Sometimes being a leader means being on the front lines of your company and managing people, and other times it means trusting them to manage themselves.
It’s hard to see employees slip up or do things in a different way than you might have done. If you can prevent a mistake, why not step in and fix it? This is the temptation that many managers face when trying to delegate tasks and grow a team.
Believe it or not, sometimes it’s better to let your employees make mistakes so they learn what not to do and become more proficient in their jobs. If you find yourself falling into the trap of micromanagement, it’s time to take a step back and look at the long-term effect this might have on your company. Here’s how you can limit your micromanagement and strengthen your team at the same time.
How micromanagement affects the workplace
Employees who have a micromanaging boss are going to be stifled in creativity and may have trouble working on action items alone.
A boss who constantly checks in to see the progress of a project will create an atmosphere of stagnation. There is no need to personally see every step of the project completed. If you find yourself guiding the project too closely, try creating milestones for your team. These are a great way to let your team operate more independently, but still, make sure they get enough work done for it to be considered for a review.
Top-performing employees are looking for an atmosphere with trust and freedom. They are able to commit to a work environment where they will be trusted and their ideas valued. Independence can lead to creativity, while micromanagement often generates anxiety and fear of taking risks.
Choose the right people
Choosing the right people for your work environment is key to ensuring you have a team you can trust. Having a group of people who can work together with synergy will put your company ahead of the competition.
It is dangerous to surround yourself with a team whose only focus is on what will please a micromanager. The team needs to be focused on using their strengths to achieve goals and developing their weaknesses into benefits for the company. In order to accomplish this, you need to give your team enough space to work and develop as a cohesive unit.
Often, new managers have difficulty with delegation. Sometimes this is because they have been recently promoted from a position as an individual contributor and already know how to do the work. In other instances, it might be because they are afraid of asking people to do work.
Remember, the reason managers are a necessary part of the workplace is that they are responsible for making sure the work gets done. If all the work could be done by one person, then there would be no need for a team. Delegating work is not only a way to get those jobs done, but it is also essential for a business to utilize its workforce’s potential.
Trust your team
Giving the team space to create their own processes and find out what works and what does not will be key in developing your team. Trust them to find the best ways to get to a solution.
Your employees will know best what strengths and weaknesses they have and how they can effectively contribute. If the team is new, it might be a good idea to help them understand what those strengths and weaknesses are. Give the team space and they will be able to perform at the best of their capabilities.
Provide thoughtful feedback
Be careful about giving out casual feedback. While it may be tempting to make a quick comment on a project and move on, your team will benefit much more from comments that you have carefully considered after reviewing their work. Thoughtful feedback goes a long way.
Employees need to know what they should continue doing and what they should stop. Without your input, they will start forming expectations on projects that may or may not be correct. This can lead to miscommunication and hurt feelings.
You can prevent this problem by fostering an atmosphere of communication with your leadership. Open communication with your team is essential. As a manager, it is your responsibility to help grow the team and complete deliverables for customers. Coaching the team on what they did well is a key learning factor for the health and success of your business.
Your business will grow stronger with less micromanaging
As a manager, it is your duty to lead the team. Giving them the freedom to experiment with new processes will help your team create solutions for problems and provide opportunities for coaching. Take a more long-term approach to management and start moving away from micromanagement, then watch your team grow!
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