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EFFECTIVE management is key to running a successful business in the meat and livestock sector, and a manager who knows how and when to delegate will always be more successful.
While many find it difficult to hand over and entrust others with tasks and jobs, it is a fundamental quality of a team leader to be able to delegate properly. That applies as much to a small family-scale cattle or sheep property with a single employee, as it does in a feedlot with 30 staff.
This difficulty can be due to a number of reasons including a manager not accepting something being done differently; a manager not wanting to let go of tasks they have previously completed themselves; or not having a project or task done properly once delegated in the past.
So how can tasks be delegated successfully?
Communicate in person
It is always recommended, when possible, to communicate to an employee in person.
This is especially the case if there is a need to tell someone they have to re-do a job or task, as it can be hard to express patience and empathy via an email.
Explain what needs to be improved upon, rather than just dissecting everything that was done wrong.
A manager should not decide to do the task themselves to get it done correctly, but rather take the time to explain how their employee can do it better for future.
Don’t seek perfection
A manager should remember that the objective is to get the job done; everyone will have a different way of accomplishing a job or task and perfection should not be sought all the time.
More importantly, a set of expectations should be established, then it is up to the staff member on how they finish the project.
Make sure the employee has all the necessary information and instructions prior to completing the task also.
A manager needs to understand and believe that others can do the job, and resist the urge to think it is faster for them to ‘just do it themselves.’
Once the employee understands what is wanted from them and how to do it properly, a manager should eventually be able to hand off more and more projects.
Check on progress
While an employee generally won’t appreciate having their superior watching their every move, managers should check in periodically to see how an employee is progressing with a task.
This is especially recommended if it is the first time an employee has completed a particular task -they will appreciate regular guidance and assurance that they are on the right track.
Agribusiness managers need to remember that delegating is not simply offloading work but rather allowing other employees the chance to stretch their skills and knowledge-base.
Make sure they are aware of this and that their efforts are recognised and appreciated to ensure future delegation occurs smoothly.
Source: Meat Processors Pty Ltd