19 May How to Start Giving Away Responsibility and Delegating Tasks
When you first start out, being extremely busy in your practice feels great…it’s something to be proud of, after all you’ve worked so hard to get there.
As you grow, hanging on to a big patient load or lots of those extra responsibilities can make you feel safer, knowing that your practice is secure as you are still needed.
However, when you start working too many crazy hours and commit yourself to being here there and everywhere for too long, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and burn out.
When you do go to reprioritize your tasks and try to improve your efficiency, it still might not work due to the fact that you simply have too much work for one person to handle alone these days.
When that time does come, it’s best that you accept that you need help and commit to making a change.
Working long hours and handling too much over a long period of time can and WILL eventually start wearing you down.
As a practitioner, you know very well that continuous stress results in your body breaking down – something you definitely can’t afford when trying to run a practice.
If this doesn’t stop, then you will gradually cease to be effective and you won’t be able to do your job as well as expected.
Why You Should Delegate
As the leader of a team, here are the three most important ways you’ll benefit from delegating tasks.
- Save Time
As a leader, you might get so involved with the small details of running the day to day business that you forget to do your most important job. This is to manage all team members and set goals for them. You need to free up your time so that you can focus on the overall well-being of the whole team. Let your team members handle the normal daily stuff and focus on the main goals that you want your team to achieve.
- Increase Your Value
Your team will respect you more as their leader if they see you leading them competently. Give your staff responsibilities and let them prove themselves to you. Finding tasks that are more challenging for your team members and completing the next level beyond that yourself will provide more value to the organization.
- Be More Productive
There’s so much work that always needs to be done and you can easily get overwhelmed when you try to do everything on your own. You will end up stressed and you actually might not be that effective since you won’t be able to complete all the tasks or do them to the best of your ability. All that stress takes a toll on your health and your performance at work will not be up to par so it’s best to avoid this by simply delegating tasks from the start.
So instead of always bearing yourself with the burden of too much work, it’s time to take advantage of the resources that are available to you.
If your work schedule is overloaded, use these 10 strategies to effectively delegate tasks and responsibilities to others which will actually help GROW your practice:
- Be a Better Manager
One of your key tasks as a manager is to ensure that you get the maximum return for the work that you distribute. You have to maximize not only your own returns but the returns of the people that you manage.
Most people only work at half of their productivity. With proper management, you can up that to 100%. Develop your team so that you can bring out the best in them. One of the ways to do this is by delegating tasks.
Here’s how to do it:
- Before you delegate, determine what exactly you want done and let the person know the results that you expect to get.
- Have a standard way of evaluating job performance.
- Give the person a deadline by which the job should be completed and a schedule that they should follow.
- Identify What Needs to Be Delegated
You cannot delegate everything. There are some things that you can delegate, while there are others that you will have to handle on your own. You need to recognize that you have your current position in the company due to some skills and experience that you have that other employees might not have. Therefore, identify those tasks that you can assign to other people and those that you have to do on your own.
At first, it might be hard for you to determine what you should delegate and what you shouldn’t delegate. You might even end up feeling that you cannot reassign anything at all. Seeing patients should be one of the first things to come off your list – as the leader you’re most valuable working on your business consistently instead of in it. It’s time to step out of the clinic room and get someone else to clock up some hours with patients while you take charge.
- Make a Hire
Hire someone to help you with low level tasks – things that someone else can easily be trained in. Some of the key characteristics that a good task manager should have include:
- Being highly organized
- Being social
- Having good communication skills
- Working independently
They don’t need to be highly skilled walking in to the role. You want to be able to give them all the training they need, mold them and get them to do exactly what you want them to do.
- Have Clear Objectives for Each Task
You need to clarify what the main aim of any task is. This will help you minimize chances of miscommunication or other people failing to execute the task well. You might have one simple goal – like asking someone to fill out a KPI sheet – or you might have several goals that overlap.
