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Four Keys to Effective Delegation

It’s hard to let go, but eventually, every entrepreneur learns that you can’t go it alone. It takes an army of great people to build a successful company.

I’ve had my fair share of delegation missteps and I have learned a thing or two along the way. Delegation is not easy; it is a lengthy process that requires diligent work, coaching and leadership.

Effective delegation is more than a training session and touch points.  Delegation is multi-stepped process that centres on choosing the right people; coaching them, allowing mistakes and finally, helping your people achieve their goals

Step One: Expectations

During the interview process you must set expectations on performance, responsibilities and goals with your candidate. Clear expectations are the initial stage of the delegation process.

If you discover during the interview process that your candidate craves responsibility and growth and has a proven track record of “owning” their goals you are on the right path. If the candidate shows a pattern of externalizing past failures, good luck delegating to him or her!

Step Two: Training

Training is very different from coaching. Training involves the transferring of knowledge. If you want to delegate Sales for example, you need to transfer everything you know about your customers, your industry, your sales cycle, and your products. Share you triumphs and your failures. Everything!

The training needs to be phased so that you don’t overload your employee.  Once you have completed basic training, go through it again and then again. Nothing like repetition to lock in the learning!

Step Three: Coaching

Time to hit the “field”!

I have learned that working in the field with your employees and watching your employees interact with customers is the key step to delegation. While in the field you might role model, you might watch or maybe both.

In addition,  any successful coaching event must include solid feedback after the event. You want to offer your employee two areas to continue and one to improve. Repeat the in field coaching process over and over and always follow up.

Step Four: Goal Setting

Setting up weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual goals with your employee helps to build a road map for their success.  The goals must be tracked and discussed weekly. As the coach, occasionally you will offer a “kick in the rear” and sometimes a hug, do what it takes to help keeps thing on track.

That’s what I have learned.  Delegation takes time, belief in your people and alignment between you and your staff and it’s worth the effort!

Dave Notte

About the Author: Dave Notte

Dave Notte is the founder of Wolfgang Commercial Painters, one of Metro Vancouver's largest commercial and strata painting companies.

Wolfgang Commercial Painters

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