Retail PR & Digital Marketing

How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Team

ChicExecs Co-Founder and Co-President, Nikki Carlson, shares her tips on how to avoid micromanaging your team on Inc. Here’s a highlight from the feature.

Have you ever had a boss who breathed down your neck? Or who was on you about every little thing?

That’s a micromanager, and nobody likes working with a control freak. But micromanaging is surprisingly common–59 percent of employees say they’ve had a micromanaging boss, and 36 percent say they’ve changed jobs because of it.

Micromanaging decreases morale, hurts everyone’s productivity and builds a toxic culture that’s difficult to escape. Nobody wants that, so let’s look at what micromanaging looks like and how you can escape micromanager tendencies as a leader.

Micromanaging manifests in so many ways. Depending on your industry, it can look like:

  • Obsessing over small details that don’t have any bearing on the outcome of a project, like font size or formatting.
  • Placing too much weight on meaningless metrics, like the amount of time people spend at their desks.
  • Visiting employees’ desks multiple times a day to check on the same thing.
  • Taking on tasks yourself because you don’t want to delegate.
  • Getting caught up in minutiae instead of looking at the big picture.

The good news is that you aren’t doomed to micromanage for the rest of your days. You can course-correct right now with these micromanagement-busting tips.

Do some soul-searching.

Micromanaging is usually a symptom of a deeper problem. To combat your micromanaging tendencies, you have to understand why you default to this management style.

Is it because your bosses were micromanagers and you don’t know any different?

Or is it because you inherently distrust your team to operate on their own?

Or maybe you’re worried about sending clients bad work?

When you know why you micromanage, you can take action to work against it. For example, if you micromanage because you don’t know any other way, that’s a sign that you need to expand your horizons and learn about alternative management styles.

Look for soft-skills training.

Leaders have to know how to manage other humans, which means they need strong soft skills. But nobody’s born knowing how to manage others, and that’s why leadership classes are so important.

Set meaningful KPIs.

Your team can do great work when they’re away from their desks, so measuring an employee’s productivity by how often you see them isn’t effective.

With key performance indicators (KPIs) for each employee, you can quantitatively measure an employee’s performance and focus on the bigger picture. You’ll need systems to track these goals, like Asana or Trello, but this is a much healthier way to ensure employee work quality without micromanaging.

Learn how to delegate.

Micromanaging isn’t any fun for employees–and it’s exhausting for managers. If you want to stop micromanaging, you have to rip off the Band-Aid and learn how to delegate.

Just say no to micromanaging.

Micromanagement tells employees that you don’t trust them. If you don’t want your employees to walk on eggshells every day, it’s high time to tackle micromanaging tendencies.

Read Nikki’s entire blog here.

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