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Feb 16

How to Stay Involved Without Micromanaging

By: Lydia Adams

As a boss or team manager it’s natural to ensure your subordinates are getting assignments done efficiently and with good results, but sometimes attention to detail can become overzealous and do more damage than good. If you have a competent, responsible staff, micromanaging can also be a waste of valuable time if you’re constantly checking in. By doing this, you spend more time giving people directions, and your employees have to ask permission to take care of even minor tasks. This reduces your company’s productivity, and it gives employees the impression that you don’t trust them to do their jobs well without help. Fortunately, you can stay involved in your business without micromanaging.

Request Regular Updates

After you assign a project to one of your employees, give them the freedom to do it successfully but let them know they can approach you with any questions or updates that may present themselves. You can ask about what’s going on in your company without breathing down their neck and tracking every effort. Once you have communicated your vision and execution plan, you need to leave it up to your team to execute the plan. For example, you can get regular updates by having a meeting with your department heads or asking them to email you a progress report once per week or once per month. If you’re not happy with the decisions or the progress from a department, tell the manager to make changes before the project is due. Ask for your employees’ opinions through surveys and by getting to know them.

Build Trust

If your employees have adapted to your micromanaging tendencies, they may not feel confident enough to carry out projects without your approval. It’s important to give them the freedom to do assignments on their own to establish their own psychological power to lead. Often times it’s an opportunity for growth because you are challenging your team and showing them you trust them enough to complete it independently. By excessively taking over or scrutinizing, people can lose faith in their abilities and get stumped.

Delegate & Prioritize

Start by determining which work is critical for you to be involved in and which items are less important. For example, you may need to be part of every meeting with an important client but not need to proofread the whole presentation. The “low-hanging fruit”, or items that aren’t necessary for you to be a part of, can be delegated and trusted to your employees. It’s important to be communicative. If you convey that a project is high priority, your employees will know to put a lot of energy into it, without you micromanaging the whole task.

Time is valuable so productivity and efficiency are essential during the workday. Contact UNIM for customized solutions for managing your business and your employees.