How to Prevent Micromanagement at Work: 9 Tips

How to Prevent Micromanagement at Work
How to Prevent Micromanagement at Work

It’s perfectly natural for a manager to be deeply invested in their company’s success, and effective team management is a critical aspect of this process. However, what you may think is responsible leadership might turn out to be micromanagement.

Research indicates that approximately 79% of people have been subject to micromanagement at least once. Unfortunately, micromanagers often make their team members feel distrusted and over-scrutinized. It also kills creativity, causes unnecessary stress, fosters mistrust, and demoralizes your team.

If you feel as if you are micromanaging your team, then this may be your chance to change that. Here’s how you can avoid micromanaging and stop these consequences.

1. Learn to Trust Your Employees

Often, micromanagers act as they do due to underlying trust issues. They may feel as though they can perform a task better than anyone else, leading to constant intrusions and unsolicited feedback. Although this may give you temporary relief, it can compromise your relationship with the team.

In the worst-case scenario, your team may feel incompetent since you’re creating an environment by always criticizing their work. So rather than always prodding at their work, you need to trust your team so that they can work independently.

If your team members aren’t doing a task well, try to help them understand what needs changes and tweaks. Rather than criticizing their work, provide constructive feedback and step back to let them do their jobs.

Managers must remain conscious of the work environment their behaviors are fostering. If you struggle in trusting your team, then you should not be a manager. It’s best to take executive coaching on leadership to properly learn how to run a team for your benefit as well as the team and business.

2. Know How to Delegate

Micromanagers believe they can do all the work by themselves, but this increases the chances of missing small issues that your team may be able to fix. You’re there to steer the ship, not play every role possible. By delegating tasks to your team, you can empower your employees and boost their morale.

Research suggests that leaders proficient in delegation tend to generate roughly 33% higher revenue. Delegating also gives you extra time to do other things. For instance, focusing on activities that give the highest returns for your company. Assigning tasks to your team is not just a great management strategy, but also a great profitability tactic.

When delegating tasks, refrain from instructing your team members on how to complete the work in a step-by-step manner. Such behavior constitutes micromanagement! Try not to get too involved unless they ask for your assistance or their work is not producing the quality that is expected.

3. Get Feedback

Receiving feedback is an excellent method to confirm if your team shares a common understanding. By understanding what the team thinks, you can see if your management methods are right for the team. After all, would anyone wish to work in an environment where their manager constantly interferes with or critiques their work?

Therefore, it may be beneficial to ask each team member about their preferred management style. Maybe some may say that they don’t mind a bit more guidance, although it’s more likely that they appreciate autonomy and value trust.

4. Understand Your Employee’s Limitations

You might tend to excessively correct employees’ tasks, leading to frustration when they do not perform as expected. However, instead of taking the task to your table, try to provide appropriate support instead.

If certain tasks are urgent and have high stakes, it’s a good time to explain to your employees why you are being so hands-on. Be sure also to provide feedback and coach them, so they can complete the tasks on their own.

When providing feedback, strive to articulate the reasoning behind your critiques. If your reasons are “because I like this way” or “because I said so,” then maybe you shouldn’t give that feedback. Ensure that you provide critical feedback only when it significantly impacts the project’s outcome.

5. Communicate With Your Team

Don’t be the manager that swoops in at the last second to redo projects or fix issues. Effective communication is paramount in any work environment. So as the leader, you need to tell your team about your expectations. Be sure to remind them that you are always available for questions or if they need help.

Ensure that you also share clear objectives and provide a timeline for the project. Give your team a chance to prove their skills by stating the goals of your project.

By communicating effectively, you ensure that your team aligns with the shared vision as they understand what is expected of them. This means directing them on WHAT needs to be done, not detailing HOW they should accomplish the tasks.

6. Create an Open and Transparent Environment

Micromanagement often results when leaders lack real-time access to their team’s progress and information. Implementing a project management system could enable you to monitor project status, progress, and notes without coming across as overbearing. Given the right attitude, your team is likely to embrace this level of transparency.

7. Find the Right People

While it may seem self-evident, hiring the right people can significantly reduce the temptation to micromanage. If team members lack the appropriate skill set or are underqualified, this can lead to frustration, potentially dampening team morale. Each unsuitable hire may also result in financial loss; therefore, it’s crucial to identify individuals with the requisite skills to fulfill your objectives.

8. It’s Not All About You

Remember, your approach isn’t the only viable method to accomplish tasks. Each team member has different ideas to solve issues, which encourages creative problem-solving and new ideas.

Although challenging, it’s essential to gradually step back and resist the urge to micromanage. After all, you are working on a project as a team, not alone. So you should focus on developing your team to their best potential rather than going for your ambitions. By concentrating on your team’s development, you not only assist them but also enhance your leadership presence.

9. Be The Leader Your Team Needs

Management is all about leading your team to make amazing results. You can manage a team without having to worry about the progress of their tasks every minute.

While leadership roles can often appear daunting, overburdening yourself can lead to exhaustion for both you and your employees. After all, micromanaging can break the trust that unites profitable and productive teams.

Therefore, become the leader your team needs by adhering to these guidelines. Trust your team’s judgment, expertise, and skills while letting them experiment, grow, and learn. Keep your focus on the broader objectives, rather than getting entangled in micromanagement.

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