Stop Micromanaging in 4 Steps
Do you feel the need to be cc’d on every work email? Are you involved in every project and constantly asking for updates? Do you hear hushed voices whispering “control freak” when you pass the water cooler? Is your motto “if you want something done right, do it yourself”? If you answered “yes” to these questions, chances are that you are a classic micromanager. If you identify with this title, you aren’t alone. In fact, according to a study conducted by Accountemps, 59% of employees have worked for a micromanaging employer at some point in their career. Although you may share this trait with many of your peers, it is a title that you should make steps toward correcting. As much as you would like to prove otherwise, you simply cannot do it all yourself (and shouldn’t). The same study from Accountemps found that 68% of those who had experienced a micromanager believe that their employer’s management style led to lower morale, and 55% believe that it decreased productivity. Use the following steps to help you foster an environment where employees are allowed the space to grow in their positions by taking a step back and not micromanaging them.
- Hire the right people: When it comes down to it, hiring the right people will help eliminate your need to micromanage. During the interview, ask job candidates about their experiences completing tasks successfully without much direction from their previous employer. This will give you an idea of how well they can complete tasks without constant supervision. In order to stop micromanaging, you need to make quality hires that you trust to accomplish tasks well and within time constraints. Once you have a team that you trust, you will be able to take a step back, shift some smaller responsibilities to your employees, and focus on big picture projects.
- Prioritize tasks: Although micromanagers typically want to oversee every task (big or small), this will leave you little time to focus on the projects that you should be devoting your time to. Instead of micromanaging every project, try making a to-do list where you rank tasks and projects based on their level of importance. The tasks that are critical should be at the top of your list, while the tasks that do not require your constant supervision should be placed towards the bottom of the list. The items that are lower on your prioritized list should be delegated to your employees, leaving you time to focus on items that require your attention.
- Delegate: Once you have created your prioritized list, it is time to delegate tasks to the employees who will be able to complete them correctly and on time. This step takes a lot of trust, especially for a manager who has trouble relinquishing control in the workplace. However, delegating demonstrates confidence that you have trained your employees and trust in their abilities. It gives your employees a chance to succeed by allowing them the space to make decisions and take ownership over their work. Not only will this boost office morale but productivity will also increase as tasks are delegated based on individual employee’s strengths.
- Communicate: Even though you have taken a step back from certain projects by delegating, you will still need to make sure that your employees are completing projects correctly and in a timely manner. Along with encouraging communication between yourself and your employees, clearly express your expectations when you delegate tasks and make sure that your employees know the best way to keep you up to date on their progress and results. If you are concerned about deadlines, help your employees to identify and set benchmarks while making sure that they feel comfortable reaching out to you or another team member should they run into problems completing their projects.
Make your workplace an environment where employees have the room to reach personal success by following these steps to manage them appropriately.