Earlier this month, (hopefully) you set goals for the year—including mapping out delegating tasks to make it happen. Maybe you’ve run into a common problem that so many of my clients end up in: How do you keep track of who’s doing what?
You got so good at getting things off your plate that you created a new challenge for yourself to navigate. This means you’re doing it right! If you’re anything like my clients, you’ll want to know how to stay on top of your team’s to-dos (without micromanaging).
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[00:00:00] Welcome to the podcast episode on how to track your team’s progress without micromanaging. So when we’re talking about a team’s progress, this could be a task you’ve delegated to them or a particular project. And in case you’re wondering, yes, this includes tips for those of us who have a tendency to hover a little too close to our team’s work, but also for those of us that happen to have a hands off strategy.
[00:00:23] In this episode, we explore some practical strategies for monitoring your team’s progress without crossing the line into either of these two styles, and also share about how you can keep track of this in a really practical way.
[00:00:34] Did you tune into last episode number 36, it was called “Expect the Unexpected: a board game inspired guide to setting expectations in the workplace”?
[00:00:46] In this episode, I shared some of my embarrassing stories of my previous management strategies, both micro-managing and hands-off. And I can tell you neither worked well. If you imagine these two points at either end of a line. The spot that we wanting is not the sweet spot in the middle of these two, but it’s actually a triangle, the third point in the triangle is called constructive leadership.
[00:01:10] Today I’ll be talking through how to keep track of the tasks you’ve delegated to your team in a constructive way. So this is not about micromanaging and not about laissez-faire or hands-off methodology.
[00:01:21] There’s a tool that’s included in my Delegation Playbook that helps you keep track of your team’s actions and progress in a constructive way. I’ll be talking through how you can use this tool today, and you can still get your hands on the delegation playbook until the end of January at the discounted rate.
[00:01:37] If you go to www.zenithjourney.com/playbook, you’ll be able to see everything that’s included in this tool, such as a delegation guide, meeting agenda templates, a script on how to have a delegation conversation, and specifically today, we’re talking about the delegation of tracker. So let’s get into it.
[00:01:55] The first step and tracking your team’s progress is to define clear goals and expectations. Now, I know some of us have a tendency to be a little bit too vague with our goals. “Just do your best” doesn’t really cut it, but neither does a complete dictation of every micro step of what to do. What you do need is to set measurable objectives for your team and communicate the goals clearly to your team that help them understand what’s expected. And what they need to do to meet those expectations. As a bonus, it also helps us micromanagers to feel a little bit less anxious.
[00:02:29] The second thing is to communicate regularly. Communication’s the key to tracking your team’s progress without micro-managing. Now I know some of us have a tendency to check in with a team every five minutes, but trust me, that is not necessary. Make sure you’re checking with your team regularly, but not too often.
[00:02:46] It can be done that through regular team meetings, one-on-one check-ins or through a project management tool like Asana or Trello. Some people would like more specific explanations of how often to check in and what to ask in these check-ins because that is quite a vague explanation that I’ve given. So in the Delegation Playbook, I do have a meeting agenda template, and I talk about how often to check in on the progress and what questions to ask.
[00:03:12] My hot tip about communication- don’t delegate and then wait until the due date, you need to be communicating during the progress. So if something is not quite on track, you have the opportunity to have that conversation before the due date.
[00:03:26] Point number three, give your team autonomy. So while it’s important to track your team’s progress, it’s equally important to give your team the autonomy to work in their own way. This means allowing your team members to take ownership of their work and make decisions on their own. Now, I know some of us want to do everything ourselves, but trust me, giving your team a bit of autonomy, makes them feel more engaged and motivated, and also help you avoid micromanaging. Now you need to find this line between too much control and not enough guidelines. You might tell people in your team that initially, you’ll be more hands-on, but I as they get more confident you be giving them just the overarching strategy and giving them a lot more space.
[00:04:08] My hot tip around giving your team autonomy is expecting if you delegate it that it’s no longer your problem or no longer your action. Often leaders will say to me, but I gave it to so-and-so to do so it’s up to them to do it. I’m sorry to break it to you, but even though they’re responsible for doing the task or project, you are still accountable as the leader, it’s up to you to help your team succeed. If they don’t succeed, you don’t succeed. Which is why point two about communicating regularly is so important. You can’t just drop it and leave it with somebody.
[00:04:39] The fourth section is using metrics. So in tracking your team’s progress, it’s important to use metrics and this will help you measure the progress of your team and identify areas where they need to improve.
[00:04:51] Some projects will have very specific metrics that are easy. Others will be more around productivity, customer satisfaction, or employee satisfaction. Those of us that have a tendency to rely on gut feeling. Remember that data is your friend and what’s your gut feeling is not somebody else’s gut feeling.
[00:05:09] I like to think of this as what does success look like? Or what would a 10 out of 10 for this task or project look like?
[00:05:16] If you can define this with your team member, they’re set up much better for success.
[00:05:21] So tracking your team’s progress without micromanaging or without a complete hands-off laissez-faire methodology. Is all about finding the right balance setting clear goals, communicate regularly and giving your team autonomy and using metrics, you can create positive and productive work environment for your team, that people want to be a part of.
[00:05:42] Remember to always be mindful of your team’s needs and be open for feedback. Ask them “how did this go for you?” “If I could have done a better job as a leader on this project, what would that look like?” For those of us that have a tendency to micromanage, don’t be too hard on yourself. We all have our quirks. And those of us that have a tendency to be more laissez faire, more hands-off, notice that not everybody has the same desires around freedom, and having a little bit more guidance might make people feel safer and better able to perform in their role.
[00:06:14] If you’d like some support on how to be able to manage these tasks or projects within your team, you can use my proven tools that my clients are loving, which is the Delegation Playbook. The resource has everything you need to delegate, and it comes with a tracking template that’s worth the investment on its own.
[00:06:31] You can still get your hands on the Delegation Playbook until the end of January, 2023 at the reduced rate. But come February, it will be going out to its normal price. You can get your hands on at zenithjourney.com/playbook.
[00:06:46] If you found today’s podcast useful, make sure you add it to your favorites. So if you’re on apple podcast, you can just hit the plus button. And you’ll be notified every week when a new episode is ready to listen. Thanks for tuning in.
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