Micro-management is a term that has surfaced in the business world to indicate when a manager watches everything an employee does and tries to control their performance. The basic reaction to this style of management is it stifles the growth of employees as well as the business.

An employee knows immediately when they are being micro-managed. However, a manager doesn’t always recognize that they are micro-managing their staff.

How do you know if you are a micro-manager?

==>Do you get frustrated if someone on your team makes a decision without consulting you?

You need to be the final word for any major decisions, yet there are so many decisions that can be made by your staff….depending on their level of responsibility within the company.

Are you concerned that a wrong decision will significantly affect your business? Mistakes occur and even you can make a mistake. If you are anxious about letting go of the decision making process, start small with a project that you know will not greatly affect the company.

Suggestion….when you create a job description for each role in your company, include a section on what decisions this role is capable of executing. All employees should have decision-making responsibilities within the scope of their roles. Without the ability to decide, your employees will not grow and eventually their performance will deteriorate or they will leave.

For you, a significant benefit of delegating decision-making responsibilities is that you now can focus your attention on the business. It will be worth your while to learn how to manage effectively

==>Do you watch everything your employees do and try to control how they do it?

Often times a manager micro-manages their team because they believe they know best how to complete a job.

Do you believe that there is only way to perform a particular job?

Is there a lot of pressure on you to deliver and are you concerned your employees will not meet the demand?

Do you feel insecure in your role as a manager…not sure how to effectively elicit the best performance for each of your team members?

Take the time to evaluate the reason why you want to control the work of your employees. It could be that the project is not moving along as anticipated or one employee is not performing. Those are specific situations and being on top of it is smart.

Yet if you want to control what every member of your team thinks or does during the day, then you are micro-managing. Employees will not develop with a controlling manager…..they want respect from their manager. Respect is shown by trusting the employee wants to perform and add to the business.

Suggestion….why not create a reporting mechanism for your team members to update you on the progress of the project. Again, don’t use this tool to go down into the details, but rather as a way for you and your employees to communicate.

==>How much time do you spend explaining a project to your employees?

Do you give them the project overview, expectations and then send them on their way? Or, do you tell them in detail how they should do their job. If you are down in the details as a manager, you are micro-managing. The details belong to your employee. It’s their job to execute the project for you. If they have any questions, they are responsible to ask you for clarity, and you can set that expectation for them. Just set the scope of the project and expectation for their performance.

Suggestion…If there are specific details that are important for the project, then have someone write them up as part of the project documentation.

==>Final Thoughts:

-If you hire smart people, they will want to be part of the decision-making process.

-You can’t build a business by being the only person to make decisions. And don’t worry….you will always have the final say on major decisions.

-Start by delegating decision-making responsibilities to your employees in areas that are not critical to your business.

-Focus on building trust with your team members and not controlling their actions. Trust is the foundation of an effective working relationship. Without trust, your strong talent will find another company that allows them breathing room to contribute and grow.

Keep in mind that your responsibility as a manager is to set the expectations of the work, insure they are trained to perform their responsibilities, be a consultant when needed, and let them move forward and perform the work.

Author's Bio: 

Pat Brill is the author of the blog “Managing Employees” (www.ManagingEmployees.net), “The Secrets of a Successful Time Manager” (www.SuccessfulTimeManager.com) and “Manager’s Guide to Performance Improvement.” (www.GuideToPerformance.com) You can reach Pat at pat@TheInfoCrowd.com.