As a business owner, your journey begins with a vision, and you develop an idea of what needs to happen and how you want things to be done. While you may have an impressive vision, the challenge is making it happen. Many times, you cannot do it on your own and will rely on employees to help you complete the work and represent your company’s mission. Once you have a team in place, the next hurdle is setting them loose to do their work. You will do your best to lead your employees in the right direction, but at what point does the directing become too much? How much managing can you do before it becomes micromanaging?
Though many of us feel the need to maintain control, micromanaging is not the most productive way to lead your team. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s beneficial to your company to let go of the reigns a little bit and trust your employees.
Micromanaging wastes your time and money
The main reason for hiring employees is to delegate certain tasks so you can focus on the bigger picture. But sometimes, it is hard to find tasks you are willing to let go of because you want them done a certain way. Instead of giving assignments, walking away, and being twice as productive, you look over your employee’s shoulder and tell them how to do their job. Even though you think your way of doing things may be best, micromanaging your employees will only double your workload. Having two people focusing on the same job that can be completed by one person is a waste of your company’s time and money. You hired your staff because you believed in their ability to add value to your team and get the work done. Let them do it.
Persistently controlling your employees also diminishes the value of your company’s training process. There’s no point in training your employees if you are only going to continue to tell them how to do their jobs. If this is the case, time and money are being wasted on both ends. Communicate through the training process and give clear instructions. Then, give them the chance to complete the work. Your involvement in the review process will allow you to identify any mistakes and take your training to the next level. You may be surprised at the quality of work your team produces when you give them a little room for creativity and the opportunity to figure out their own process of doing things.
We know letting go can be hard. Here are tips on how to let go and still stay in control as a business leader.
Room for growth
If you think controlling your employees’ every move is a helpful technique for running your business, think again. Constantly telling your employees what to do and when to do it will inhibit their ability to learn how to handle projects and priorities for themselves. If they only learn to rely on you for guidance, imagine what would happen if you were not there. Things could go wrong very quickly if your employees don’t have the knowledge of what to do next. If they never have the chance to try, how will they learn?
To avoid these issues, establish trust with your employees. You can start out by giving them small projects and as they complete them successfully, increase their responsibilities. Allow them to learn and navigate their way through the ins and outs of your business. This will give them the room they need to grow within your company and grow as an individual.
Mistakes are necessary
As Joan Collins once said, “Show me a person who has never made a mistake and I’ll show you someone who has never achieved much.” Mistakes are an essential part of the learning process. Micromanaging your employees will not only restrict their learning, but it will limit their ability to make mistakes. Little or big, each time an employee messes up, they are bound to learn something. Having the experience of slipping up at work is an effective way of making them remember how they felt, what went wrong, and how to fix it for next time.
Of course, we don’t expect you to let your employees make a bunch of mistakes in front of your customers. You can create a buffer system that allows your employees to grow and try new things while not risking the level of professionalism of your business. Implement a thorough review process that makes certain the work is finalized before it is sent to a client. Address mistakes early on and explain what needs to be changed. When mistakes do occur, avoid taking the project back to “just do it yourself.” Identify teachable moments and help your team learn new skills, identify poor habits, and make improvements.
Letting go of control can be hard, but productivity will improve and your company will truly be better for it. Tell us, what have been your biggest struggles with micromanaging? We love hearing from you!