This is why meetings are so important in explaining to someone what the task is and what your expectations are. The best thing about such a meeting is that the individual will have the chance to ask any questions that they might have and ensure they can achieve the set goal.
- Play to Your Team's Strengths
You must figure out which person on the team is best meant to carry out which task. For example, if you have two tasks that need to be done, that is, writing a blog posts and going live on Facebook video and you have two practitioners to choose from, assign the video to the more verbal person and writing the post to the more introverted one. This will improve the overall productivity and efficiency of your team.
Some cases might not be so straightforward and you might have a hard time choosing who to assign the task to. In such cases, the best thing to do would be to present the task to the team and openly ask them who’s willing to do it.
- Have a Timeline
The best way to ensure that you hold everyone accountable is by setting deadlines and having time frames by which the assigned work should be completed. Don’t just leave projects open to be completed whenever. If you do this, people will tend to lag behind in their projects and you might never get anything done. Sit down with your employees and agree on what a reasonable timeline to achieve various milestones would be. Agree on when the project should start and when it should end.
Once you reach an agreement, put this all down in writing and lock it in your diaries, so that there’s a consensus about what’s expected. This also helps to prevent mix-ups about dates and what needs to be done. Be reasonable when assigning timelines, so you can give ample time for tasks to be completed. However, you should also not be too lax about the deadline.
- Follow-Up with Your Team
Don’t just assign a task and then forget about it until it is due. You need to follow up on the individual to ensure that they are on track. This doesn’t mean that you should micromanage them, but rather track their progress and see if they are getting the job done or if they are having any problems.
Nobody likes to be micromanaged, so don’t complain about every single step that the person is taking. Give them room to work and just oversee what they are doing. Get in touch with them from time to time to follow up. You can even set some reminders so that you don’t forget to check up on them.
- Establish Authority
From the very beginning you must establish that you are the leader and the one who is in charge, so that the team know to listen to you and follow your instructions. It is also important that your staff know they are respected, appreciated and expected to get the work done. When someone knows that their work is appreciated and that it makes a great difference for the company they lift!
- Get Feedback to Make Delegation Easier
Once you delegate tasks, you need to follow up with the people you have delegated to. Let them inform you if there are any problems and if they were comfortable enough while executing the task. Ask them questions so you can know how they fair and how they rate you. This way, you will know what to improve in the future and what you can do better. This is because delegation is essentially about your relationship with people and ensuring that good relationships are maintained.
Delegating is an art that should be mastered. The higher up the company ladder you go, the better you must become at this, so that you can become productive. The more you do it, the better you will become at it with time. Some people fear assigning tasks to other people, as they think that no one else can do it better than them. But if you surround yourself with an A player team, then there’s no need to have this fear, as you can be sure that your staff will be able to deliver the goods.
- Plan for the Future
As you are setting up your organizational structure, keep in mind what your future plans are. If you are planning on expanding your business in the future, the systems that you put in place now should support the kind of systems that you will want to have moving forward. Therefore, have systems in place that you can scale up even as you expand your practice. Figure out what’s working and how it can be duplicated. Have set policies that have been written down and documented. This way, you won’t have to keep repeating yourself to new recruits all the time. This will save you a lot of time.
Benefits for Your Team Members
Your team members will get new opportunities to develop their skills. This gives them more flexibility and makes them more valuable to the rest of the team.
Being trusted with a task and being able to complete it as required boosts the self-esteem of the person who was assigned the task. Giving your team challenging tasks will also encourage them to push themselves more in their personal life.
- Career Development
When given challenging tasks to perform, staff will start having more fun and enjoying their work. They will also be challenged to use their creativity which leads to more ideas and new things that you can try out as a company. Your employees will also feel appreciated as they see their ideas being implemented and for being able to help.
As long as your business is growing, just know that it will reach a point where you will have to delegate tasks, so be ready for this and use these hot tips as your guide!