Delegation is one of the biggest secrets to growth. In this post, we’re going to talk about how to delegate tasks in the clinic to your employees and to others. But first, you need to understand the consequences of not delegating, and why it’s so hard to let things go – even things you hate doing.
What Happens If You Don’t Delegate in the Clinic?
This is true for any business, of any size. Not just health clinics like chiropractors, dentists, and physiotherapists.
When leaders fail to delegate, a number of things will eventually go wrong. Here are the top 4 consequences of not delegating:
1.) You Will Get Overwhelmed
Think about all the tasks that health clinics, and most businesses, have to perform. Marketing, hiring, training, customer service, sales, process development, payroll, taxes, supply management, inventory, record-keeping, compliance, and paying the bills.
And that’s just the obvious stuff.
The more of this you as the owner try to hold on to, the more frazzled and worn out you will get. Eventually, you will burn out.
2.) You'll Lose Money
When you try to keep ‘owning’ too many tasks, you become a bottleneck in the growth of your own business. If you’re trying to make supply runs, deposit checks, write social media posts, create email marketing campaigns, plan events, and manage hiring, then the business can only grow up to the point when you can’t handle any more.
Once you reach your capacity in terms of time and mental sanity, business growth halts if you don’t start delegating.
So you’re not losing money right now. But you’re losing ‘future money’ – money you would have made if you had given some lower level tasks away earlier. You want to focus on growth tasks, not maintenance tasks.
3.) You'll Lose Employees
You’ll also lose employees, because they will get frustrated by you trying to retain control of everything. Losing employees means you have to hire new ones. These are expensive and time-consuming tasks you don’t want to have to keep doing.
But weakened leadership is a byproduct of failing to delegate. So is lack of vision, because your brain is too preoccupied to come up with new ideas.
4.) You'll Miss Valuable Opportunities
You also lose money from lost opportunities. If you’re wasting time on small tasks someone else could do for $20 an hour, what opportunities are you missing out on that could have led to big growth?
You’re missing networking opportunities, cross-channel marketing opportunities, and good ol’ epiphanies – the sort of thing that happens when a brain isn’t overwhelmed.
Your biggest asset is that six inches between your ears.
Give your brain the freedom to think BIG and seize opportunities.
Check out this swipe post to learn how to delegate to your team effectively:
Why Is Delegating So Hard?
Those four pitfalls of not delegating are probably nothing new to you. Deep down, we all know we need to let more things go. So why don’t we? What is so hard about delegating?
As it turns out, you have good reasons for struggling with this. So don’t be too hard on yourself.
Here are the main reasons delegating is so hard:
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1.) You Just Buy It Back Anyway
Maybe you’ve tried to delegate something in the past and it didn’t stick. The person you delegated to might have failed to perform the task successfully. Or maybe they switched jobs and it fell back on your plate.
For a variety of reasons, sometimes you try to delegate and you end up having to do the task anyway. So, you kind of just accept it and stop trying to pass off the task.
2.) It's Faster to Just Do It Yourself
You’ve tried passing it off, and the person doesn’t get it done as fast as you, or exactly the way you want it. And it feels like you’re spending more time training and supervising them, and having to ‘correct’ their work, than you would spend just doing it yourself.
Delegation is supposed to save you time, but it feels like you’re spending even more trying to pass off the task. So, you decide it’s just faster to do it yourself.
But is it?
When you delegate effectively, you will reap schedule freedom. And you will get all the benefits of delegation listed earlier.
3.) The Person You Delegate to Drops the Ball
Sometimes you delegate a task to someone, and they just fail. They don’t get it done on time. They do it wrong. They don’t do it the way you would do it. They forget to do a weekly task one week, and it causes a big mess you have to clean up.
This is real. It happens.
But often underlying all this is your inability to let go of control. Your underlying perfectionism prevents you from accepting that the task may not get done as perfectly as you might want it. Maybe it’s only 80% as good as you would have done it.
But that misses the point of delegation.
80% is good enough if it means you don’t have to do it anymore! And if the person you delegated to really does drop the ball, then you have to decide how you’ll respond. Will you buy it back and give up on them or will you react constructively and let them try it again.
We’ll talk about how to delegate and follow up in a just a moment.
4.) Limiting Beliefs
Sometimes your own limiting beliefs keep you from delegating. Perfectionism is one of them. But there are many others.
For instance, your beliefs about money can prevent you from delegating, because what you believe about money affects how you use your time, how much you trust people, and what you’re willing to let go.
Some people have a scarcity mindset about money. This keeps you from delegating because you have to pay someone to delegate. So the scarcity mindset says you are “saving money” by doing it yourself. But this isn’t true, as we discussed earlier.
You are actually losing money by not delegating, because you are neglecting or missing out on other money-making tasks, like strategic growth ideas you could be working on. As the business owner, you need to be doing bigger stuff than making supply runs and posting on Instagram.
Other people feel guilty about making too much money, or making too little. This affects how you pay your employees. If you pay too little for small tasks, you might end up with frequent turnover.
Turnover is a huge impediment to delegation, because you have to keep buying it back and starting over. And this leads back to believing it’s easier and faster to just do it yourself.
See how all this ties together?
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5.) Can't Find Anyone to Own the Task
Sometimes, it’s just hard to find the right person to delegate a task to. Maybe no one wants to do it. Maybe no one at your business has the skills to do it. This is a real problem, especially with many online marketing tasks.
