A survey by Trinity Solution revealed:
• 71% of employees said micromanagement affected their work productivity
• 85% of employees said it affected their morale
• 69% considered changing their jobs due to it
• 36% actually changed jobs
It’s clear: Micromanagement diminishes employees’ confidence, breaks trust, and downplays their skills and contribution. You’ll even lose your best employees.
So, here are the 5 tips to stop micromanaging your employees:
1. Hire the right people
Hiring the right person for the job cuts micromanaging by 90%. You won’t have to micromanage someone with a proven skillset and a track record of success. Ensure you have a strict hiring policy where you interview and select the right person.
Ask your manager (who will manage the person) for a specific job description, take a practice test, and ask a qualified interviewer to interview. Only if the employee passes all the filters, hire them. Else wait, until you find the ideal candidate.
It’s obvious, right? Yet you’ll find many companies screw their hiring and onboard incompetent people. They then have to micromanage every detail of their work.
If you find yourself in a similar situation, fire the employee fast.
Why? Hiring the wrong person can cost you as high as $240,000 in expenses (hiring, retention, and pay). They will also lower the productivity, morale, and coordination of others in the team. So, cut your losses soon, and rehire.
2. Have a default trust
If you continuously nitpick your employees, you’ll show you don’t trust them to do the job well. And without trust, your employees will be insecure and under-confident—leading to inefficient and mediocre work.
The solution is to lead with trust. Allow your workers to work autonomously. Reduce the constant check-over, and give the freedom to experiment, make mistakes, and correct them. In short, increase your general trust level. Your employees will reciprocate this with quality and maximum output.
3. Brief them with all the work details
Often, micromanaging is a sign of poor communication. When you don’t set clear work expectations, your team will fail. The more they fail, the more you’ll micromanage. The more you micromanage, the more they will fail, and the cycle will continue.
So, communicate clear work expectations:
a) What you expect your employees to do (not how you want them to do it),
b) What goals they should target
c) When you want them to submit the project (you can even ask for weekly updates)
d) Provide them with the relevant resources/tools
e) Let them know what metrics you’ll use to measure the output.
4. Master delegating
As a manager, you must learn how to delegate. It’s important because you’ll have to do other crucial tasks (focusing on strategic initiatives, attending executive meetings, and more).
So, if you don’t delegate correctly, you’ll ignore/be mediocre at those tasks and micromanage your employees in the name of “assuring the job gets done."
Start with knowing what tasks you should delegate, picking the right person for the job (ensure the job matches their skill), providing training and other help, and 100% autonomy.
5. Let go of perfectionism
The number one reason people micromanage is fearing whether the person will do the work properly. But you’ll know that if you delegate, right?
And even if they don’t do it correctly the first time, give them the freedom to test their ideas and work them out personally. If you keep intervening, you’ll never let them fail and find solutions to problems. Why even hire them, then?
Plus, never promote “it’s been done this way” or “do it my way.” You’ll hold back their creativity and impact your team's performance.
In conclusion, let go of your perfectionism and encourage them to do it their way (provided they achieve the same goal), and you’ll micromanage less.