Question: What is the best way to hand off time-consuming menial tasks (like data entry) so they are done correctly but don’t derail my core team members?
Hire a Virtual Assistant and Compensate Them Well
"Nobody likes to do data entry and companies will often hire a virtual assistant for these tasks only to complain that they don't do a good job. Instead of just hiring the cheapest option, invest in them like you would a regular employee. Train them properly and pay them well. When you train a VA properly and compensate them more than expected, they will turn into your hardest workers."
Hire Local Students
"Sometimes you have to hire temporary or part-time employees to get through these tedious tasks, depending on the nature of them. I look for local students who are hard workers and aren’t fazed by repetitive tasks. Handing off these tasks to paid students versus unpaid interns gets them done efficiently and allows the student to gain experience while earning cash, so it’s a win-win for everyone. "
Empower Employees to Delegate
"The issue with delegation is when no one knows whose job it is. It's important to assign tasks to specific people and/or allow them to shoot other tasks down the chain to others. If you still struggle, hire a VA agency with multiple services and let them delegate for you."
"You don't want high-value (and high salary) employees wasting time on minor but essential operational tasks. Hire administrative staff to take care of this stuff. A talented administrator will do a good job and will be invested in the task. It’s more expensive than delegation or outsourcing, but pays off in the long run as company roles become more clearly established and menial tasks multiply."
"Fiverr is excellent. You can get about a 24-hour turnaround for several hours of high-quality menial task execution. It's very cost effective, much better than going all the way to outsourcing and you get a huge number of ratings for each vendor. Make sure the tasks are menial, though. Complex requirements can be extremely difficult to convey and should be done in-house."
"Use crowdsourcing to increase bandwidth without straining your team. Have the team member who is saving time act as a project manager by developing in-depth instructions and guidelines for the project. Also use the crowdsourced project to vet multiple people at once for future contract work. This method supports amorphous growth and develops the team member's ability to manage at the same time."
Look for Apps to Do It
"Two of my favorite "assistants" are Amy, or x.ai, and Charlie. Amy is an artificial intelligence assistant that books all of my meetings for me; I simply copy her into email conversations. Charlie does research on everyone I meet with by automatically looking at my calendar and sends me updates. Eliminating meeting booking and research from my day saves me hours every week."
Assign One Person
"You can assign one person to focus on just those specific tasks if you have the resources that would be the best answer. The second best option would be to get an intern or a new grad that is looking for a way to build up their experience -- just make sure you are teaching them as much as you can."
Use Microworkers and Sidekicks
"Microworkers.com allows you to crowdsource jobs that you might consider more menial. Sidekicks is also a great tool for hiring full-time, high-quality executive assistants. Be sure to tell your assistant that you’ll spot check his or her work, and reward them for being a valuable part of the team when a task is completed correctly."