Leadership is tough. It involves making risky moves, tackling difficult decisions, and putting in a lot of effort to properly execute your goals. All of this is done better with the help of a team; however, micromanaging the people who work for you is a common leadership error.
Oftentimes, leaders fail their teams (and their projects) because they spend so much time checking up on individuals that relationships and quality of work erode. Here are a few ways you can avoid this dilemma.
One of the best ways to stop yourself from being a constant pair of eyes over your employees’ shoulders is to hire people whose work ethic you feel confident in. That means creating a uniform hiring process that ensures potential employees understand the priorities and duties of the job, have plenty of experience, and are willing to learn and take on challenges without needing to be told what to do.
A solid hiring process means nothing, however, if your employees aren’t being trained properly. That means sharing documentation that outlines their daily priorities and workflows, a chain of command, how to deal with specific situations, and what to do when someone (inevitably) makes a mistake. Investing in comprehensive training and onboarding will only help you feel more confident in your employees and their performance.
It never hurts to ask your employees how they’re feeling. By creating an open line of communication with your team, you eliminate the necessity of constantly watching them. Instead, when they have an issue, they can feel comfortable coming to you as well. By talking to your team about their experiences and asking them for suggestions, you can also work on problems you may have otherwise ignored.
If you don’t trust your employees, you’ll never have enough time to focus on your own duties and priorities. If your employees don’t feel trusted, they’ll inevitably feel like failures no matter how hard or well they work. The key to preventing excessive management is understanding the relationship you have between you and your team. They’ve been hired to fulfill necessary responsibilities. You’ve done the work on your side to hire well and train them properly. The only way they can do this is if you leave them alone for long enough to do their jobs.
Look at Yourself
If none of this works, it’s time to look inward. It’s one thing if you feel one employee isn’t holding up their own while the rest of them team is working hard. However, if you notice consistent patterns of criticism, it’s important to address them with yourself in a proactive manner. Whether it’s couseling, speaking to a mentor, or reading books about issues you’re facing, there are plenty of resources out there that can help you overcome issues such as micromanagement. The only way your company can grow is if you commit to working on you.