Delegate to Accelerate Success
Practice leaders find it hard to delegate even though it is critical to the growth and success of their business. So why aren’t we delegating if we know that it is important? Quite simply, people don’t delegate because it takes a lot of up-front effort.
While on the surface it’s easier to do it your self than explain the strategy behind the task to someone else, there are two key reasons that it’s better to delegate the task to someone else. First, by doing the work yourself, leaders are failing to make the best use of their time. Secondly, by meaningfully involving other people in the task, leaders are developing their team’s skills and abilities.
Five Tips to Delegate Effectively
- Clearly Define the Roles and Delegated Tasks.
Delegation can’t happen overnight, and before handing off responsibilities, we must first clearly define job roles and the organizational chart. An organizational chart displays the hierarchical structure of the practice, and where any crossover exists. Based on these items, leaders can begin to create systems and standards for the various roles within the practice with the specific tasks delegated to key team members.
- Motivate Before You Delegate.
People are generally motivated by autonomy, mastery and purpose. In order for the delegation of additional responsibilities to work, employees must be motivated to buy into the practice’s vision and strategic plan, and leaders must identify which team members demonstrate a keen interest in developing professionally and evolving in their role.
- Be Patient.
When first starting to delegate to someone, it is possible he or she will take longer to complete the task. Remember, this person is still learning.Focus on the results and what is accomplished, rather than detailing how the work should be done. Allow the person to control his or her own methods and processes.
- Let Go But Maintain Control.
Match the amount of responsibility with the amount of authority. Understand leaders can delegate some responsibility, however they can’t delegate ultimate accountability. The buck stops with the leader. Agree on a schedule of checkpoints to review project progress and make adjustments as necessary.
- Communicate Often and Give Feedback.
In order to encourage employees to take initiative, practice leaders must continually empower their team through constant communication and emphasize, repeatedly, the core message: employees are empowered to make decisions. Even though they may not always make the best decision every time, as long as they are learning and growing from their mistakes they will not be reprimanded. Provide adequate support, and be available to answer questions.
Tracy Dowdy, CVPM, is the Managing Director of MRG Consulting, LLC, a San Diego-based consulting firm focused on assisting veterinary practices with growth, management and profitability. For more information, visit www.mrgconsult.com.