How to Avoid Micromanaging Employees
Leaders mean well. They do not always get it right, however—managing employees, that is.
Science psychology shares survey results that 70 percent of employees are unhappy with their jobs. If you look around your own workspace you may discover that some of your colleagues are indeed unhappy and if given the chance for them to talk about their unhappiness, they will be happy to speak about it. You may also think about your own feelings and how you rate your happiness on your job.
Research abounds, especially in humanitarian research and in leadership books that the primary reason people are unhappy with their jobs is they do not appreciate their bosses. Employees claim many bosses micromanage, prompting employees to feel insecure about the directives given to them to complete their duties. Employees relish opportunities for autonomy, for it gives them the chance to use their strengths on their jobs. They do not desire their bosses looking over their shoulders or breathing down their backs: They want leaders that believe in them to do the work.
Research adds that employees complain that leaders tend to show favoritism when they introduce new ideas, clinging to the ideas that are already noted by management rather than accepting new ideas by those who offer them. Human psychology shows that many human beings will shut down when they believe they or their ideas are ignored. People need to feel respected and acknowledged. Some leaders are remiss in making employees feel this way.
Moreover, others complain they feel stifled in their duties. They desire to have autonomy in working, they desire to add their personal spin on the jobs in which they are responsible, for their having jobs that are crafted in their own manner is a big part of their career happiness.
Some leaders believe they must know of everything that transpires under their tenure, that they should monitor employees and correct any insignificant error they see. Understandably, a business must run smoothly if it is to meet its goals.
Yet, to inspire employees to be happier on their jobs, leaders should be clear about their expectations when disseminating job duties to employees. Leaders should step aside and give employees room to complete their work. Leaders can watch from afar and intervene only when necessary.
A systematic approach of monitoring employees without employees noticing can be created. Careful thought of an evaluation program can please employees and leaders. Yet, be reminded that while monitoring employees, leaders should be discreet: Monitor in a way that employees least expect. Leadership styles should help make employees feel confident and competent while they are completing their jobs, not feel uncomfortable and unhappy. Thus, a systematic management tool should help in these endeavors.
Much can be expounded upon the topic of micromanagement, yet, suffice it to say, many employees are unhappy because of it. Leaders, therefore, can help enhance their working- relationship with their employees by further following the suggestions below:
(1) Hire smart people. Ask: “What skills do they possess that can help bring out their best as an employee?”
(2) Pay smart people well. Ask: “What is the highest salary I can offer?”
(3) Place smart people in job areas where they will strive. Ask: “What kind of work environment would this smart person strive that would simultaneously help my company strive?”
(4) Give smart people a manual and important descriptions of their duties: “Ask: “May I count on you to ask me questions that this training manual does not answer?”
(5) Evaluate employees every three months. Provide compliments and / or provide constructive criticism, and suggest professional development. Ask: “How are you liking your job thus far?”
(6) Create a reward system. Make it relevant to job. Ask: “What are trivial, everyday things that are important to you?”
(7) Acknowledge employees every chance you get to promote kindness and goodwill. Ask: “How are you, Jane?”
(8) Be professional in every manner possible to ensure your staff’s respect. Ask yourself: “Do I have the image of a leader?”
(9) Do not micromanage: Lead. Ask: “In what way does my employee need my help?”
(10) Be a life-long learner regarding leading people. Ask: “What leadership report or journal have I read lately that shares successful leadership ideas?”
Cynthia Mathews, Ed.D. (2020)