This article comes from Entrepreneur.
You can avoid being a micromanager by safely and effectively delegating decision-making authority. Letting go requires putting the proper infrastructure in place. This means three things:
Delegating before the right people are in place is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, getting the right managers often requires difficult decisions, because it can mean layering or replacing loyal employees who simply do not have the skill set to become managers. Although the decision can be gut-wrenching, failure to make the tough call can cripple a business.
It’s not very sexy and no one will pay a nickel more because you have well-documented processes. Even so, once a business reaches the point where the owner cannot be personally involved in every transaction, good process documentation is the best way to communicate to employees exactly how you want things done. It ensures that things are done consistently across an expanding enterprise and provides a basis for continuous improvement.
If every employee does things in the same way and one of them identifies a way to improve the process, it’s relatively easy to propagate the improvement across the entire organization. However, if each worker makes the product or delivers the service differently, the process improvement will only be useful to the person who identifies it — the others are doing things in a different way to begin with.
This is what enables a business owner to know what is going on in the bowels of the organization even though he/she isn’t personally there. Good profit and loss statements are necessary, but not sufficient. For example, tracking the number of shipments that are currently late can let the owner know if there is a problem with on-time deliveries while there is still time to fix things. Left uncorrected, this problem will eventually show up in the reports as a decline in sales, but by that time, the damage is done — the customers are gone. Good metrics are what allow a business owner to sleep at night.
With a solid infrastructure in place, business owners can confidently delegate decision-making authority to their managers — without it, delegation can be a recipe for disaster. Developing a proper infrastructure takes a lot of work, but the results are worth the effort.
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