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Starting Effective Delegation with eCommerce Employees

A guest post from Crystal –

You only have so much time in the day to manage your eCommerce store. You need to learn to delegate certain duties to your employees so that you can focus on the things only you can handle. Delegation does not come easily for many people. You can make it more effective through implementing certain strategies.

Create a Team Mentality

One of the most effective ways to start effectively delegating is to create a team mentality. Make it clear that your business depends on your employees. You can do this also by noticing their contributions and giving them positive encouragement. Constructive criticism must be given, and you may have to institute disciplinary actions in certain situations. However, you can still maintain the team perspective by providing positive feedback and opening the floor for your employees’ perspectives. Remember that they will be more inclined to give their best if they feel that their actions matter and that they have something to offer.

Delegate Whole Responsibilities

One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is to simply delegate tasks. They tell their employees to just handle specific items on the to do list. Instead, it’s more efficient to delegate responsibilities. While this may seem somewhat nerve wracking, it’s the only way in the long run you can achieve some free time to focus on the matters only you can tend to. This does not mean that you have to delegate all of the responsibilities for the product manufacturing or the eCommerce marketing plan to one of your employees. However, you can delegate the responsibility to update the social media feeds or to brainstorm new client retainment methods to an employee.

Keep the Work Broken into Stages

Make sure though that in the delegation that you do not dump too much. You can actually breakdown a very promising employee by giving too much responsibility. Whether it’s handling online inventory, redesigning the website, or handling some other aspect of the eCommerce business, it’s important that you break the work into stages. At each stage, check in with your employee to make sure he is handling it well. This will also ensure that if something goes wrong, you can address it before it’s too late.

Reward Initiative with More Responsibility

If one of your employees starts demonstrating initiative with your eCommerce store in a productive way, make sure that you reward that. You should reward this with positive encouragement and increased responsibility. Just make sure that if it is appropriate you include monetary rewards as well. Creativity and initiative should be encouraged as much as possible.

Understand Mistakes Happen

When you start delegating responsibilities, bear in mind that mistakes happen. People forget. Misunderstandings occur. Depending on the severity of the problem, it’s best to address the issue and then evaluate it in the light of that employee’s conduct as a whole. Don’t blow it out of proportion. Remember that some mistakes are just a part of the growing and learning process, and if an employee provides good services, you will want to turn it into something productive rather than something that makes the employee leave or breaks his spirit.

  • Victoria Mudaraya July 8, 2013, 7:40 am

    Fully agree with you – delegating or outsourcing your work is not easy – but it must be done for effectiveneess and to give you free time, at least some. You’ve started business not to forget about your life, so you need to learn to outsource most of your tasks

  • Simon @ Modest Money July 28, 2013, 12:07 pm

    Maybe to add to what Crystal has expertly pointed out in the post, when delegating, communicate…more of it is better. I have worked on both sides of the outsourcing and delegation divide and can say this from experience, communication is what kills most delegation efforts. As the leader, communicate not just the tasks but the vision and goals you have for the team and then leave your people to be creative in how they get the business there.
    Really like how she put it, delegate whole responsibilities, not just tasks!
    Awesome post

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