Benefit by Delegating Part 2

October 13, 2003


By: Linda Leigh Francis

Nick now understood that when ANYONE performed work that a person at a lower wage could do, his company was losing money. So, Nick conducted a company-wide evaluation to determine who else did work that could be done by someone at a lower wage. He found many instances.

To remedy this problem in a cost effect manner, Nick realized that he and his people had to learn how to delegate effectively--Nick to his foremen, the foremen to the journeyman and helper, the journeyman to the helper.

So Nick and his people learned how to delegate by:

1. Picking the right person for the job.

2. Being clear about expectations. Who? What? Where? When? Why?
3. Securing an employee’s commitment for getting the job done.

4. Determining follow-up dates to check on job progress, with plenty of check-ins when a job is first delegated and fewer check-ins as a person’s skills increased.

5. Letting people approach the job their way. Differently does not necessarily mean wrong.

6. Following up on the predetermined check points.

7. Celebrating people’s success when they get the job done right.

8. Continuing to delegate additional tasks.

Nick delegated such things as handling special orders, scheduling trade contractors and materials, producing change-orders, etc. He learned his people wanted more responsibility.

In fact, delegating responsibility was a way of telling them that they were valuable, trustworthy, and important to him and the success of his company.

Nick still works hard, and at times, too many hours. But, he now works on his job. He spends his time on jobs worth 46 cents per minute that will ensure his business meets his needs and is successful.

Instead of mountain peaks and valleys, his sales have evened out to rolling hills. He now has 2 laborers full time, and is more profitable.

What is right about this picture?

This is a picture of an owner paying attention to his job. By delegating effectively, Nick is making sure people do the work for which they are paid. He is staffing his company with workload and costs in mind.

If you’re an owner caught in the “But I can’t afford to hire” trap, take a good look at what you and your people are doing. Like Nick, you may find that you CAN afford to hire.

Linda Francis teaches workshops and seminars on business management and it the author of Run Your Business So It Doesn’t Run You. For information on her seminars or to order her book, call 707-485-0162, or e-mail

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