Have you ever uttered the words “I like to keep tabs on my employees”? When it comes to motivating your employees to achieve rock star results and to improve teamwork in the workplace, identifying and stopping your micromanaging behavior is the first step.
Imagine if a band’s manager was so busy standing over the musicians telling them how to play their instruments, that they had no time to book gigs, write up contracts, or market the band. The group wouldn’t be playing music for very long.
The same is true of your team at work. Marvelless Mark® reminds his clients that if you don’t give employees the space to do what they do best, you won’t have time to do what you do best. Not to mention, you’ll have some very irritated employees on your hands. Even worse, micromanaging behavior can be detrimental to how your team interacts with one another.
Why is Micromanaging so Harmful to Your Team
Whether you intend to or not, this type of behavior sends a very clear message to your employees:
“I don’t trust you.”
When your employees believe that you don’t trust them, problems begin to brew.
Issues for Employees
They will become less satisfied with their position, less interested in going above and beyond, less creative with solutions, and they will back away from increased responsibility and opportunities for growth.
Issues for You
Just like that band manager who loses sight of the big picture because he’s too busy trying to play all the instruments, you won’t have time to keep your eye on the larger vision that you’ve identified for your team. You’ll be so busy doing everyone else’s work that you won’t have time to do your own. You’ll be stressed, resentful, and your employees won’t like you very much.
Issues for the Team
While it may seem like this kind of behavior won’t affect the interpersonal relationships of your employees and affect their ability to work as a team, that couldn’t be further from the truth. If you don’t trust your employees to do their jobs, why would their coworkers? Micromanaging behavior breeds mistrust throughout the department and creates hostility.
Are You a Micromanager?
Like any behavior, admitting it is half the battle. If you insist on being cc’d on every email that’s sent, if you check in on your employees multiple times throughout the day or find yourself watching their work over their shoulder, you may be a micromanager. The best way to find out… ask.
Yes, this is going to require showing some vulnerability to your staff, but while it may appear weak, it’s actually a show of strength and your team will respect you more for it.
“Humility is really important because it keeps you fresh and new.” – Steven Tyler
Bring a few of your most trusted employees in for an informal chat either individually or as a small group. Ask them the following questions:
- Do they feel empowered to make decisions on their own?
- Do they feel as if your requirement for “check-ins” is hampering their ability to get their job done?
- How would they describe your management style? Would they prefer something else?
- Would they consider you a micromanager or “helicopter manager”?
Once you’ve determined that you are indeed micromanaging, you’ll need to figure out why. There are a number of reasons that can factor into this such as:
- Insecurity: You’re afraid you’ll look bad if they don’t do something well.
- Ego: You think you can do it better and in less time.
- Lack of trust: You don’t think your employees can handle the tasks they’ve been given.
There is one situation where your micromanaging behavior may be a symptom of a larger problem. If you haven’t always micromanaged, you may have lost faith in your employees… and sometimes for good reason. If you’ve tasked an employee with a project in the past, trained them properly to complete it, and they did not produce, it may be time to evaluate their skills and then move them to another position or release them from the company.
Micromanaging is a dangerous behavior whether you’re managing a band or a department of salespeople. When you recognize and understand your behavior, you’ll be able to lead your team in a way that produces rockstar results for each employee and for the company as a whole.
Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.