Systems are your Ticket to Freedom
Have you ever asked an employee to look after something and when you checked on their results, it was NOTHING like you had expected? Interesting that somehow from the time the request left your mouth, to when it was heard, it got scrambled.
The challenge is really in the interpretation. I’m sure we have all been on the receiving end of a request, done what we thought was a great job, only to find we had missed the mark. It’s a frustrating situation for both the person doing the task and the person asking for it to be done. For the former, resentment can grow as they do not feel valued or trusted to do their job, and they start to lose respect for their boss / manager / leader. For the latter, it creates a self-fulfilling prophecy believing they are the only person capable of particular tasks.
Often the business owner will say to themselves (and sometimes out loud) “I might as well do it myself”, instead of giving instructions more effectively. The more this occurs, the greater the list of ‘only I can do’ items for the business owner. This “Request and Redo” cycle is what keeps many business owners bogged down and prevents them from being able to scale and grow their companies.
So, what to do? Business owners that want to grow their operations and leverage their teams need to add Systems Creation to their list of skills. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, a system is “an organized or established procedure”. I’ll add that a system is an “organized procedure that creates a consistent result”. It’s the consistent result that is the real goal here. A system for a task should be created so that no matter who carries it out, the output or result is the same. Then we can be confident in our delegation, knowing that the job will get done correctly.
A system can take the form of a checklist, instructional video, audio recording, computer video screen capture, photos or combination of them all. The format will depend on the type of task being systemized, who is typically operating it, and the environment in which the system operation takes place.
As a busy business owner, it is ok to get the person doing the task to write the system for your review and approval. You don’t need to know how to do every task in the business, but you are responsible for ensuring a consistent output. The order of operations to ensure a task can be delegated is: Systemize, Train, Delegate, Monitor, Adjust.
When you create and train your staff on a system that works, you personally will never have to perform that task again. And that system writing is writing your ticket to freedom – one task at a time.
Next steps: Make a prioritized list of all the tasks you no longer wish to do. Start systemizing the ones that you like the least or takes the most of your time and happens most frequently. Train someone on your system, and enjoy the freedom you created for yourself!
ps: Learn more about how to build your business so it can work without you: Click here and Register for my upcoming Workshop in Burlington Ontario:
“6 Steps to Business Success for Business Owners”