As practices grow, most reach a point where there are many employees to manage, yet a full-time practice manager is hard to justify. Juggling personnel management and practice management is challenging; it can be hard to focus on your priorities if you’re dealing with the minutiae of staffing issues and communication. One or the other is bound to be overlooked from time to time when it’s all “on you.”
Your leadership skills come into play at this point and delegation is the answer here. Break your practice down into departments and appoint a single employee as your main contact for each department. Introduce this concept to the full staff and make sure everyone understands the structure and intent of the department model. It’s a great way to build leaders in your business, and save valuable time.
This system works best when the contact for each department can be considered the department “leader” as well. Pick the person in each department who is respected by co-workers for their knowledge and problem-solving ability. The right person will take cues from you and realize your vision within their department. These department leaders should be self-starters in making process improvements. Then they’re more likely to come to you with solutions rather than problems, leaving you more time and energy for high level decisions.
Delegating by department can yield important benefits:
- Meeting more frequently, but with fewer employees is more efficient and often more effective as well.
- Sharing “ownership” of a project with key employees increases success.
- Scheduled or impromptu, it’s easier to meet with an individual than a group.
- Individual employees are encouraged to communicate with you through their department contact.
- Continue to meet with the full staff, but less frequently than with department contacts.