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Strategies To Prevent You From Micromanaging Your Employees

28 August, 2022
5 mins

One of the most difficult habits to change is the tendency to micromanage. Even if you try to justify your micromanagement by calling yourself a “control freak” or saying that you just want to ensure everything is running smoothly on your team, those are lame justifications. How do you ensure your team has the room to grow and develop? The question is how to decide what to prioritize. Moreover, how can you get the confidence to take a back seat?

Micromanaging Your Employees
Source: Pexels

If you’re the kind of boss that obsesses over minor things, always wants to be tagged on emails, and is never happy with your team’s output, you’re a micromanager. Your team needs you to stop right now. Your team’s morale will suffer due to the atmosphere of mistrust you create, and they will be unable to do as much together. As a result, you have a harder time concentrating on what matters most.

When your thoughts are occupied with the minute specifics of various tasks, you won’t have room for the broader picture. Changing old habits is difficult, but it will be worth it. Your team’s performance management will improve dramatically with increased responsibility and decreased oversight, even though there may be some initial setbacks as they learn to take on more responsibility.

Methods For Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Micromanagement

Those who have been micromanaging for a long time and want to change should start by implementing the suggestions below. You can also use OKR software to curb your micromanaging tendencies. Or, more correctly, employ these strategies to permanently suppress your impulses.

1. Consider The Preferences Of Your Team Members Regarding Management Style

The effects of micromanaging on your staff are significant. Just ask yourself if you really want to work in a place where everyone is always trying to change or criticize your work. And if you’ve ever been in that situation, you probably have some observations to make. This is why leaders need to avoid micromanaging by regularly polling their teams to find out how they genuinely feel about things. You can get a more honest and complete picture of how they feel about working under your guidance if you give them the option to provide feedback incognito. One of the best ways to earn the respect of your staff is to take their suggestions seriously and make changes based on them.

2. Develop Team Trust

When you have complete faith in your team, you don’t need to micromanage every step. As a result, you may relax knowing that you won’t have to keep tabs on your team’s progress all the time. What’s more, your staff may focus on their work without worrying about your constant interference. This will allow you and your team to operate autonomously and effectively.

Having trust in one another is also useful for times when team members need to review the work of others. It’s much simpler for everyone involved to provide and take criticism when they have confidence that the comments will be treated with respect and used to improve the situation. Some team members may hesitate to provide useful feedback because they view micromanagers harshly approaching the situation. 

3. Choose A Handful Of Metrics And Goals

Limiting how you can contribute to your team’s work is a wonderful approach to prevent being overly invested in the project. That entails narrowing the project’s focus down to a manageable set of OKRs. Only these OKRs should be discussed in reviews. These OKR management standards serve as limits for the people on your team. Why compromise your morals with your team if you wouldn’t even do it with your closest personal connections?

4. Fix Due Dates

We agree that suggesting something as simple as setting a deadline may seem silly. But in all seriousness, it is an excellent antidote to micromanagement. When you have a deadline for a deliverable and know a team member is working on it, you can leave them alone until the time comes.

By giving your team members space to work on their own until the deadline arrives, you show that you have faith in their abilities and are willing to let them solve any problems that arise. Perhaps the answer to a problem that has been bothering you for a while now lies within your staff members’ minds. And if you had micromanaged them, you may have prevented that minor miracle from happening.

5. Inform Your Staff When To Expect Your Comments

If you want to take a step back while still contributing to the team, let them know when they can expect to hear back from you. An excellent choice is to have one-on-one meetings with each team member. This shows that you care about them individually and also allows for a more candid conversation.

Similarly, you should specify the extent to which you intend to offer comments. Going line by line and getting pedantic again can feel intrusive to a team member who is hoping for high-level assistance. Productivity drops when team members feel like they can’t do their work the way they want. Furthermore, they may impede your staff from giving your feedback the kind of attention it deserves, so hindering its potential to foster growth and development. Because of the absence of trust, this is a challenging task.

6. Recruit Competent Individuals

Worried that your team won’t set priorities in the way you envision? Knowing that your team has competent individuals makes that less of a concern. Unless they consistently underperform, the original justifications for hiring them are probably still sound. Allow them some independence to do the tasks without your continual supervision.

Similarly, your selectiveness is warranted when it’s time to fill a different position. Even though there is no such thing as a perfect employee, we are confident that you will find someone in the stack of resumes who meets your requirements. There’s no point in trying to control someone so minutely.

7. Delegate Tasks

However, working too closely together as a leader and with team members can sometimes be seen as micromanaging. When leaders don’t delegate but instead take on too much themselves, micromanagement becomes a real problem. You’re the ship’s captain, not a stand-in for the hardworking crew below.

Based on this reasoning, having team members take on some of your responsibilities seems sensible. This theory is supported by data, as well. One of the best ways to increase productivity and revenue is to give your team more responsibility with the help of OKR management software.

Micromanaging can break the trust that keeps teams together and makes them productive and profitable. Furthermore, you’ll be more concerned with minor details than with the big picture that drives your team ahead. Any criticism you level at your team should be of the constructive, educational variety rather than an attempt to get them to cater to your every whim. 

Need more assistance with how to manage your employees? Reach out to us today!