You own a language school. You own a language school. You answer the phone, manage the team, answer the e-mails, support the secretariat, and plan a strategy for the future so that everything you put so much heart into doesn’t slip away in a few years. Moreover, customers love you and want to talk only with you. And you have the impression that everything you do, you have to do yourself. Otherwise, it will be worse, with mistakes or not done at all.

Leaving aside the obvious aspects of such work, such as lack of free time, overtime, and even burnout – what if you have to reduce the number of duties, because for example, in your life will appear a new family member, you become pregnant or will have to go on a long leave?

If you do everything on your own, no matter how much you devote yourself to your work, you can only do a limited range of activities. And since the number of tasks you do is limited, your success will also be limited. Delegation of responsibilities is a key management skill, including in the case of language school. However, many people believe that this is one of the most difficult tasks they are trying to implement.

What is the delegation of responsibilities and why is it important?

A delegation is the transfer of responsibility for a task to another person. Thanks to the delegation, you enable your employees to develop, and expand their competencies and responsibilities. It is one of the main elements that motivates and sustains the work. And you, as language school owners, can focus on higher-priority assignments.

Interesting fact: According to Gallup research, managers who efficiently delegate tasks generate 33% higher revenue.

Protip: Do not confuse delegation of responsibilities with issuing commands. Delegation is not just about delegating new tasks. It is also about sharing the powers and responsibility for their correct implementation. Pass on both the power and the knowledge needed to achieve your goals. You will benefit from a reduction in your commitment to the project, and the employee will have the chance to demonstrate ingenuity and skills.

Benefits for team members:

  • career development opportunities,
  • increase school loyalty,
  • Faster action and decision-making,
  • Improve motivation and job satisfaction.

Traps that stop delegation of responsibilities

There are quite a few mental traps that prevent the delegation of tasks, and this is quite an individual matter. Among the most common beliefs are that:

  • it will take longer to explain the task than to do it alone,
  • others do not have sufficient competence,
  • I don’t have time to train my employees right now,
  • I’ll do it the best way, or the fear of poor task performance,
  • and lack of confidence in the workforce.

What are the real reasons for the reluctance to delegate responsibilities?

1. I don’t want to add more work to others

Just because a manager usually does a job, it doesn’t mean that others can’t. The accomplishment of the task matters more than who is going to accomplish it. If you have the impression that your team members are too busy, it’s worth checking out what absorbs them. You may find that they focus on low-priority tasks or perform tasks that can be automated and thus save a lot of time. Delegation is not about increasing the work of the team, but about distributing it more efficiently. Delegate so that tasks are transferred according to the worker’s skills and current workload.

2. Lack of delegation skills

In the skillful delegation of responsibilities, it is important to select tasks according to the level of preparation of the employee. If a manager cannot clearly define objectives, monitor progress and provide the necessary information, then it is more than certain that the employees will not meet her/his expectations for a very simple reason: they cannot read her/his mind. Remember, there’s nothing obvious to everyone. Something you take for granted because you’ve been doing something for many years doesn’t mean it’s going to be obvious to your employee.

3. Fear of losing control

When you hand over your work to others, you have to accept the fact that it will take some time for your staff to learn how to perform their duties well. They will make mistakes, it will take them more time and the quality may deteriorate. It is important that we patiently support and guide, and these obstacles will soon disappear.

When to delegate tasks?

To determine whether a task can be delegated, first answer a few questions:

  • Is there a person in my team who has the needed knowledge or upon whom I can pass the knowledge needed to do the job? Is it important that I do it myself?
  • Will the task affect the development of the team member?
  • Is the task repeatable?
  • Do I reckon with having to spend time on a delegation? Will I be available to provide training, answer questions, check progress, and make improvements?
  • Can I delegate this task? Isn’t it crucial to the long-term success of the company and needs my attention?

If the answer is „yes” to at least some of these questions, then you can safely delegate them. Be sure to also consider the project schedule (do not delegate at the last minute!) and the objectives related to the submitted tasks.

How do I delegate tasks?

When you delegate tasks, it’s a good idea to use the SMART method. These are five intuitive rules that will make your goal clearer, both for the employee and the manager.

Specific – set a specific target.

Measurable – Specify progress indicators.

Achievable – Describe the benefits of reaching your goal.

Relevant – determine if the goal is achievable.

Time-bound – set a deadline for completion.

Once you’ve determined the results you want, it’s time for the hardest part for many people, which is the delegation itself. Follow the steps below and it will soon be much easier for you to delegate your responsibilities and it will start to come naturally 😉

1. Don’t wait for the last moment

One of the mistakes made by managers is the delegation of responsibilities only when your hands are full. This generates considerable stress for both sides and is easy to make mistakes and shortcomings. If you see that you can delegate responsibility, do it right away. Even if your team is busy with something else, it will be easier to plan work and organize it without unnecessary haste.

2. Specify the boundaries

Often overlooked, and extremely important when it comes to the fluidity of the tasks performed. Define responsibilities, autonomy, and decision-making for your project. To make this clear to both parties, please tell your employee if she/he should:

  • wait for task assignments or act on their own,
  • ask about the next steps to be taken
  • report the results of each action taken,
  • Initiate actions on their own and only report them.

3. Communicate more

When you delegate tasks, always be specific and make sure the employee understands what you want from them. Avoid „Could you…” phrases. Of course, it is worth always being polite and gentle in formulating messages, but avoid pleading. Instead, you can use „I wish you did…”. If the task is extremely important, mark it by using proper words to amplify the message.

4. Provide resources and permissions

If an employee needs special training, specific resources, and powers to perform a task, then your role is to provide all the necessary tools. Without them, the task will become impossible and the result will only be frustration on both sides. On the other hand, be sure to hand over the instructions without telling step by step how the task should be done and controlling each step. This approach will prevent the acquisition of new skills. Focus on the result and help fill in the gaps between the expected result and the current set of skills of the employee.

Protip: Do you want to save time and not engage 100% in training every new employee? Write down procedures for each department and position in your school. It may take you some time at one time, but you will avoid onboarding every person from scratch. Not only will it save you time, but it will systematize your work in your school and introduce standards that are important to you.that are important to you.

5. Focus on the results of the work

Not every task requires adapting to your pattern of operation. For example, it may turn out that the way your employee works is more effective and there is nothing wrong with it! Steve Jobs said, „It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” And sometimes it’s worth following that principle to allow schools and their employees to thrive. Avoid the so-called. „delegation up”. If there is a problem, instead of taking responsibility back into your own hands, ask the employee to present her/his solutions to you.

6. Appreciate the worker

Showing your team that success is the result of their work will make them more willing to engage with the tasks they have been assigned. Verify the task she/he has completed and tell the employee how you rate the job. If you are really happy, it is worth emphasizing, thanking, and rewarding their efforts. In this way, proactive attitudes are strengthened and the independence of your team is also growing.

Building your language school, although it starts with a beautiful vision of independence and getting the best out of your passion, often turns into a two-time job. If you overcome your resistance and allow your employees to influence the development of your company, you will build a fully automated, efficient business that will bring profits from year to year. You will gain time not only to support your team and control the results of your activities but above all to participate in moments that are especially important to you in your personal life. And this is what I wish you wholeheartedly, and keep my fingers crossed for the results of the delegation of tasks to surprise you positively!