We have all been in that job where you have to submit your ideas in triplicate to your, let’s say, ‘very particular’ manager only to have your enthusiasm crushed. Equally, many will have been thrown in at the deep end in a new role and spent the first few days floundering to grasp what is it that new made-up job title really means, what your goals are and (god forbid!) if you have any deadlines! Which begs the question – as a manager, are you damned if you do and damned if you don’t dictate your employee’s workflow?
Gillard states that “micromanagement is a style of management that is characterised by an excessive need for control and extreme attention to even apparently trivial details.”
The key is finding the balance between directing your employees and controlling their work. So, which do you do? If you answered immediately then stop, think it over and maybe try again.
Kevin Witchey warns that “Staff turnover, lower productivity, poor attitudes and loss of enthusiasm for their jobs, all result from staff who are worn down by micromanagement. “ With this in mind, it pays to do a management health check occasionally to make sure you aren’t mutating into a monster micromanager.
Take our quiz now
You are a relaxed, friendly and focussed manager. You actively cascade your skills and knowledge with your team so that they can grow and fulfil their potential.
Be careful now – micromanaging can be a slippery slope. Don’t mistake failing to arm your staff with the appropriate skills and confidence for doing the job yourself to ‘save time’.
Is there hope for me?
Of course, It’s never too late to learn new ways of working. Here are our top tips on how to get started.
5 Practical Steps
- Map it out
Decide what you want your team to achieve. Make objectives clear, simple and realistic.
- Explain why
The reason you are asking your team to push a certain product, or switch to a new tone on communications may not make sense to them. Explain your idea, what it is that you are testing and what you expect the outcomes to reveal. If staff can see what you’re thinking strategically for the benefit of the team as a whole, their enthusiasm to make the project work should increase.
- Is your team ready for the challenge?
This tip may seem obvious – ask them. They don’t have your insight into the industry, knowledge of past failures and successes and possibly are not privy to the larger strategic strands being progressed by management. Provide the knowledge and skills your team need to succeed and they might just succeed.
- Set deadlines
Be clear with what you want to know and when about the task at hand. Make it an easy task – not a presentation that they will dread all week long. Do you need to know more than just bullet points of progress once a week?
- Step back
Ok – they know the plan. They understand why you want them to do the plan as designed. They have the skills to get on with the job. Let them get on with it.
- Be supportive
Let your team know they can ask for help. Give qualified feedback with your reasoning so they can appreciate your point of view. Don’t forget to give praise when it’s due.
Feeling a bit more human?