heart or the confidence to get people to do the things we have hired them for.

Why don’t we share the work?

There are a lot of reasons why we might choose to “do it ourselves” or not bother asking. These include:

  1. Assuming they are too busy already
  2. Not wanting to hurt their feelings
  3. Wanting them to like us
  4. Feeling stupid that we don’t know how to do it
  5. Frustrated or not happy with the way they do it
  6. Feeling guilty for making them work while we do something else
  7. Being afraid of them

Even after years of working together, I still pause before asking my graphic designer to make changes. Sometimes I will even live with something because I don’t want to bother him again. (I’m working on this!)  

What I know to be true is that he would be pretty upset if he knew I was doing this. He prides himself on his work and his position on my team. He wants to make it right.

assign a task to someone

Last week I met with a business who had spent the entire morning cleaning the office kitchen for the umpteenth time including his team’s personal coffee mugs and lunch containers! He couldn’t seem to assign this task to someone else on the team.

Another business owner said to me “I try to lead by example but it seems the more I do the less they do”… he is right.

People need to know what is expected of them.

Instead of not liking you chances are they will be happy and have more confidence in you when you hold them accountable to do their job. Giving them new assignments and projects adds challenge and energy to their day when they get to contribute to something important.

Documents to help you lead

The following documents are crucial to have in your business when it comes to delegating tasks.

Organizational Chart – This lists all the different positions in your company. Check in with yourself. Are you doing more roles than the ones assigned to you?

Position Agreement – When done well, this agreement outlines the role and responsibilities of your employee. If you catch yourself doing a task outlined in your employee’s position agreement, take a step back. How can you redirect this task to them and empower them to complete it?

Operations Manual – If you don’t like how something is being done, update the system! Write out how you want it done, and share it with your employees. Be open to their feedback on how to make the systems as efficient as possible. Then, update your operations manual with the new system.

Assign the position for this system

Ready to assign a task to someone?

Next time you dive in and start doing something that someone else on your team could and should be doing ask yourself  “Why am I doing this?”.

Pause and remind yourself that if you are the hardest working employee, they will not have a leader. It will be very difficult for you to gain real prosperity and freedom, for you or for them.

Happy leading the way!

Until next time, enjoy your Entrepreneurial Journey!

Beverlee Rasmussen e-signature
Position Agreement

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