If you’ve ever found yourself in charge of a company, you probably came into the position with a grand vision of how the organization would function. It’s possible that, to achieve this vision, you may have ended up micromanaging your staff. This may have made them afraid to try new ways of solving problems, only working to get the job done rather than to flourish.
As a manager, you have to let go of the “my way or the highway” mantra, and look toward the goals you have for your program or organization. As long as your staff is working toward this same goal, everyone involved will succeed.
Why should you let go?
To establish trust
When you stop micromanaging your staff, you establish a trusting relationship that goes both ways. If you’re constantly getting in the middle of your employees’ projects and looking over their shoulders, they’re more likely to let nerves take over. They’ll be more concerned with completing a task in the way they think you want it completed than completing it to the best of their abilities.
Trust your staff’s ability to get a job done, and they’ll trust the major decisions you make for the company.
To allow your staff to develop
You don’t want your staff working under such stress that they complete their tasks like programmed robots. Humans have a distinct advantage over machines in that we learn while we work on a job, rather than just doing the job the way we’ve been programmed to do it.
As a manager, you hired your staff members not just because you saw in them the ability to get a job done, but also because you saw an opportunity for growth. Let them find their own solutions to problems, and they’ll continue to develop the skills necessary. Allow them to not just succeed, but to push their limits and go the extra mile.
To free up time for you to make other decisions
If you’re constantly micromanaging your crew, you’ll spend way too much time on the little things, and your business will fall apart. Your staff is in place for a reason: to worry about the little things so you can think big. As the leader of a company, your job is to steer the ship toward major goals. If you leave the helm to make sure your deck hand didn’t miss a spot while mopping, you’re bound to go off course or crash the boat.
You do need to supervise your staff from time to time, but you should make sure that most of your time is spent looking after the major decisions that will affect your business in the long run.
How to let go
Fully train your staff
You hired your staff members because you saw potential in them. However, this doesn’t mean they know everything about the business. Make sure they’ve been given time to understand the main goals of the company and their role within the team. Assess your employees’ performance over time, and give each member performance goals for the coming months and year. Along with this, offer professional development opportunities so they can strengthen their weaknesses and push their abilities even further.
When you fully equip your staff with the tools they need to succeed, you won’t have to look over their shoulder on a day-to-day basis.
Focus on the big picture
The running theme here has been to avoid the need to micromanage. If you don’t delegate tasks to your staff, or spend too much time harping on them over small mistakes, you’ll have too much on your plate to make any real progress. Take the time to list all the major things you want your company to accomplish, then decide how everyone can work as a team to accomplish the little tasks that will get you to your goals. Once you’ve delegated responsibilities, let your staff members work their magic. Allow them to be creative in their approaches, and don’t intervene unless they come to you for help — unless there are glaring issues that require immediate attention.
Working with your staff doesn’t mean overseeing every little activity within your company. Just remember: don’t sweat the small stuff.
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