Congratulations! You have stepped into the world of the great CEOs and committed to delegating some tasks to your manager (see last months blog)!
Now you have to consider:
- WHAT tasks you will delegate
- HOW you will ensure you still have the information you need to make your big, CEO decisions
Delegation is not about surrendering control of your business. It is about gaining control! It is about allowing you to steer the ship while ensuring your team is empowered to help you. To do that, you cannot simply delegate tasks in an arbitrary manner.
This requires a well thought out plan!
Some advisors recommend dentists delegate the tasks they do not like while keeping the ones they do. This can be a great starting point, but it should not be the sole criteria you use. What if the tasks you do not like produce vital information you require to make key decisions in your practice?
You need a more nuanced approach. Not only do you need to consider which tasks you can delegate, you need to consider whether you delegate complete responsibility for those tasks to your manager or whether you retain some element of control over them. The more vital information you receive from that task, the more you may want to retain some control.
In making the determination of how to delegate a task, I assign it to one of the following categories:
- complete control to the manager
- authority to the manager to make the decision while ensuring the CEO-dentist remains informed
- authority to the manager to monitor and make recommendations and await guidance from the CEO-dentist
- control to the manager while allowing the task to be delegated to another team member
- CEO-dentist retains control
It would be too much to try and review all 5 categories in a single blog. Over the next few blogs, I will review each category individually. To illustrate the process, I will also consider tasks in HR management. This will make it easier to comparatively explain why I recommend certain tasks be assigned to certain categories.
Let’s begin with what happens when an admin team member calls in sick. How will your office determine the manner in which the responsibilities of that individual are re-assigned?
Some teams may have a standard plan they can fall back on, and everyone knows what to do without skipping a beat. The office manager and the admin team may have already worked out a plan for this in advance.
In other offices, this may be something the manager will address on the fly. Perhaps they will want to consider what is going on in the office that day before making a final decision.
However this decision is made, it is likely something that most would agree should be delegated solely to the office manager!
As the CEO-dentist, you have other concerns. Your time needs to be spent treating patients and being involved in the bigger business decisions. The minutiae about who is answering phones, greeting patients, checking patients out and collecting payment should not be your concern.
Perhaps a team member may not like having additional burdens put onto their lap and they may complain to you. Your job is to stay out of it. Support the decision of your manager! You may have a private discussion with your manager about why somebody complained. That discussion may lead to different decisions in the future!
However, that is as far as the CEO-dentist should get involved. Addressing the re-assignment of admin team tasks when one team member calls in sick will not have any impact on your role as the CEO!
Do not undermine the authority you have delegated to your manager by overriding their decision for all the team to see!
Remember, your manager can only do their job effectively if they are confident in their authority. When you assign total control over a task to your manager, stick to it! If you don’t, the team will learn they can always come to you and you will no longer have an office manager people will listen to.