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How to delegate when you find it hard to let go!

Letting someone in to your business world can be daunting. You know you need help, but where do you start? Effectively delegating is a real skill that is critical in expanding a business, but understanding where to start and what to hand over can be a minefield.  

Here are our 5 top tips to help you delegate to your new right hand!  

1. Ensure trust and welcome them like any other employee 

It can be hard to build a bond when you are not sitting next to someone in an office, so it is important to have a foundation of trust as soon as your assistant starts. Make sure you pick them carefully. Check references and thoroughly vet their computer security as well as their procedures for working with sensitive information.  

Alternatively use a service that has already done all this hard work for you, like Designated.  

With this ground work, when they start you can immediately share any reference and training material. Set up a welcome call on Skype (or similar) to chat through expectations and ways of working.  

2. Create a list 

Prior to your assistants starting, keep a list of any and all work you think they can help with. If you jot things down as they crop up, you will end up with a much more comprehensive list to share. You can start with this list as a jumping off point.  

Your VA can help with anything from diary and inbox management, to large scale events and project work, so don’t be shy with what you delegate.  

In the long term, you should consider sharing your working to-do list with your assistant. Once they have their feet are under the table you will find they are able to help take things from your list that you hadn’t considered delegating before.  

3. Connect regularly 

It is important to connect with your VA regularly. Be clear and explicit when you hand work over, and make sure deadlines are firmly set and understood. 

Have a standing check-in call at least once a week to chat. This will help answer any questions they have about the work, and let you understand what is being completed, project stages and keep track of their successes!  

4. Don’t constantly look over their shoulder 

The entire reason you have hired an assistant is to save you time! Avoid micromanaging or unnecessary chasing. If you have given clear instructions, and already connect regularly, then your VA will be more than fine. You can then concentrate on the activities that only you can do.  

5. Create a feedback culture 

Give consistent feedback to ensure continued growth in your working relationship. Make sure your VA knows what is going great, where you want them to improve or what else you want them to take on.  

You should also encourage your VA to give YOU feedback.

  • Is there more work they want?
  • Areas they think they can add value?
  • Ways of working that would help them improve or even something you could do differently to ease the process or delegation.
  • Encourage them to ask questions and share ideas as often as possible. 

A good VA will be happy to give and receive constructive feedback, and it will give you both stronger engagement in the working relationship.