The Foundations of a Great Place to Work


To be a good accountant you need to be good with accounting, finance, tax, commercial law and more. So what skills do you need to be a good manager? The problem is that they don’t teach you how to be a good boss in business school. That’s why most employees think their boss isn’t a very good manager. Being a great boss isn’t that much different to any profession - there are essential skills for bosses to know and master. I call them the Foundational Manager Skills. (Scroll down for your bonus download - The Essential Manager Skills You Need to Know)

These Foundational Skills are built on the cornerstones of:

  • People
  • Relationships
  • Communication
  • Growth

Done properly these skills motivate employees and make great places to work. This series will explain how these skills work and what mistakes to avoid when motivating your employees. If you want to be a better boss, then you’re in the right place. This video is part 8 in the series. Inspiring Growth Through Delegation. Watch the video here now...

This Module is Part of Boss Camp

Boss Camp will show you how to improve employee performance by showing you what they never taught you in school. The program includes topics such as:

  • How to motivate employees
  • What are bad employee motivators
  • What you must do as a manager but isn't on your job description
  • How leaders get power
  • Management techniques that don't take time

Bonus Download - The Essential manager Skills You Need To Know

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Get the Full Video Transcript Here...

Foundations of a Great Place to Work (part 8)

Motivating Through Delegation

Have you ever wanted to have another copy of yourself so you can finish all the dull tasks on your to do list and get on with living your life? It’s impossible to do everything yourself and you can’t make another copy of yourself. But as a boss you can delegate to your employees. Actually the fundamental reason for having employees is to do work for you. This is why one of the routine things that managers do is delegate work to employees. And when you get it right you’ll find that employees aren’t there just to help carry the load. What you will find is that your employees often do a better job than you because they have more time available and different skill sets. But that’s the dream vision of delegation, in reality you and I know that bosses struggle with delegation. Bosses have a lot of work to do and getting employees to work as hard and as well as we do isn’t easy. Humans are complex and simply telling them what to do doesn’t work. So how do we move from an overflowing inbox to a world where we use delegation as a motivational tool for growth?

This is part of the series on Foundational Manager Skills. These are the activities that managers need to do and the skills that they need to master to become a better boss. As bosses have to allocate work to employees, delegation is clearly a core management activity. But like many manager skills there is a transformational difference between doing something and doing it well. What I typically find is that bosses have bad experiences with delegation and then are reluctant to delegate. What happens is that employees get disengaged and lack the skills they need to support delegation. This feeds into a self-reinforcing negative down spiral where employees get less productive and bosses end up doing more work to compensate. But it doesn’t have to be that way because effective bosses know how to use delegation not just to get stuff done but also as a motivational tool for growth.

You see, here are three beautiful things about Effective Delegation:

  1. One, tasks you don’t want to do can be an attractive development opportunity for an employee,

  2. Two, as talented as you are, you’re not the best at everything. The beauty of diversity means that there’s someone out there who is better than you at some tasks. Delegate well and quality goes up, not down and

  3. Three, your time is worth more than your employees. I’m not being elitist, I’m just highlighting a fact of life about being the boss. What this means is employees can dedicate priority, time and focus that you can’t.

As with much of management there’s a transformative difference between doing something and doing it well. All to often I find that bosses don’t delegate enough because they have got bad results in the past. As I explain in the section on mindset this can result in a self-reinforcing negative down spiral into a hole.

Some of the signs that you might be in a hole include:

  1. Do you have a high workload and you work overtime, after hours or on weekends?

  2. Do you have a work backlog with many items being dependent on you to start/ progress?

  3. Are you doing things your employees should be doing or can do at a lower cost? Or

  4. Are you doing things that you are not an expert at?

The last point also means that you won’t be doing enough of what makes you special. These are all signs that you need to delegate more to manage your workload. Apologies to come across as critical here - the point is to make you aware so you can get out of the hole you’re in. What’s going on is that you’re overloaded which means your work isn’t getting done promptly. And you’re not operating on the level of a manager, you are doing work that is a level below your job title.

Now I understand that the reason many bosses get into this hole in the first place is because managing people is difficult. People are stubborn - they don’t like being told what to do. Here are four more questions to ask yourself honestly:

  1. Do you have to check, correct, redo or finish your employee's work?

  2. Is it a struggle to secure your employees commitment to the task?

  3. Does the team function less effectively without you around?

  4. Do you feel that employees don’t take the care and attention that you would? and

  5. Do you feeling stressed or uninformed about employees progress

You see, these are signs that you the way you delegate isn’t working. Fixing these is the way to get out of the hole that you’re in.

Ok so that’s the dark side of delegation, let’s have a look at more of the other bright side of delegation. Because growth is a strong intrinsic motivational factor. Your employees want to grow and you can help them to create mutual value. When you do this you will be in the management sweetspot because ethical management isn’t a zero sum game where employees trade their time purely for money.

Here are some of the ways that your employees find delegation motivational:

  1. Right now your employees have skills that are being wasted because they’re not getting used. Your employees want to do what they’re good at. Delegation can help your employees find this fulfillment so they don’t have to leave to find it elsewhere

  2. Your employees want to progress. Delegating responsibilities to staff is like a small promotion but without the increase.

  3. Your employees want to grow and learn new things

  4. Your employees want to be entrusted with responsibilities, to make a contribution and be valued and

  5. Your employees want the autonomy and flexibility to do work they way they think is best

This is why developing employees through delegation is a cheap and time efficient way to motivate your staff. You have got to admit it’s a pretty neat manager trick where you get your work done and your employees also get their needs fulfilled.

Wrapping up

And so to wrap up. Effective bosses are pros at delegation, they delegate a lot and they delegate well. Effective bosses don’t just delegate to manage their own workload. Truly great bosses know how to use growth as a motivational tool to get things done, to increase productivity as well as retain employees.

Personally for me when I hold onto things because I want to do them my way then they don’t get done. But when I let go and delegate to my employees then they do get done. And it’s really satisfying when I get back work that’s done better than I could’ve done it myself.

Effective managers develop their staff by giving them stretching assignments. Effective managers does don’t hold onto tasks because they are “the only one that can do them right”.  Effective managers don’t have to be experts at everything. Effective managers are experts at engaging people with the right skills to do a better job than they could do themselves.

Are you in a hole stuck under a pile of work? Part of self leadership is managing your own workload and productivity. You can use effective delegation to climb out of the hole.

Thanks for listening. This is part of WWW.BOSS.CAMP which gives you tried and tested people management techniques. If you want to find out how to become a delegation pro - don’t worry there’s more help coming.

We’ve reached the end of the Foundations of a Great Place to Work Series. In the next part we’ll conclude by recapping the Management Foundations to explain how they fit together in a management model to make work work for employees and bosses.