1. Hiring. Really? Okay, consider this: If your colleague needs an assistant, who’s going to know exactly the caliber required and make an effort to hire the very best? Yup, the person who’s going to be relying on this new employee daily.
2. Supervising others. “Employees really grow into their roles, and loyalty is promoted when they have to assume responsibility for colleagues,” says Payne. “Bosses lose countless hours dealing with daily gripes. Once I handed care over to mentors, my daily calls dropped off by about 60 percent!”
3. Promoting company culture. It has to start with the leaders, but a culture never becomes embedded unless employees are living it. Get your team to organize company functions like charity cake bakes or online forums. “It sounds corny,” says Payne, “but I was inspired and humbled to see how those in charge cared about the success of their venture.” Caveat: You must support whatever’s organized to give the responsibility you’ve delegated weight.
4. Events and corporate hospitality. Again, it helps employees buy into the idea of and beliefs of the company, encouraging them to care about who they’re representing—which is what success is built on. “Plus junior members are less jaded, so they generate refreshing ideas and represent an enthusiastic company face!” says Payne.
5. Meeting attendance. “Not the big strategic meets, but all the others that clog up your day,” says Payne. “Do not underestimate how this empowers the junior you train to go in your stead or your team if you let them run themselves.” Before they go, sit down with them to make sure they represent you well.
6. Sales. Delegate the responsibility of brokering discounts and fees. “Define parameters, of course,” says Payne, “but then give them their head to broker the best deal they can for their company.”
7. Motivation. “Get your employees organizing all social/bonding events over the year, like the Christmas party. This frees you up and gradually introduces teams to annual budget management,” says Payne. “Experiments like this can highlight hidden project management superstars in the making.” And teach hard: If they blow it—no more cash.
8. Team policy making. “If the team who’ll be living by the policies creates them, they’ll be more likely to stick to them,” says Payne. “Your authority should simply cover company policy—only intervene to ensure team policies stay in line with those.”
-Deborah Jane Willimott for WORKS by NicoleWilliams
Photo credit: WORKS, WORKS by NicoleWilliams
Nicole is the bestselling author of three books, the latest of which, Girl on Top: Your Guide to Turning Dating Rules into Career Success, has been optioned by Bruce Cohen, the producer behind the Academy Award winning films American Beauty and Milk. The company she founded, WORKS by Nicole Williams, is the go-to resource for career-minded young women and was named one of Forbes magazine’s Top 10 Career Websites for Women. You’ve seen her on TV—as a regular guest on Today, Good Morning America, and CNN—and in print, where her advice has appeared on the pages of ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Marie Claire and the Wall Street Journal. Nicole’s career clothing picks are available at The Limited stores across the country and she is also the career contributor for Shape magazine, where she’ll continue to spread her sexy mix of dating tips turned career strategies to young women everywhere.
GIRL TALK TIME: What tasks do you delegate to your junior employees? Do you agree with this list? What’s on your to-do list this Friday and how are you getting it done?