There is so much to do with online marketing, and no one possesses all the skills to effectively manage and produce content for all the various platforms on a consistent basis. It’s too much. But then when you try to break these down into more manageable chunks, you run into other challenges.
Delegation is hard! And that’s why so many health clinic owners, small business owners, and leaders are afraid to delegate.
How to Delegate Effectively and Score Big Wins for Your Business
Delegation is a lot like parenting. Do you still want to be picking up dirty clothes for your kids when they’re teenagers? Taking their plates to the sink after a meal? No! No one wants that. But a lot of parents do this. Why? Because they failed to delegate these tasks to their kids.
The same thing happens in the workplace. Here’s how to delegate, and how to improve your delegation strategies and skills.
1.) Decide to Delegate - Commit to It
It’s a decision you must commit to, because there is work involved. There is risk. It’s a new ‘thing’ to do. Don’t just show up one Monday and call over an employee and dump a task on them with no forethought. Do the work – work through the remaining steps on this list.
2.) Identify the Need
Which tasks need to be delegated? One way to think about this is to consider your billable hourly rate. If you’re billing at $150 per hour, and you can pass off a task for $25 an hour, that’s a good deal if it frees up a few hours of your week.
Another consideration is, which tasks do you hate doing the most, and don’t need to be doing?
If you just love posting on Instagram every morning and it makes you happy, then you don’t need to delegate that necessarily. But if you hate it, then why would you want to keep doing it when other people – people who like it – could take it over?
3.) Identify the Right Person
Finding the right person is critical. If they will hate it too, it’s not a good fit. If it doesn’t match their skills, it’s not a good fit. But be careful here.
Some employees may bristle at first at a task, but not because they can’t do it. They just lack confidence about it, or maybe it feels too ‘new’ and the unfamiliarity scares them. They might be a perfectionist too.
But with effective training and follow up, you can empower them and give them that confidence, and they will thank you for it later because it increases their efficacy and feeling of ownership about their work.
If there really is no one in your workplace who can take over a task, you might have to hire it out. This is especially common with things like daily social media posts. But if it frees you up from this labor-intensive task, it’s worth it.
4.) Outline the Process
You will have to create a written process for most tasks, even ones that you can do with your eyes closed. Why? Because this person isn’t you. They aren’t a business owner. They don’t think like you. What’s important to you isn’t to them.
Something simple like a supply run still has a process. Check the stock room. Anticipate any upcoming needs. Plan a time to head to the store. Get the credit card or whatever your method of payment is. Know the phone numbers of vendors.
This is how to delegate to employees in a way that empowers them and instills confidence.
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5.) Train Them Well
One of the complaints about the new Star Wars trilogy was that Rey had no trainer in the first film. She had no Yoda, but somehow managed to train herself in the Jedi arts, and in a very short time. That was seen by many fans as absurd, after all the time Luke Skywalker had to spend training with Obi Wan and Yoda.
When you delegate, you must put in the training time. Walk them through the task. Go with them the first time. Look over their shoulder the second time. Be open to questions.
And for some tasks, have them write up the process after they’ve mastered it.
Also, have them create a backup plan for what should happen if they are gone for a week or two. This is called redundancy, and it’s a good friend of delegation. Build it into the system.
6.) Follow Up - Set Them Up for Success
Lastly, make sure to plan ongoing weekly meetings – or whatever meeting frequency makes sense for the task. These meetings might be just five minutes long for some tasks. But the point is, you are confirming that the person is doing well with the task, letting them ask questions, and serving as a reminder so they don’t drop the ball.
If they drop the ball, that usually means you dropped it first.
Create a plan. Train them. And follow up. That will prevent most problems before they happen. This is how to delegate and follow up.
P.S. - Make sure to celebrate the small wins with your team as you go through your delegation journey.
Want to Learn Instantly How Top Clinic Owners Delegate to Their Staff?
The truth is, there's a lot more to delegation than we could ever cover in this one blog post. But the good news is, I interviewed Karen Craven, a top clinic owner, and the recording is now available for those that couldn't make it live. You can watch the 1-hour workshop instantly by clicking here.
1. How do you delegate tasks in the clinic?
Delegation in the workplace can be done in six steps. 1. Decide to do it and commit to it. 2. Identify the tasks you need to delegate. 3. Find the right person or people to delegate to. 4. Create a written process for the task you are delegating. 5. Train the person on the task. 6. Follow up and set them up for success.
2. Why is it important to delegate in the clinic?
Delegation in the workplace is critical because it’s one of the secrets to business growth. It makes you more money in the long run. Without delegation, you can only grow to whatever capacity the business owner can handle. But by passing off lower level tasks, you free up the owner to work on bigger growth ideas, processes, and tasks. Plus, not delegating leads to overwhelm and burnout.
3. Why does delegation mean in leadership?
True leadership is about inspiring and empowering those you’re leading. Delegation is fundamental to this, because the alternative is a bottleneck at the top, and often an inability to let go of control. But leadership is not about control. By empowering your employees to own tasks, you instill confidence in them, and free up time for you.
Rick has built three 10 million dollar healthcare businesses over the past 15 years including a network of 127 clinics with over 1400 employees. He is one of the most sought-after mentors for clinic owners in Canada and USA where he helps owners double, triple, and even quadruple their profits by optimizing their clinic operations using his proven systems and leadership strategies. Plus, he has spent over millions in google and facebook ads during his career.
You can follow him on Instagram