Putting things in order and organization rank high on a success ladder for any owner or manager (or any high position that you might be holding).
Now, it is quite often the case that you think that your managerial skills are just good enough (if not great) and that people in your surroundings love working with you.
This is an easy trap to fall into. Micromanagement does not have to be something that you do on a conscience level — in fact, most of these actions are done without paying attention to it or to its possible outcomes.
Reasons for micromanaging are numerous. Most often you have the feeling that the project is slipping away and feel the urge to “get in and save it”. But it can also be because of other reasons.
Allowing yourself to get into too many details of the business will eventually hurt your business (now, this can happen either in the long or a short run).
Now, taking a step back it is safe to say that there are employees who work better being micromanaged and, sometimes, even like it. But, do you in fact want this people to work for you?
If not, here are five tips on how not to kill your business with too much micromanagement:
Let everyone do what they are paid for
This one never ceases to amaze me. Hiring a professional to do their job and then micromanaging every single task is a common case in every industry.
It is a common case that managers fall into a trap here because they believe they can do the task better than their subordinates. Even if this is correct, there is a clear reason why the task is outsourced — it will free up more time and allow you to deal with more important tasks.
Micromanaging employees takes up too much time on both sides. Besides losing money (due to the greater amount of time spent on tasks), micromanaging won’t allow people to express their opinion and creativity the right way.
Do not dismiss ideas by default
This is a silent killer of many startups. If you have had success (or even just luck) with the previous strategy and are now striving to do exactly the same think about doing it from other perspective.
Exclusion of external inputs can be extremely bad for your business. Do not dismiss ideas of employees just because you tried another way that worked. If you decided to hire a person and free up your time this way, you will have to let them make decisions. Getting rid of the control like this can be scary, but not doing it can be harmful.
Make sure to give your employees enough space to come up with their own ideas and grow within the company. This will boost their moral and they will not feel trapped inside the company.
Micromanaging feels like you are taking away autonomy of your employees. More important than what it feels like is what it tells your employees about you.
Once you are on this road of getting to know every detail of every task, it pretty much leads to lower and lower engagement of your staff. In addition, it will eventually squelch growth — both their professional and in the company.
You should invest in your staff and let go of the full control. This way they will grow further and rise in the ranks.
Stop prioritizing tasks for your employees
Communication has changed, especially in online business. Different mediums shape the way we communicate with one another. This way, some tasks become more urgent than others — just by putting a red flag beside.
Making everything seem urgent is not going to make your business run faster. It is easy to mix agile with ASAP. In fact, it is so easy that some do it on purpose, using agile as an excuse to go hard with ASAP.
Micromanaging the prioritization of the tasks of your employees by handing them in the tasks to be done ASAP will hurt three core values of scrum methodology (transparency — inspection — adaptation).
Try to give each task a clear deadline and be explicit. Always give buffer to things — and let employees prioritize what is more and what less important.
Allow people make mistakes
Really, a lot of people forget this. Making mistakes is human and it happens. You have to embrace this as the potential outcome of every situation or task that you outsource to an employee — or even the ones you do.
But, it does not stop here. Allowing your employees to make mistakes, you should also allow them to think of a solution to the mistake. Let them learn and grow. Do know that it takes time and it takes effort.
Now, to sum up
Basically, micromanaging feels a bit like raising a child. You think that you have the grip of it and that you have all the strings in your hands, but you don’t. It’s the reality that happens afterwards.
There are numerous things that can happen just around the corner — so you would want your staff not to be completely dependent on you. You will want them to express their opinion and offer solutions.
In the end, micromanaging will not create a perfect team of people who do everything in-time and flawless. Now that would be a perfect goal to strive to, but, unfortunately, success does not come without risk.
Outsourcing has helped a lot of people fight micromanaging issues and it has helped them free up more of their time. Eastern Europe is a rising hub of quality professionals who bring to table many key skills that will help you develop your business (as seen on Forbes, ZDNet, Computer Weekly, Huffington Post).
Outsource to professionals. Make this step #1 in your fight against micromanagement. It will make it easier to build trust, relax and work more on the business than in the business.