Micromanagement can kill the dynamic of your team. Have you ever heard of employees talking about their managers as a “control freak”? No employee likes having someone on their back at all times checking their every move. If you want your team to truly be independent, to fuel their creativity and reach their full potential, it is important to give them the space and freedom to do so. However, micromanagement is not an easy habit to break, especially if you have been practicing it for a long time. How can you step back and let your team grow?
Prioritize what matters and what doesn’t
Some things won’t go as you had planned and that is ok. It is important for you to decide what is important and what is not so important. You will learn when you actually need to step in and when the best option is to let it go. If an employee sent an email to a client at 11:00 AM instead of 10:30 AM like you had asked him to, it is probably not worth overreacting. When employees feel criticized over small things, it will demotivate them and affect their overall performance for more important things. When you feel agitated and the need to micromanage starts setting in, take a breath; go for a walk; do whatever you need to do to calm down and have a better perspective.
Have an open door policy with your team
Building a relationship of trust with your team is a must if you want to stop micromanaging. When your team feels like they can approach you for their questions, doubts and concerns, it will be easier to detect a problem before things get out of control. Make your employees feel like they should not be afraid to let you know when they are unsure about how to do something or when they’ve made a mistake. You won’t feel the need to verify every single thing they do because they will develop the reflex of consulting you/sharing with you along the way. – On the other hand, when your employees feel like you trust them, it will empower them to take on more initiatives. Most of the time, when employees are micromanaged, it slows them down and keeps them from reaching their full potential. Making sure your team members know you trust them and have faith in their abilities is actually an essential element to build a strong team of employees.
Take small steps
If you are a micromanager at heart, it will be hard to step back and give your employees some space. Do it step by step so that you, yourself do not feel too overwhelmed. Step back from smaller projects, let your employee send out that email without you having to proofread it or let them plan out the next meeting. Taking small steps will help you to slowly but surely let go and trust them more.
Do some introspection
In order to truly deal with an issue, it is important to identify where it is coming from. Ask yourself why you feel the need to micromanage your team. Is it because you are afraid that, if they do something wrong, it will reflect badly on you? Is it because you are unsure of your team’s capabilities? Whatever the reason, it is important that you deal with it so that your team doesn’t suffer from it any longer.
Not sure if you are a micromanager or not? Here are some signs you might be.
- You are overwhelmed with work because you cannot delegate
- You panic if the job is not done EXACTLY how you wanted it to be
- You check on your employees’ projects at least 2 times a day
- You feel as if, if you do not take care of every single thing, the business will fall apart
- You do not truly value your employees’ ideas and suggestions
If you can relate to these symptoms listed above, you are officially a certified micromanager! Do not panic… with the tips presented in this article, you will be able to work on yourself and develop an attitude that will benefit you and your whole team.
When you step back from micromanagement, these amazing things will happen
- Your team will feel more valued and appreciated
- It will encourage their sense of leadership
- They will feel more productive
- It will lower your staff turnover rate
Control in itself is not a bad thing. It is all about the way you do it. Find ways to make sure everything is on track without making your employees feel like they are chocking. Set up performance indicators, have specific dates of the month to talk about results and performances and give your team the time they need to get the job done. They will thank you later!
Ann-Sophie Ovile, Writer, Short Stints