Micromanaging is not good for business. This is generally recognized. It hurts employee morale and hampers productivity by creating a management bottleneck. Yet it can be a difficult habit for some supervisors to break because they are constantly worried that someone on their staff will fall short when on a task, making the supervisor look bad.
If you are a supervisor having trouble breaking the micromanaging habit, what can you do? Here are a few ideas.
1. Look at the hiring process
You may lack confidence in your staff because you are not hiring the best people for the job. This may be the result of glitches in the hiring process. Maybe you are not advertising your openings in the right places, or you haven’t thought enough about exactly what skills are needed, or the interview process is not well coordinated. You may need to reevaluate the hiring process to make sure it is as efficient and effective as possible.
One of the big problems for micromanagers is learning how to delegate. In order to delegate, you need to have faith in your staff, that they can get the job done. Delegating is necessary if you are going to overcome your micromanaging mindset.
3. Be clear about what you want
You may have problems delegating not because of your employees’ shortcomings, but because of your own. When you assign a task, it could be that you are not articulating clearly enough exactly what you want done. Your expectations are not spelled out, and so the employee is left to guess exactly what is needed.
Also, it is certainly advisable to check in with the employee from time to time to see how things are going and to give feedback, but these meetings should be limited.
4. Let employees make decisions
Again, this involves being able to trust your employees. It is also realizing that they may also be better positioned to make decisions about tasks they are working on because they are at ground level, so to speak, and have a better perspective on the situation.
5. Be flexible
Often micromanaging is about control issues – if things are not done your way, it tends to make you nervous. But managers need to realize that there is more than one way to tackle a particular task, and, in fact, other ways may be more effective than your own. But you will never find out if you do not give employees the opportunity to work in their own way.
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