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How to Delegate Tasks and Become a Better Leader to Your Team

7th July 2020

According to the 2018 study, over half of physicians in the United States experience burnout, which is twice as frequently as professionals from other fields. Besides physicians, 43% of nurses, 78% of surgical residents, and 69% of doctors in training showed symptoms of emotional exhaustion.

Considering the current pandemic, these numbers are now undoubtedly higher than they were before. And as the number of COVID-19 cases grows, more and more healthcare professionals will suffer from burnout, which unavoidably affects their performance and productivity.

How Can Task Delegation Help Healthcare Professionals?

While getting some rest and de-stressing are two main factors that alleviate the symptoms of professional burnout, they are not the only ones.

If you, as a leader, see your subordinates’ levels of productivity drop, it’s time to act. And delegation can be the tool you need.

The study published in the BMC Health Services Research journal found a significant connection between task delegation and job satisfaction of general practitioners and their staff.

There was one stipulation.

The study broke down task delegation into three degrees and found that only on the maximal degree when workers were delegated responsibilities to treat or make decisions, they demonstrated more job satisfaction and productivity.

What does it mean for you as a leader?

This study shows that delegating small meaningless tasks decreases the productivity of your staff. Such minimal delegation is counterproductive and worsens the symptoms of professional burnout.

Not ready to do that right away?

Let’s see how you can approach task delegation intelligently and become a better leader to your team.

1. Re-Evaluate Your Staff’s Background and Responsibilities

Even if you’re committed to delegating right now, it doesn’t mean it can’t go wrong. And it can happen because you’ve chosen the wrong person to do the job.

In this case, such a mistake will be held against you as a leader, as it shows that you lack knowledge about who your employees are.

What can you do to avoid that?

Here are a few strategies you can follow:

  • Study your staff’s background. Let’s say you have a task connected to medical design that you want to delegate. You don’t want to give it to someone who has no experience working in this field, do you? Study your staff’s resumes to get a better understanding of their skills and competencies.
  • Go through their responsibilities. Revisit job descriptions to see, which of them have changed and delegate tasks according to these changes.
  • Assess your staff’s strengths and weaknesses. You can have your employees take an aptitude test. It will only take them a few minutes but will give you more knowledge, in which areas each of them has growth potential and encourage that through delegating tasks.

This way you will not only better understand, how to delegate tasks appropriately, but will also become a better leader to your team, who knows and recognizes their potential.

2. Prepare Clear Instructions

Next step in learning how to delegate tasks is preparing clear instructions.

When giving instructions, make sure you mention:

  • the outcome you expect
  • the deadline to complete the task
  • the resources that are at your employee’s disposal to successfully finish the task
  • other employees that they can contact for help

Here, you should also know the difference between delegating and letting go and delegating and micromanaging.

In healthcare, micromanagement is very frequent, as many tasks that you have to perform are concerned with treating patients. However, micromanagement is counter-productive and may negatively impact the desired outcome.

To avoid getting caught in micromanagement, make sure instructions mention, how often your employee should report about the progress. This way you not only allow them to manage their time to complete the task but also hold them accountable.

3. Apply the 70 Percent Rule

Knowing how to delegate tasks is also about trusting your team.

But trust is gained over time, and it’s completely normal if you cannot let yourself allow your employees to treat patients and make other important decisions.

If you can’t help being too controlling, the 70 percent rule is a good method to help you with that.

Simply put, if your employee can do the task at least 70% as well as you can, you should delegate it.

Delegating, as one of the essential leadership skills, implies that relationships in a team should be built on trust. Once you establish it, you will have no problem delegating essential treatment and decision-making responsibilities.

But, if you’re not ready for it yet, start small and learn how to let go with a 70% rule.

Over to You

Learning how to delegate takes time, but, for healthcare professionals, it is as important as for any other industry.

Hopefully, our tips will help you establish trust with your employees and become a better leader to them by successfully delegating tasks.


About the writer

Ryan is a passionate writer who likes sharing his thoughts and experience with the readers.

Currently, he provides hardware design. He likes everything related to traveling and new countries.

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