As the profession of dentistry has changed over the years so has the role of practice manager, becoming increasingly varied and more powerful. The rise of compliance, changes to regulation, and growing competitiveness of the market, means a practice manager has more items on their ‘to-do list’ than ever before.
This is where the need for effective delegation becomes so important. Spreading the load not only relieves some of the pressure for a practice manager, but can also empower the rest of your staff and improve the efficiency of the business. Below are my three top tips on how to delegate successfully and reap the rewards for your practice and your team.
Identify the best person for the task
Whilst being a practice manager is a leadership role, that doesn’t mean you have to lead in every area. You can’t and shouldn’t be expected to be an all-encompassing expert. Part of being a good leader is recognising where your own and other team members’ strengths lie, and who would be best placed to be responsible for that area. This will mean those activities are carried out effectively and efficiently, making for a stronger practice that runs smoothly, as well as making your staff feel fulfilled in their work.
Set realistic expectations
Whilst you don’t need to be an expert, you do need to understand what you want each member of the team to achieve in their respective areas. Therefore, you need to ensure you speak to them and discuss what is feasible. For example, if one of your dental nurses has taken on the role of updating your social media pages, you need to know how much time they can devote to this additional task and if they need any extra support to carry it out. Then you can make sure your goals are realistic, so you don’t end up frustrated if they’re not being achieved and your staff don’t feel stressed or overwhelmed about their workload.
Update and communicate regularly
Don’t just give someone responsibility for a task and then assume everything is being carried out correctly. Have regular meetings to ensure you stay up to date with how they are progressing and offer any help if needed. This way you can make sure everything is on track, your practice’s standards are being upheld and your staff will feel they are being supported appropriately to fulfil their role.
Managers can often feel hesitant about delegating as they can worry about being perceived as dodging work. However, with some forethought about allocating the right tasks to the right people and ensuring you create an open culture of communication and support, you can build an empowered team who are more deeply invested in the success of your practice.