Running a cleaning business isn’t easy, and at times it can be overwhelming. Feel confident in asking others for help and delegating to competent employees.
Delegating. Some cleaning managers and supervisors overdo it, dumping anything and everything on their employees, while others don’t do it enough, overloading themselves with work. The managers and supervisors who don’t delegate enough are often hesitant to trust anyone else to do things “their way.”
However, delegation and its importance to effective management can’t be understated. Delegating is all about improving workflow and capacity, not just managing your own workload. But why should you delegate? There are several reasons:
- To achieve a healthy work/life balance.
- To meet growing business needs, because as cleaning consultant Mickey Crowe says, when we try to wear many hats, “we simply cannot do everything well.”
- To promote personal development of your employees, which allows for even greater business growth.
So, how do we effectively delegate? Here are a few things to consider:
- Planning: As you determine who has the time to take on a new project, really consider the person you have in mind. It doesn’t matter if the delegated task falls on the cleaning or administrative side of the business; it’s most important to match the employee’s skill to the delegated task. Think about each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as their passion and desire for additional responsibilities.
Set the expectation: Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, teaches in his second habit to “begin with the end in mind.” When you first delegate a task, clearly explain what you want done and provide a set deadline. Include any metrics you will use to assess the quality or success of the task and try to use numbers whenever possible.
Remember, this is also a discussion, so give the employee an opportunity to accept the assignment and ask clarifying questions. If this step doesn’t happen, the employee will not take ownership of the task, which may stall the employee’s progress and cause other problems later.
- Resources: It is vital that you communicate the resources your employees have available to them. For example, a quick reference sheet could help a new cleaner keep working if you aren’t available for questions. Larger projects may include onboarding additional employees or maintaining a budget.
Ongoing Communication: As an employee completes an assignment, it is important to position yourself as a mentor. This allows you to celebrate success in real time, catch problems early and build rapport with your employees.
Do not let your employees “reverse delegate” an assignment. If you take back an assignment, not only have you added to your to-do list, you have also robbed your employees of a learning experience, which may have greater consequences to your business.
Consequences: Remember that consequences are not inherently negative. As you assign tasks, show your employees how their assignments connect to the company’s goals. Discuss how completion of the task impacts the company.
Doing this empowers employees to take ownership over their part of the business. It also helps them to start thinking of the company’s health, which will prepare them for their next career step.
It’s OK to delegate! By gradually delegating tasks to trustworthy and capable employees, providing them with clear instructions and, most importantly, demonstrated appreciation, you’ll breathe more easily. Effective delegation will make your team better and your cleaning business more successful in the long run, even if it involves a little more patience and some short-term growing pains.
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