Recently, I went in for my annual eye exam. My Optometrist, Dr. Leanne Liddicoat, and I had a great conversation about utilizing more effectively administrative professionals in the workplace.
Dr. Liddicoat and I talked about the expectations of doctors in today’s modern world of medicine—patient appointments, attending conferences/seminars, preparing and delivering presentations, staying current on the trends and advances in technology and health, managing email (patient emails and others), running a business, managing employees, participating in health fairs, participating in community events, joining the local Chamber of Commerce, charity work, and much more. I was amazed at how much some doctors do to keep up with the demands of running a successful business apart from their ongoing patient contact. This interesting discussion got me to thinking. Below are a few ideas doctors and/or medical office supervisors might consider offloading to their administrative support staff:
- Attend health fairs, Chamber of Commerce meetings, community and charity events with your administrative support staff. Help your administrative assistant feel comfortable and connect him/her to the right people at each event. After attending a few events with your administrative assistant, let him/her start attending these events on his/her own. Your administrative assistant can represent you and your business. A business presence is important, but it doesn’t have to be you. YOUR time is often too limited and valuable.
- Email messages need to be handled once—respond to the email, forward the email, dump the email, or save the email (if necessary). If your administrative assistant does not have access to your email inbox, forward emails to your assistant so that he/she can assist you in completing the task. For example, forward emails that you no longer need to receive and ask your assistant to unsubscribe you, to schedule meeting appointments, or to handle requests that come in via email, etc.
- Take your administrative assistant with you to a conference/seminar. This will help your assistant to learn more about your industry and your network. It will also provide an opportunity for the two of you to strengthen your relationship offering many opportunities to talk with one another throughout the day or next several days. In return, your assistant will be able to be more of a support to you in the office.
- Encourage your administrative assistant to belong to professional associations or community organizations so he/she can develop and improve his/her skills, network with other professionals, and help you grow your business.
- Use your assistant to manage your social media presence or the social media presence for the business.
- Ask your assistant to register you for conferences, research topics for your next presentation, and handwrite thank you cards on your behalf.
- Don’t hesitate to ask your assistant to do some personal tasks/errands when you need assistance. You are BUSY. Don’t get stuck spending time in the weeds on tasks that you can successfully delegate to your assistant. Your time is a valuable resource.
By the way, if you need an eye doctor, Dr. Liddicoat is smart, types amazingly fast, has a great personality, and is just fun! She’s provided me great vision care for over a decade. If you need an eye doctor and live in the Sacramento area, I highly recommend her.