One of the most important characteristics of a good manager or a good business owner is the ability to delegate. You’re not going to have time to do everything. The sooner you can let things go, the better: you can focus on growth and overall strategy, not day-to-day details. But delegating is hard, and nobody’s perfect at it. So regularly check in on your delegation style, especially if you’ve just started. Ask yourself these three questions:

    1. Am I overloading employees beyond what they expected?

    None of your employees will love your company like you do. You might be willing to burn the midnight oil to fix something that is annoying you, but that’s not the case for employees getting a salary or an hourly wage. So take the time to see if you’re piling too much work on certain employees (or all of them). Also, make sure the tasks you give them fit under the broad category of the job they applied for. Don’t make your IT guru take on a sales obligation.

    2. Am I micro-managing or disappearing?

    Delegation isn’t about completely letting go of a project or task. You have to strike the right middle ground between giving your employees room to do their jobs and not letting them flounder or break something as they learn. Ask yourself — and them — if you’re making yourself available for questions and checking in just enough to make your employees feel like you have their back and trust them.

    3. Are you only delegating the tedious tasks?

    Don’t turn delegation into a tool to get rid of the jobs you don’t like. Assign one of your employees the job of handling expense reports because the process is clear and you need to fix other things, not because you think it’s boring. If you push busy work onto your employees instead of critical tasks, they won’t grow. They’ll also get bored and, when they can, they’ll leave.

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