Have you had a boss who assigned a task to you but checks in with you every 30 minutes? Or one who always reworks projects submitted to him rather than explaining what to do?
That right there is the sign of a micromanager, and it comes from a place of fear, insecurity, or lack of trust in the employee’s ability to deliver.
Often, micromanagers don’t intend to be so overbearing. Of course, a manager’s job is to oversee, but there’s a thin line between overseeing and micromanaging. When you dictate or control work processes without acknowledging input from others, then you might be micromanaging your team.
Micromanaging hurts the team’s morale and limits the capacity for growth. It also hampers the manager’s ability to focus on the big picture, as he is head deep in micro-details.
Micromanaging is a time killer and prevents managers from focusing on high-level tasks. Micromanaging is the manager indirectly saying I don’t trust your work.
This vote of no confidence results in low self-esteem, anxiety, and poor motivation from the employee. Research showed that 69 percent considered changing their jobs, and 85 percent reported micromanagement affected their morale.
A consequence of micromanagement is employees believe they’re not competent and their skills aren’t valued. Micromanagement results in a bottleneck process where no one can do anything without the manager’s approval.
This requires a lot of back and forth with everything revolving around the manager, creating an unhealthy environment.
4 Ways to Stop Micromanaging Your Team
The first key to eliminating micromanagement is by reflecting on the probable reason you do so. Is it time constraint, or is there too much at stake? Knowing the ‘why’ will help you work around solutions with an open mind. Here’s how to stop micromanaging your team.
1. Practice Delegating
Promoting a high-performing staff to a managerial level without proper training can lead to micromanaging. Managing means performing through other people. When a person who is used to doing, suddenly has to assign, there could be a huge problem.
When you assign tasks to your co-workers, you shouldn’t hover around them, policing and telling them step-by-step how to go about it.
You should trust your employees’ ability to take the initiative and deliver on the assigned tasks. Determine what tasks you need to be involved in and those you need not. Project management helps with strategic planning and proper tools. It enables the team to better manage resources and improves team collaboration.
Automation saves time on repetitive tasks, like receiving calls, ticketing, and scheduling appointments. Multi-level auto-attendant lets people call your organization and navigate a menu system to speak to the right department, call queues, or individual.
Do you have multiple business locations and can’t manage to hire receptionists? A multi-level auto-attendant feature gives you control over routing calls to ensure your business needs are met.
2. Set Clear Expectation
Before you assign tasks, you must communicate what your expectations are upfront. Never assume that your team knows what is expected. When workers know what they have to do on a project, it improves employee morale and engagement.
When you clearly state the objective of an assignment, the deadlines, and the indicators for measuring success, the better prepared your employees are to perform.
Conversing about what matters to you sets your team up for success. When there’s no ambiguity in communication, no one makes wrong assumptions.
Instead of micromanaging, asking for feedback and being open are better strategies for team growth. When your expectations aren’t met, address the problem, offer solutions, and allow employees to fix them.
3. Let Go of Perfectionism
There is over one way to get a job done. The fact it isn’t done your way doesn’t mean it is wrong. The sooner you recognize this, the easier you’d stop micromanaging. Empower your employees to experiment with their ideas and test alternative approaches to a problem.
When you give employees room to be innovative, they could chart a new course that helps the organization save time and resources. You could start by allowing employees to take charge of a project not so urgent to see how it plays out.
This way, you can evaluate where they stand and make valuable corrections. Let go of perfectionism and show your team you trust them to make decisions.
4. Be a Facilitator, Not a Taskmaster
You want to create a work environment with a powerful open communication line. Let your team know you’re open to solving their problems or questions.
A good way to set an example is to ask them how best you can help them from time to time, rather than impose yourself. When you allow your workers to take responsibility for smaller tasks, they gradually trust your leadership.
It’s All in The Communication
The key to successfully managing a team is learning how to communicate clearly. There might be times when a project is urgent, and it is clear you need to work closely with your team. Be sure to let them know. Also, clarify that you’d allow them to run the show after seeing specific results. Remember, it’s all in the communication.