Not long ago, we were sitting in the same commuter traffic, having synchronous meetings in the office every other day, typing away at our designated desks, and chatting around the Keurig about our weekend plans. Managers relied profoundly on onsite management to supervise their respective teams towards shared goals. The times have changed. The work environment is a toss-up of remote or hybrid work schedules. Work transformations have brought attention to employers upholding a culture of trust rather than micromanaging their team to success. While navigating this different time in the world, it is crucial to add value to your team rather than causing apprehension. Employees want to feel enabled to get their work done on the merit of trust, ability, and teamwork. Build a work atmosphere that invites and inspires the team to advance, don’t become a leader with no supporters.
What is micromanagement?
Micromanaging is firmly monitoring and controlling the work of direct reports or employees. A micromanager knows everything, seeks frequent updates, and does not consent to collaboration but instead wants tasks completed their way. Micromanaging produces anxiety in the work environment. These are not the results you want. An added outcome of this management style is that employees lose interest in performing and engaging at work which impacts morale and production. As extraordinary as it may sound, micromanagers do not have wicked intentions. Micromanagers commonly lack trust and confidence in their teams’ abilities to stay on track, presenting extreme supervision. Don’t fear; this can be fixed.
It’s imperative to remove any indication of micromanagement at the source that requires the change to start with the manager. To eliminate micromanaging symptoms, the manager must highlight creating a collaborative, progressive, and productive work environment. The fundamentals include:
Create simple rules and trust your team
Set clear expectations that are easy to understand and allow employees autonomy to be accountable and dynamic in their work. Have a defined mission and clearly outline how the team intends to get there. When employees have clear guidelines, you set them up to succeed. A rule-centric work environment is not the breeding ground for innovation and progress, let alone devoted employees. Let go of minor hurdles or details that will not influence the greater goal. Use your position to organize, motivate and guide.
Be a confident leader.
Assess your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and continue to develop them to become a better leader/ manager. Often unknowingly, our qualms can be projected onto others. To progress as a good leader, work on yourself, build confidence, and trust that you can support your team to reach goals.
Promote feedback and communication
Employees look to management to validate a job well done in addition to delivering constructive feedback to encourage continual development. While working with your team, observe their efforts and assess their input. When one-on-ones or evaluations are due, you can provide a balance of thoughtful suggestions and celebrate accomplishments related to their contributions over time. In return, request your employees’ feedback on their experience. Seeking employee feedback supports reciprocity in the workplace, ensures a feeling of being valued, and increases healthy communication.
Micromanagement does not build solid teams that can go the distance. In its place, create a work environment cultivated on trust and communication. Doing so will harvest a resilient, dedicated, and energetic team who has ownership in the success of their organization.