We can’t do it all ourselves, and no one knows that better than a dentist or practice manager. And while it may be tempting to try, your skillset – and practice – will be better served through effective delegation of tasks that do not directly support your core competencies and passion. Not only does delegation improve practice efficiencies, it also provides an opportunity for your team’s development.
Transferring the responsibility of tasks has many benefits. In addition to freeing you up to focus on the responsibilities that build your practice or feed your passion, effective delegation increases results accountability, improves communication, and provides excellent training opportunities for your team. It also improves employee engagement.
As you know, having an engaged team also means that they stay with your practice longer, work harder to support your goals, feel less stress, take fewer sick days, and enjoy an enhanced sense of overall well-being. They are also excellent practice ambassadors. These are the employees you want in your dental practice – and you can help your team become these engaged employees through effective delegation.
How Does Delegation Improve Employee Engagement?
- Communication and leadership decisions are a key factor in creating and maintaining an engaged team. When your team sees you communicating your vision and goals and entrusting them to help you achieve this vision, their dedication to your practice increases.
- Growth and learning opportunities are a critical to an engaged team. Delegation gives your team the growth opportunities they need. When you delegate based on your team’s strengths, you also help them feel great about their contributions which fuels their passion.
- The easiest way you have to show your team that you trust them is through delegation. This sends the clear message that you know they have what it takes to support your practice vision. And when you follow up with recognition for a job well done, it increases your team’s trust in your leadership abilities.
Great Leaders Delegate
Great leaders consistently mentor their team, nurture their growth, and delegate the tasks that support growth and learning. Delegation:
- Creates a trusting relationship that fuels stronger team relationships – and a great patient-experience
- Allows you to get things done more efficiently – and on time – and you may even find a better way of doing things
- Lets you stop doing the administrative tasks that shouldn’t be your responsibility as your practice grows
- Gives you the focus required to do what you do with excellence – and still go home at night.
Effective delegation will have a significantly positive impact on your business. Have you been frustrated because your team doesn’t seem interested in the marketing you’re investing in or doesn’t seem to really understand why every new-patient opportunity needs to be handled with the utmost care? When you delegate relevant tasks, you also benefit from more interest and buy in from all members of your team.
Elements of Effective Delegation
- Well-defined practice vision – Because you already have a clear practice vision and communicate it to your team, when you delegate your team can run with it – they already know how it meets the needs of your dental practice.
- The right people in the right roles – When you delegate based on strengths, you significantly increase both your team’s trust in their abilities and their value to your practice.
- The right tools – When your team has the necessary tools to complete their tasks, and you have the tools to track their progress, everyone feels confident and trusting that the process is working.
- Follow-up – Delegation is not simply a matter of passing a task off to someone else and hoping for the best. Your follow-up gives your team the support that all great leaders provide – the knowledge that you have their back and that you are in it together. It will identify additional training opportunities and give you the traction you need to continue supporting your practice vision while keeping your operatories full. Ideally, everyone finishes the day feeling good about what you accomplished as a team and looking forward to what you can accomplish together tomorrow.
As a leader, delegation doesn’t mean you’re not still responsible for the outcome. Effective delegation can’t come without clear guidelines, training, and supporting tools. You wouldn’t hand your receptionist the drill and say take care of that molar … prepare for delegation and handle it like every process in your organization.
Delegation also helps you to have intentional built-in redundancies for increased reliability and better support because you won’t be stuck with just one team member responsible for certain tasks. You end up with bottlenecks and even business gaps when these well-trained individuals are away from the office. When you cross-train and delegate throughout your organization, make it part of your philosophy of operation and you’ll find that you’ll have happier team members, happier patients, a vibrant practice, and a personal life of your own.