Delegating Tasks to Your Dental Team is the Key to Success
My step-mom was a manager for Eddie Bauer for years.
Her staff was dedicated and admired her.
Her store’s numbers always exceeded goals on a national level. She was continuously requested by other stores in order to “get them in shape”.
Her customers adored her. I worked for her when I was in high school and remember the way she treated her staff as well as the smiles the returning customers had.
When I had the opportunity to step into management, I remember asking her, “What is the secret?” She replied that the best managers DELEGATE!
I have implemented this advice in my own practice and remind myself of it often. I was recently out of the office for a number of weeks and had no choice but to choose critical players to assist in leading while on leave.
I delegated tasks for:
- scheduling all the hospital cases
- HR issues
- scheduling conflicts
- those occasional more difficult patients
- new-hire training
and so on.
My front office coordinator and clinical coordinator stepped up to the challenges and held down the fort. Obviously, there were a few calls and texts, however, I was beyond proud of the success of the team.
To entrust my team with the daily goings-on and let go of the precious bubble that myself and many managers surround ourselves with was eye-opening.
I learned from my team that they handled some things differently than I may have, but the end result was the same.
Tips for Successfully Delegating Work
Thank your team! They most likely all want a little more responsibility and will look forward to reaching goals and sharing them individually and with the team.
We kept communication open to review ongoing tasks, and I encouraged them to make decisions that are best for the practice and the employees.
Granted, when I returned from medical leave, they all had a warm and welcoming greeting and made a gentle reminder that I couldn’t leave again, yet there was a new confidence and sense of pride in these employees who took on new responsibilities.
Therefore, they should receive recognition for additional duties they now added to their workday.
Make sure you update any new tasks or responsibilities you delegate to your team in their job description.
If they take on new temporary responsibilities and run with them – consider not putting these tasks back on your plate. We all know, as a manager, that there are always multiple items to tackle. There is not a lack of to-do lists.
It is ok to let go!
I know that my stepmother is looking down and would be proud of her advice being implemented.
I am able to see my patients happy when they come in year after year just as her customers did.
I am able to implement the respect and appreciation she had shown for her staff into my staff.
Having long-term staff shows that respecting and appreciating them gains so much more than one would think.
I have been lucky that we haven’t had a heavy turnover and the practice has grown and added employees to our practice.
Trust and delegation are key components to a successful practice and a successful manager. Twenty-five years in dentistry and I am humbled.
Meet the Author
Stacey Singleton, CDA, EFDA , FAADOM is the Practice Administrator for York County Pediatric Dentistry & Harborside Dental in Wells, Maine.
Stacey has been in the dental field since 1997. She is a DANB certified dental assistant and an Expanded Function Dental Auxiliary.
She also holds a degree in Business Administration. Stacey has been certified by the National Oral & Maxillofacial Anesthesia Board.
Stacey enjoys teaching dental programs at the local community college as well as volunteering within the dental and school communities.
She enjoys her family & friends, camping, hunting, fishing, photography, cooking, gardening & car shows