06/27/2023 by Rich Clark
Are you leading a team within your Freight Agent office and want to be a more effective leader? Do you often feel like you don’t have the time?
There may be issues with the way you’re running the team. I don’t mean to be harsh, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that you’re not doing enough. If you look at the bigger picture, the issue is probably the opposite: you’re probably doing too much.
For most leaders, their issues lie in the delegation. Delegation is one of the most crucial aspects of leadership. It can also be one of the most difficult because it’s tough to relinquish control when you oversee the bottom line.
What kind of habits do you have? What holds you back from delegating more?
There are three key reasons why you may struggle with delegating tasks:
Leaders can struggle to believe that their Team Members are capable and willing to take on some of their tasks. However, your role is to push and uplift your Team Members to be and do more than they think they can do.
Even if you’re used to doing everything yourself that doesn’t mean that’s the best avenue to take. If you don’t begin delegating tasks, you’re likely to burn out. Isn’t that why you hired your Team, to help support your business?
While this may be true, you won’t know what your Team is capable of until you give them a chance. And even if they don’t quite have the same skills as you, skills can be learned. You want your Team to become experts at what they do, don’t you?
Take a moment for some self-reflection and see if any of these ring true for you. It could be one or a mixture of them all, but regardless of which specific reason is keeping you from delegating work, the overall theme is fear. You’re afraid of what might happen if you let go. But as Andrew Carnegie said, “No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit.”
Now that you understand why you should be delegating some of your work, let’s look at some strategies for supporting your Team after you’ve begun delegating tasks.
Have you ever had a job where you had no idea what you were doing and all you ever heard from your supervisor was that you were doing things the wrong way? Most individuals have, and they usually don’t survive long in these occupations. Nobody likes to feel unsure and alone.
Typically, if you’re not recruiting someone who is an experienced professional, it’s always good to provide an initial training session for every new employee to shadow or watch you. Let them watch you and ask questions. They need to understand your expectations, work habits, and preferences.
This is something that doesn’t happen overnight. In most training situations, it’s recommended to devote two weeks to a month to this and allow your new employee to start doing their specific job when they are ready.
If you put in the time now, you’ll get a lot more later.
We’ve already discussed your need to delegate work; now let’s talk about your role after giving a task. People are most devoted to and involved in something when they feel responsible for what they are doing. So, how can you make someone care about their job performance and feel accountable for it?
It all starts with trusting them. I’m not suggesting you won’t be available to help them when they need it, but you should be willing to give someone an assignment and let them see it through to completion.
This will result in three important outcomes:
This one should be self-evident, shouldn’t it? But it may be difficult for you to see it. Again, we must consider many views and be very aware of our own actions. And, while I’m not suggesting you let your staff heavily criticize you, you should be open to input. As you gain their trust, your Team should feel comfortable enough to approach you with any concerns or feedback. If they’re not doing that, consider re-evaluating.
Morale is no laughing matter. One study says 69 percent of employees in an office said they would work harder and take their jobs more seriously if they felt more appreciated. Make employee appreciation a regular part of your weekly calendar. Think about it:
Feeling valued = confidence = working harder = learning faster = taking on more responsibility = leading an effective Freight Agent Team
Delegation is a balancing act. You delegate jobs due to a heavy workload, but delegating too much work to others who are already overwhelmed puts vital items in danger of falling through the cracks or creating a burned-out team.
You must maintain track of each person’s workload, especially if you have numerous employees in your Freight Agent office, to ensure that everyone is working at their maximum potential. This necessitates first learning about each employee’s talents and capabilities.
If you aren’t already using task management software, I strongly advise you to do so. Task management software programs like Salesforce and Hubspot can show you how many tasks each team member has, their task timeline, and deadlines, so you’ll know how much you can assign them.
Leading a team means going as a group rather than alone. As a team, you’re there to learn from each other and draw strength from one another. As a leader, it’s your sole responsibility to support your team, help them develop, set the direction, and remove obstacles.
“Delegating doesn’t mean passing off work you don’t enjoy, but letting your employees stretch their skills and judgment.” – Harvey Mackay
At Trinity Logistics, we know all the challenges there are for growing Freight Agent offices in leading a team efficiently and handling delegation. That’s why we have a whole Agent Support Team available to help. They’re a Team dedicated solely to the support of our Freight Agents to help you set and achieve your professional goals, provide constructive feedback to succeed in your business, offer learning opportunities to grow your skillset, and so much more.
Trinity Logistics has over 30 years of experience aiding in the success of our Freight Agent businesses, with many of our Freight Agents seeing a 50 percent increase over a two-year period from joining. If you’d like support and see a similar kind of growth within your Freight Agent business, then get connected with one of our Team Members to get started.
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