By Antoinette Rodriguez, MBA
In Stephen Covey's book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he states that you should "begin with the end in mind." If you are trying to grow your practice as quickly as possible, it makes sense that the sooner you are able to determine what your highest and best use in the practice is, the sooner you should delegate absolutely everything else.
Here are 5 best practice delegation steps to consider:
1. Determine your hourly rate goal
- First, you need to write down how much production you want to do. In order to meet that production goal, what would your hourly rate have to be?
- Once you determine your ideal hourly rate, delegate everything else to people who are paid less than that.
2. Memorialize your processes before you delegate
- Write out the specific steps and tasks you do on a daily basis.
- Review the list and delegate anything that is not absolutely dependent on you.
- Monitor progress of delegated tasks.
3. Delegate projects to the "right" person
- Ascertain if the person you are delegating to has the right skill set, access to training and especially passion for the project.
4. Provide the tools necessary to do the job
- If you are delegating a task that has been mainly dependent on you, it's necessary that you provide staff with sufficient mentoring time.
- If multiple people will be involved in what you did formerly, you should bridge the way for cooperation and provide needed resources.
- It should go without saying, but empowering and trusting your staff to do the job right is highly critical to delegation success
5. Don't expect a staff member to do the job as well or fast as you
- In order to build staff confidence, it's important that you do not project your high level of experience as the minimum competence required. No one learns to be great overnight.
- Don't get caught up on the speed in which tasks are being done, especially during the initial learning curve. In the aggregate, it's most important that the staff member/s assigned to the projects are simply less expensive than you.
- In your delegation cost analysis, don't forget that the opportunity cost of not having the time to acquire new business can be the biggest cost of all.
- Don't take the job back!
And finally, do consider delegation to be a long-term investment. Similar to what you tell your clients, your training, motivating and delegating to others can have exponential ROI over time.