Charan Sarai: Could you accomplish more by delegating?

By Charan Sarai from the First Practice Management Blog

charan-sarai-pm-advisorIn the ever changing NHS, with its pressures and deadlines, sometimes we can get lost in the fog with so many things that we need to have done quickly. It would be great if we could delegate, but many of us think that we haven’t the time to plan it and give thought to it – let alone process the delegation effectively.

We all agree that delegation can be the most important management tool that we can use. With good delegation we can save invaluable time, help to motivate and develop our employees and, in turn, develop the practice too. However, we also know that when done badly it can cause frustration, act as a de-motivator, and – at times – totally confuse people.

POSITIVE DELEGATION

Firstly you need managerial skill to delegate. Then, of course, you need your plan. Consider the following:

  • Is the task suitable to be delegated to a junior? Has the task been defined?
  • What are your reasons for delegating to this particular member of the team?
  • Are you being very clear why you chose this member of the team and what you are hoping to gain, and also what the person/ team member will gain from it.
  • Have you assessed their ability, and will they need additional training?
  • Does the employee fully understand what the task entails?
  • Have you explained why the task is being delegated and why you think they can do it?
  • Can you make clear the desired results, and communicate and liaise how the task will be measured?
  • Is there a system in place so you know if the task is being performed well or not?
  • What resources are needed to facilitate this delegation?
  • Are there targets and proposed deadlines?

I think that you agree that delegation is a far cry from just telling people what to do. Mainly it’s about empowering and giving people the freedom to do something more. The more experienced and reliable the person the more freedom they can have, and the more business critical the task the more cautious you are as a manager when you delegate.

You must also remember to keep talking to the team member once the task has been delegated, and also give them feedback.

WHY DELEGATE?

There is plenty to gain from delegating appropriately. Employee motivation and the quality of work increases; staff have increased responsibility and therefore have more of a chance to develop and enjoy a more enriching job. It also leaves managers with more time to focus on other tasks and boosts morale.

Some managers decide not to delegate, I have heard from managers who say “if you want something done, you must do it yourself.” I disagree; there is usually something behind a statement like this like a lack of trust or confidence in staff.

The lack of confidence may even stem from inadequate direction given by the manager in the past. The wrong employee may have been chosen for a task or the wrong tasks had been delegated to an employee.

Delegation can be very beneficial to your practice/organisation when used correctly. It’s a major management tool that should be used more often. We hope the points raised will help managers to help themselves and free up that time desperately needed to improve their business.

Try it!

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