3 Warning Signs Your Are Micromanaging Your Team

3 Warning Signs Your Are Micromanaging Your Team
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Are You Micromanaging Your Team?
Being promoted to a new manager role can be a heady experience. But don’t get too carried away with your new positional power or assume you need to be in charge of every task your team members undertake.  This is called micromanaging your team and its effect on your team performance can be really harmful.

Micromanagement Research
Micromanaging never has been a sustainable management tactic to get the most from your team. In fact, management development data from our People Manager Assessment Center shows that micromanagement is a clear warning sign of weak leadership.

And while micromanagement can be advantageous in certain short-term high risk situations or crises, according to the National Institutes of Health, micromanagement creates low employee engagement, high employee turnover, and decreased performance. They found that the negative impacts of managers who micromanage are so intense that micromanagement is among the top three reasons employees resign.

How to Get Out of Your Team’s Way
If you truly want to build a high performance team that succeeds because every team member understands their role and is equipped and committed to handle their part, then you may need to get out of the way.  Yes, you want to be sure your team produces quality work, but constantly looking over their shoulders is not the way.

No doubt you once worked for a manager who micromanaged you. How did it make you feel? If you are like those that answer our annual employee engagement survey, you probably felt less committed to the job and less committed to working hard. Both your morale and productivity were affected. Is this what you want on your new team?

Just imagine how your team would respond if you empowered them and expected them to produce high quality work.  With the right amount of support and performance pressure, people can often accomplish more than you can imagine.

3 Warning Signs Your Are Micromanaging Your Team
Here, from new manager training best practices, is how it might look if you are unconsciously micromanaging and why you should change your behavior:

  1. Do You Hover?
    This can be done by unnecessary email check-ins or phone calls. Making yourself available for questions or requests for help is different. Instead of a show of support, the check-ins signal a lack of your confidence that the job will be done right.

    Don’t undermine your employees’ belief in themselves. Give them the chance they deserve to learn how to do the job correctly and efficiently. They may even have a better approach than the one you intended to teach them!

  2. Do You Insist on Approving Everything before It Goes Out The Door?
    What a waste of your time and theirs. Your office becomes a choke point in the work process. Sure, some work products require your review but, for the most part, once you have established clear quality standards, let your team apply them without your frequent overview.

    The more you micromanage, the more you own the results instead of your team.  A lack of ownership decreases your team’s desire to produce high quality work and is why employees become disengaged. In fact, micro-managers unknowingly create teams of average and low performers who wait for their manager to complete and fix deliverables.

  3. Do You Interfere Because You Think You Can Do It Faster or Better?
    Regardless of what you may believe, you are not the only person capable of high performance.  Your interference is likely to be completely counterproductive. It’s just like teaching your children how to complete a chore like washing a car. Set the standards, gain agreement, and then walk away.

    You will only frustrate yourself by watching the stops and starts as the learner begins. Sure, you know just how much soap is needed and what sponge to use. But it’s best if they learn on their own how to shine up that car.

Focus on setting clear expectations about what you need, ensuring that people have the information, tools, and resources to complete their tasks, and trusting your team to get the job done.

The Bottom Line
Your success as a new manager is based upon the success, skills, and capabilities of your team.  Effective delegation requires enough direction and support to ensure people are set up to succeed.  Leaders need to trust that employees have the skills and desire to turn in an excellent work product.   This is called delegation and is a powerful management tool that the best managers know how to use well.

To gain the skills to avoid micromanaging your team, download this Free Research-Backed New Manager Toolkit now

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