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October 4, 2019

How to Avoid the Micro-management Trap!

It’s easy to fall into the micro-management trap, especially if you have new employees who need time to learn processes and procedures. That “I-can-do-it-faster” urge can be hard to resist when deadlines loom and tasks require pinpoint accuracy. When a manager gives in to the urge and imposes his or her work style and methods on an employee, the micro-management trap closes. This can leave employees feeling inadequate, unmotivated, and unproductive.

Here are some tools to help you avoid micro-managing:

  • Give new employees time to learn before demanding high productivity or performance. Partner them with a senior employee as a mentor, if possible, or plan your time to be available to answer questions and give feedback.
  • Honor different learning styles. Some people prefer to learn a task by reading a manual or looking at pictures and diagrams, others learn by listening and repeating what they have heard, and still others need to actually do it a few times to gain the tactile experience. Make sure you deliver training in the right way to get the best results.
  • Identify which tasks and procedures must be performed exactly as specified, such as activities involving safety and security. There may not be any leeway or ability to adapt them. On the other hand, many tasks can be performed in a variety of ways. With these, be open to variations and give employees the latitude to do it their own way.

Micro-management is a habit and like all habits, it can be changed. If you tend to micro-manage, use these tools to break the habit. You will discover how much more positively productive your employees can be when left alone to do their jobs in their own way.

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