Got a question for an experienced community pro? We can help!
Every month, we’ll be putting your burning questions to the incredible community industry leaders we have in The Community Club.
This month’s question comes from a Club member who is curious about delegating work to a second hire.
“What are some of the tasks that we should offload as a Community Manager to our second hire, and where should we put our entire focus on?” — anonymous
The Chief Community Officer at Commsor weighs in.
“It’s less about 'offloading' tasks and more about what tasks are ideal to have another member on your team be responsible for.
They should be relevant to both the growth of your team member as well as your own, and ideally, tie back to key strengths you identified in the hiring process. By freeing up your time from some of the day-to-day responsibilities of managing your community, what new responsibilities can you focus on that will take your community and your Community team to the next level?
Context is everything. Depending on the specific role you hired, you will likely consider delegating different types of tasks to your new team member.
For example, if your new hire is a Community Manager and they’re expected to be the daily face of the community, let them handle tasks such as onboarding, events, or program management responsibilities and you can just be involved in the higher-level planning vs the execution.
If your new hire is handling Community Operations, determine what operational pieces you can be informed of but don’t need to be directly responsible for. You can still get in the weeds as much as you like or need, but figure out where their strengths are, what your expectations are, and set up some communication flows so you can help coach or lend a hand where necessary as you make the transition from being a solo individual contributor to an actual team.
It can also be helpful to do a RACI [responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed] or DACI [driver, approver, contributor, informed] exercise before the new team member joins and again after they’ve onboarded and are getting into the swing of things. As the team continues to grow, having this as a reference can be helpful for assessing what roles you need to hire for in the future.
I also consider the risk in what I do delegate to others on my team. I routinely ask myself ‘If this were to completely fail or go sideways, what are the short and long-term consequences? Is this something I want to put on someone else or something I need to own to mitigate risk?’
If the stakes are low it’s generally okay to have it serve as a learning experience, and something I feel comfortable working through with team members. If the stakes are high and there are serious business implications, I generally don’t delegate the bulk of those tasks to new hires because it’s too risky.
For new leaders or managers, these are two main things I believe you should know about moving into a more strategic role.
Giving things up will be difficult: You’ve likely been in the weeds for so long that you feel a special responsibility or ownership and it may feel like you can’t trust someone else to do as good of a job or to carry out your original vision. While it’s true that’s a possible outcome, rarely is it as dire as you make it out to be in your head. Take this opportunity to learn how to coach people and let go of the need to make every decision.
You’ll still have work to do: You may also feel like by giving up former responsibilities you won’t know what you’ll do to fill your time. Trust me, there will always be more important work to do! Ideally, it becomes clear based on objectives and key results for your team or the organization, but if you need a helping hand with this transition period you can turn to your boss to figure out what your next move should be.”
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