Marketing leaders have always had a challenge on their hands, but it has never been more obvious than now, during the Coronavirus pandemic. Marketing is often separated into different, smaller teams, depending on which area they handle — PR, social media, content marketing, etc.
And now that all of those teams are in different locations, it can be tough to stay on track and keep all of these professionals aligned and agile. However, the answer to greater productivity is very simple — it lies in the delegation.
Why Is Delegation Important?
As a leader of the marketing team, you probably find yourself taking on numerous tasks that take your attention away from more pressing matters. This is where delegation comes in handy — and it’s useful for you, the team, and ultimately the company.
It may seem like you’re just piling your work onto someone else, but delegating is necessary for actual team productivity (not just busywork), by removing bottlenecks, and allowing your team to learn or expand their skills.
Aside from getting work off your plate and allowing you to focus on tasks with which you can add more value, delegating empowers your employees. It builds respect between you and your team members by giving them a boost in confidence and motivation.
This, in turn, helps your company’s bottom line because teams are more efficient and therefore more productive with less wasted time. Plus, the workflow will be more seamless, resulting in work being done on time and with more enthusiasm, higher morale, and happier company culture.
How To Delegate Marketing Tasks Properly
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to delegate marketing tasks properly.
Pinpoint Tasks That Need Delegation
The first step in this process is to decide which tasks you can and should delegate. And there’s a simple way to do that — take a look at your current workload.
Is it crucial that all of those tasks are done by you? Are there any tasks that someone with a different skill set would do better? Which tasks would take you too long to do (and possibly cause missed deadlines)?
Based on that, determine what can be delegated while still maintaining a smooth workflow and meeting all the deadlines. You can also consider using tools like automation for your own tasks — anything that removes tedious and repetitive work from your day-to-day.
Choose The Right People
In this step, it’s important to look at skills and schedules. If someone has the necessary skills to perform a task and free time, then they are the right person for you. However, what happens if you, for example, have a news update that would be great for the company blog, but the content marketing team is busy?
You have to get creative — reach out to your teams and see who has the skills (or the will to learn, if there’s time) to complete the task. Maybe someone from your PR team will be able to do it or someone from advertisements. The important thing is to ask — people often want to try different positions if they want to advance and this is a good opportunity for you to get to know their strengths and weaknesses so you can help them grow.
That also means delegating tasks to those you might think of first; branch out to newer employees or adjacent team members. As said by Ann Dunwoody, a retired US Army general, “You want people to come to you with different perspectives, different solutions so that you can make a better decision.” Diversifying ideas and problem-solving approaches is critical for innovation.
Give Directions and Tools
The next important thing you have to do is to give your chosen team members directions and tools. As for directions, this will include giving them all of the documents that they might need and preparing them for the task. Give them the context of what they are doing and why it’s important. Be clear about what you’re asking for and make sure that they understand the task before they take it on.
The tool stack you’ll provide largely depends on the task itself, but you’ll want to help your team members avoid the tedious, menial work that just wastes their time and energy. For example, consider how partial automation can remove tedious, repetitive tasks.
Build a Culture of Accountability
Building a culture of responsibility and accountability is not that easy to do. However, there are certain steps you can take to bring your teams closer to it.
For one, when delegating, give that team member complete ownership and authority over the task. If you only give them responsibility in certain aspects, but not over the whole thing, this could end up disengaging them from the work. Not only that, but the end result can be pretty muddled. Allowing more autonomy and power over tasks gives them the boost they need to complete it.
At the same time, you have to work with them beforehand to develop certain markers of good performance so that this employee can track their own progress and see how they are measuring up. This will naturally build accountability as well so they can take pride in meeting benchmarks and develop self-managed responsibility.
Provide Feedback and Encouragement
Giving feedback is just as important as giving your employees a sense of accountability. This doesn’t mean that you have to check up on your team members and delegated tasks every day. It means that you should set up certain points at which you would get involved just to check on the work.
Constructive criticism is important— but remember to also point out the good things that the team member did. One-on-one check-up meetings can be of huge value in this case and show your employee that their time matters and you appreciate them. Encouragement can be a good push in the right direction and it can motivate your employee to do a much better job.
But, find that balance and avoid micromanaging your employees. Don’t supervise their work on a daily basis — let go of the task as much as possible while still being present if your help is needed.
Delegating can seem scary at first — letting other people take over your workload isn’t easy for several reasons. You may feel that they will do an inadequate job or like you will be replaced. But this is not the case.
Delegation helps the entire company work better — like a well-oiled machine — by transferring work from people who have too much on their hands to people who have the time and skills. In the end, it increases motivation and builds respect within the company which can only improve the bottom line.