I think we all have a strange relationship with delegating. Some of us do not want to delegate tasks that have anything to do with our practice. We fear that no one else could possibly do it right or just as we can. Some of us are eager to delegate but don't know where to start. So instead, we procrastinate until the task ends up on a long to-do list. I get it 100% but delegating does not need to be this hard. Below I will walk you through the delegation process so that you become so amazing at it that it becomes a habit.
How should I delegate?- Anytime you are looking to delegate a task, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it a task that requires my special gifts? (things that you are so good at that no one could do them better)
Is it a time-consuming task?
Am I an expert at the task? (are you the right person for the task?)
Can a process be created so that anyone can do the task?
Once you have asked yourself these questions, you will then need to make sure you are set up correctly for delegation. You will need to have processes and procedures put into place to pass any task on. This will ensure that whoever is taking over the task is not doing so without all of the information needed.
Make sure each task you plan to hand over has the following.
Overview of the task that needs to be completed.
Estimated the time it will take to complete the task. Everyone works at a different pace however you need to know how long the task will take so that you can communicate with the person performing the task. Please be flexible with this. If it takes you 45 minutes and it takes someone 1 hour, you may want to adjust the time frame. If it goes over 15 minutes, give the person a few more tries to get used to the task before you start questioning whether the person is a good fit. If you decide to disclose the amount of time it takes for the task up front, that is your decision. This can be something only you know so you can easily see if someone is a good fit for your practice. Or it can be a guideline to let the person know if they are far off or not.
Step-by-step instructions in the sequence of the task to be performed.
Create videos showing the task that needs to be completed. This will ensure the task is completed correctly. It will also give a visual as some people learn better that way. This part is optional but strongly encouraged.
Attach any needed links to log into the platforms associated with the task.
If you do not have a separate sheet for your user names and passwords, add them to the process and procedure sheet for the task.
Create helpful tips and cheats for the task.
What should you delegate- Some of the most common tasks to delegate are calls and scheduling, billing, and marketing. These tasks can easily be explained, and a process and procedure can be created for them. They are also tasks that do not need your special gift involved. Also, think about tasks that are time-consuming and do not need you as their voice of them. For example, calling the insurance company to figure out why a claim was denied can be done by a billing professional. If it is a task that you are not an expert at, then it is a task that should be passed over.
When should you delegate?- If you are a new practice, delegation can not happen until you have learned the process and procedures required to complete a task. Realistically you need to know how to run every part of your practice. This will also help you to make sure things are being done correctly. You will know immediately if something is off track, and you will be able to fix it because you know how to run your practice.
Here are a few things to consider
If you are a solo practice with a full caseload, not all tasks may need to be delegated. You can run your practice independently and save on the overhead cost of having an assistant. You will make this decision based on what type of practice you want to have.
You can also create procedures that have portions of your practice run on autopilot. This will lead to fewer tasks that need to be manually completed. So the tasks that need to be completed manually will not take as much time.
If you are a group, practice delegating should be at the top of your priority list. It can be too much to handle on your own. It will become time-consuming and will eventually drain you to the point that you feel like group practice isn't for you. Having an assistant that specializes in the mental health field is the best option for your group practice.
This is a lot to take in. So if you feel overwhelmed and do not know where to start, feel free to schedule a free consult call with me, and maybe we can work together to get you on track for proper delegation.