Let Go and Grow Your Business: How to Stop Micromanaging

Do you have a problem giving up control within your business? Do you feel the need to check in with your employees constantly? Are you taking on tons of work that’s below your paygrade because you don’t think anyone else can do it correctly?

If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, it’s possible that you’re micromanaging your employees.

It might seem like an effective option at first. However, micromanaging is not a good approach if you want your business to thrive long-term.

If you’re struggling to figure out how to stop micromanaging, you’ve come to the right place. Listed below are some helpful strategies you can implement today.

Characteristics of a Micromanager

It’s not always easy to tell if you’re a micromanager or someone who just likes things done a certain way. If you’re not sure where you fall on this spectrum, consider whether or not you possess any of the following characteristics:

  • You’re always asking for progress updates (even when your workers haven’t had enough time to actually make any progress)
  • You want to know every single detail about things like what an employee’s doing and what their schedule is
  • You have trouble delegating because you fear a loss of control
  • You delegate but withhold authority and insist on having the final say
  • You demand secrecy and try to place limits on staff and employee conversations

Do any of these characteristics resonate with you? If you were on the fence about whether or not you’re a micromanager, hopefully, you now have a clearer idea of where you stand.

Negative Effects of Micromanagement

When you micromanage your employees, you set yourself and them up for some negative consequences. Here are some of the most well-known negative effects that can result from micromanagement:

  • High levels of stress
  • Increased risk fo stress-related health problems (high blood pressure, heart problems, etc.)
  • Emotional strain
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of motivation

These issues can affect both you as a manager or business owner and the employees who are suffering as a result of your micromanagement.

Think about it. Does a business full of stressed out, fatigued, unmotivated workers sound like it’s set up for long-term success?

How to Stop Micromanaging

At this point, you’re probably sufficiently concerned about your micromanaging tendencies. The good news, though, is that there are lots of steps you can take to overcome this habit, including the following:

Set Clear Expectations

You might feel a need to micromanage your employees because, in the past, you’ve had things turn out in a less-than-ideal way.

Consider, for a minute, though, if those results happened because you didn’t set clear expectations.

If you’re clear right from the beginning about what you want, there will be less of a need for you to monitor your employees as they complete a specific project.

Focus on the Outcome, Not the Process

There’s nothing wrong with wanting a specific outcome for a project. Be clear about what you expect from your employees, but don’t try to control every aspect of how they get to that result.

It’s okay to have basic parameters in place so that your employees don’t break any rules. Give them the freedom to do things in a way that makes sense for them, though. This will help you get a better-finished product, and your employees will feel more enjoyment working toward that finished product.

Know Your Value

If you don’t know anything about web design, why are you trying to dictate how your web designers do their job? Be honest with yourself about where your talents lie and which area of the business you can provide with value.

When you do this, you can accomplish more, see the fruits of your labors sooner, and give your workers the space they need to get things done without you breathing down their necks and offering unsolicited advice.

Take Time to Reflect

It helps to conduct weekly check-ins with your workers instead of trying to manage what they do each day.

With a weekly check-in, you can satisfy your need to find out how things are going and provide assistance if necessary. You won’t be crowding your employees, though, and stressing them out with constant feedback.

Get Feedback from Your Employees

Speaking of feedback, it’s also helpful to get feedback from your employees on how they want to be managed.

Talk to them about what kinds of strategies work well for them. Some prefer a hands-off approach while others have no problem with regular check-ins and suggestions.

Once you know how your employees work best, try to honor that as much as you can. They’ll appreciate your efforts and be more inclined to continue working hard for you.

Fail Forward

Part of letting go and giving up micromanaging is giving your employees a chance to fail. You have to accept that there will be times when things don’t work out exactly as you want them. This doesn’t mean that you should go back to micromanaging, though.

Both you and your workers should use these failures as an opportunity to learn. When something doesn’t go according to plan, address it during your weekly review and talk to your employees about how you can avoid having the same problem in the future.

Use Technology

Don’t forget to use technology that makes it easier for you to delegate and loosen the reigns on your workers.

Scheduling software helps employees know where they need to be and when without you having to tell them directly. You can use project management software to keep an eye on how people are doing with

Give Up Micromanaging Today

Now that you know more about what a micromanager looks like, as well as the detriments of micromanagement for you and your employees, are you ready to get a handle on this unhealthy habit?

Give the strategies above a try and you’ll find that it’s much easier than it once was to figure out how to stop micromanaging.

Don’t forget to check out some of the other business-related articles on our site today, too. They’ll give you more insight into the right way to run a business without burning out or alienating your employees!

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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