How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Employees

There’s nothing positive about micromanaging your employees, for you or them. This style of management wastes your time, stifles creativity and creates an atmosphere that will not lead to employee satisfaction or staff retention.

Micromanagement can be boiled down to these 10 signs from Leadership Thoughts:

– Resist delegating work
– Immerse themselves in the work assigned to others
– Look at the detail instead of the big picture
– Discourage others from making decisions
– Get involved in the work of others without consulting them
– Monitor what’s least important and expect regular reports on miscellany
– Push aside the experience and knowledge of colleagues
– Loose loyalty and commitment
– Focus on the wrong priorities
– Have a demotivated team

Do you recognize these traits in someone you know or maybe even yourself?

Trust In People

The biggest sign of micromanagement is a lack of trust in your employees. This leads to taking too much interest in their work, second-guessing decision making and, in some cases, doing the work yourself as you feel that you can do a better job.

This also leads to hoarding work yourself instead of delegating, leaving you with too much to do and not enough time to do it well and efficiently. Management Study Guide says, ‘through delegation, a manager, in fact, is multiplying himself by dividing/multiplying his work with the subordinates’. A very positive way of looking at it and helping you to trust those working for you.

Is Micromanagement Efficient?

In a nutshell, no.

Although, as a manager, you might feel better having an eye on everything going on, this will take you away from more important tasks that are your responsibility. As mentioned above, hoarding work will only stress you out and frustrate the people you have employed to help you with your business.

The Bigger Picture

To drive your business forward, you need to have your eye on the bigger picture. How is your company performing as a whole, what is the next goal and how do you plan on getting there? Distracting yourself with the day-to-day goings on of the business can leave you without the time to formulate a plan for the future. Sharing out the workload is the first step, as well as putting trust in your employees to get their work done and to a good standard.

To help you to streamline work processes and keep an eye on how things are ticking along, without micromanaging, there is various lean management software such as this kanban software tool. This management style/system also encourages employee input in how things are run in a more collaborative working style.

The Importance of Creativity

You might have employed someone because they were skilled on paper and when you met them, they seemed enthusiastic about joining your company as well as being creative and full of ideas. All the things any owner/manager wants in an employee. How disappointing when they join your company to find out that there is no autonomy in their role, they are watched on everything they do and their decision-making is quashed.

Micromanagement and creativity do not go together. You need to give people space to be creative and the results could help to improve work processes, bring in new business and breathe life into the company.

Enterprise CIO looks at a study done by Microsoft in 2017 that looks at how a lack of creativity is stifling workplace productivity. According to Ryan Asdourian in a statement from Microsoft UK: “Helping people and workers improve their creativity is critical to the future of the UK economy, and many businesses and workplaces are not yet set up in ways that reward or foster this skill.”

As well as the UK, this workplace environment of stifling creative people can be seen in offices all over the world.

Would You Be Happy as an Employee?

There are certain personality types who are happy to come into work, be told what to do and take comfort in the knowledge that everything they do is double-checked and overseen. These aren’t the personality types that will drive your business forward.

Allowing creative and enthusiastic individuals to influence your business and share their thoughts is vital for continuous improvement. A suggestion from the bottom of the ladder could be just as useful as one from the top of the management hierarchy, so keep your ears open and try to encourage participation in decision-making, even if the final say-so is still yours.

The key to an efficient and successful business is having happy employees who can use their skills and knowledge in their working day.