Stop Micromanagement Madness

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Do you have a micromanager in your midst? Take these corrective steps to put an end to the destructive management style. Your employees, and your bottom line, will love you for it.

If you’ve ever felt the oppressive weight of a micromanaging boss, then you know how deleterious that management style can be to morale, to productivity and even to employee health, both physical and mental. If you’re serious about building and growing a successful business, then you need to stop any hint of micromanagement—whether it’s your managers’ or your own—in its tracks.

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In her article on Small Business Computing, Janine Popick, CEO of VerticalResponse, discusses several ways to eradicate micromanagement from your business—and what you stand to gain by doing so.

The first step is to understand why it’s happening at all. Micromanagement can show its ugly face when there’s a lack of trust or confidence, for example, when a manager starts working with a new and unfamiliar team. Or perhaps you have a team member who tends to miss deadlines or doesn’t follow through.  Identifying the root causes can help you take corrective steps and build the trust that’s necessary for a business to flourish.

The next step requires that you hold your team accountable—if you don’t, how can they know whether or not they’re meeting your expectations? Rather than micromanaging everything, give them goals that are realistic and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-sensitive).

Another strategy involves adding 360-degree feedback into your employee review process. This might sound a bit frightening, but when done properly, you and your teams can learn a lot and grow better and stronger as a result.

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Finally, let go of wanting everything done your way. If you always control the what, how and when of every task, not only will you end up doing most of the work, you’ll end up with bored, unhappy and resentful employees. According to Popick, “knowing when to step back and give your team members the space they need to explore a problem, brainstorm, come up with solutions and execute on them is at the very core of every good manager.”

By taking these steps, you can weed out micromanaging and its toxic effects on your business. Plus, giving employees an empowered voice in the work process generates more ideas and solutions, which can result in better products and a stronger business.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of Small Business Computing. Follow Lauren on Twitter.

Adapted from Take the Micro Out of Managing, by Janine Popick at Small Business Computing. Follow Small Business Computing on Twitter.