delegating tasks in a veterinary hospital

In my book, you’re a superhero. But, in reality, you can’t do everything on your own. If you want to run a business that doesn’t depend on you being there every day, constantly calling the shots, you must learn to effectively delegate. The power of delegating tasks to team members (and trusting them to do the tasks to your standards) is priceless.

Here are four tips to delegating effectively:

  1. Define the roles and tasks in your practice
    Do you have clearly defined job descriptions for the specific positions in your practice? Do you have an organizational chart that outlines the structure and chain of command in your practice? If not, start by creating both of these. Then, perform a job audit with the various positions and identify the tasks that can be delegated or reassigned to others in the practice. In my 20-plus years of veterinary practice consulting, I have witnessed many instances where specific people are overloaded with tasks, whether it be the veterinarian, the manager, the technician, or the client care specialist. They struggle to keep up and become burned out because their tasks are disproportionate with the rest of the team. If your job audit reveals that your staff’s workload is unequal, it’s time to delegate or reassign roles and responsibilities to others.
  2. Pick the right person
    Picking the wrong person for a key task is a major reason for failure. Be sure the person you delegate the task to can do the job (and do it to your standards).
  3. Be patient
    The task may take longer for your team member to complete than if you were doing it yourself, and that’s OK. Focus on the results of the task, and allow your team to have some control of their own methods and processes with the caveat that it needs to fall within the practice’s overall standards and systems. It will take your team some time to learn your preferences and standards, especially if you’ve just recently outlined those preferences and standards clearly.
  4. Communicate often and give feedback
    Set clear goals, standards, and deadlines when delegating. Set a schedule of checkpoints to review progress and then provide support and feedback.

The old adage “if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself” doesn’t have to be true when it comes to your veterinary practice. You can develop clear standards and operating procedures so your team understands how you want things to be done. You can delegate tasks and empower your team to perform their tasks to your standards. Once you do, you’ll realize that your business can practically run itself.

Learn more ways to create a self-reliant team so you can stop stressing and start enjoying life.