Yesterday, we gave you three reasons why you shouldn’t micromanage. As we mentioned, micromanaging can cause a lot of trouble, doing anything from distracting you from being a great leader, to making your employees feel inadequate, both of which in turn can kill creativity and overall productivity.
Sometimes, it’s difficult to avoid micromanaging–for some leaders, micromanaging has always been a part of what they do. That’s okay, but we also think that it’s important to take steps in order to avoid having too heavy of a hand as a leader.
Here are a few simple ways you can avoid micromanaging your employees:
Be hands-off and hands-on
In the past, we’ve mentioned some leaders who have been known to throw off the white gloves and get their hands dirty to help out their employees. While we’re all for this practice, what we don’t think is a good idea is making your employees step aside so you can do all the work for them. Try to avoid doing this at all costs. As a leader you want to lead, meaning that you should set an example for them, and then let them do the work they were hired for.
Trust your employees
No one wants to feel like they are second rate. When you hire an employee who’s qualified for the job and then don’t let them do the work alone, it shows employees above all that you don’t trust them. As a leader, you should absolutely trust your employees, and if you don’t, you should question why they’re there in the first place. If you want to be perceived as a strong leader and a good decision-maker, start by showing your employees that you trust the work they do.
Remember: You don’t have to give the okay on everything
As we mentioned in our previous post, micromanaging can double, or even triple your workload. Let’s face it, you don’t have time to constantly be signing off on every single little thing, and, frankly, your employees shouldn’t make you sign off on everything. Have confidence in what your employees are doing. We’re not saying that you should turn a blind eye on everything your employees do, but as far as small, daily tasks go, there’s usually no reason to spend time looking over their shoulders.
Being a good leader means being balanced. Avoiding micromanaging doesn’t have to mean letting your employees loose and giving them free reign over everything. At the same time, as a leader, you should be confident enough in your employees to know that they can accomplish daily tasks and projects without too much oversight.
Your job as a leader is to lead your employees and help them improve–not to hold their hands–and if you can’t do that, as we hinted at above, you may have bigger problems with your employees. It may be difficult to hand off control to your employees, but at the end of the day, that’s part of what it takes to succeed as an organization.
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