Delegation is easier with the training triangle. The training triangle requires the manager to explain an activity or process, demonstrate how it is properly done and then hold the employee accountable for doing it correctly. That means allowing an employee to do the activity on their own and being in a position to observe if the proper steps are followed to achieve the result. Then provide appropriate feedback and allow the employee to have opportunities to practice and perfect the routine.

Used correctly, the training triangle moves an employee from learning the basics to more refinement. A manager could train and demonstrate how to proof a cash drawer when opening a register. Then watch the employee do it themselves several times to ensure that they are proficient. Then they can increase the skill by showing how to count down the cash at the end of the day or even create a cash drawer. The training triangle should start with simple skills and keep increasing the employee’s knowledge and responsibility.

Many managers simply will not slow down enough and take the time to explain and document how to complete a task. When time is tight, an unskilled manager will continually complete the task on their own and then sulk because there is “no one else who can do it.” This reflects the management skills of the manager – not the staff.

When my boys were small, I could tie their shoes in under 10 seconds. Or I could show them how to do it and wait for them to tie their shoes. Which took somewhere between 4 and 40 minutes and was rarely done well enough to walk to the door without the laces coming undone. My mother calls teaching kids to tie their shoes “investing 10 minutes to save 10 seconds.” Because it takes so much time to teach them to do it, when you could do it faster yourself. But, as a parent, I needed to teach my children how to tie their shoes on their own. Yes, I could do it better and faster than them. But as long as I continued to do it, they would never learn and gain that sense of accomplishment and independence they needed.

The same is true with managing people. You must invest time to teach someone how to do something you can do better and faster. As long as you do not teach and delegate the tasks, the tasks will expand to fill your day. You will never accomplish the truly important items that will improve your business.

Read the article about Time Management and Delegation in the May/June 2020 issue.