Management April 14, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,729 Reads share

10 Ways to Stop Micromanaging and Start Trusting Your Staff

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Are you a chronic micromanager? Stop showing your employees a lack of trust with these 10 tips.

It’s a common mindset among owners. Your baby is your business, so you want to have your hand in as many tasks as possible to ensure everything runs smoothly. You watch over your team’s every move hoping that you’ll catch any missteps or mistakes before the customer sees.

All this hand holding and watching over your employees shoulders is a drain – not just on you, but also on your employees.

Micromanagement is a tell tale sign of mistrust. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of this management style, you know how frustrating it can feel. To help you break the habit and repair employee morale, here are 10 ways you can stop micromanaging and start showing your staff the trust they want.

#1. Pay Attention to the Types of Corrections You Make

Do you frequently break out the red ink and mark up every report or request that lands on your desk? What kind of changes are you making? Are they necessary?

Many times, when you take a closer look at what you’re correcting in your employee’s work, you’ll find that you’re overcorrecting. You make changes or offer feedback just for the sake of it. Stop putting your employees in a position where they feel their work isn’t valued just because you wanted to chime in here or there.

#2. Make Smarter Hiring Choices

Have a position to fill? Although you might be eager to replace a lost or promoted employee, take a step back before making your next hire. Are you choosing the right person for the job?

The more conscientious you are about who you hire, the more confidence you will have in your employees. Be proactive in your hiring approach. Set the guidelines for what you want to see from your employees and then seek out top performers.

#3. Build a Culture of Accountability

Have you ever been held to a higher standard? Chances are if you’re a manager, the answer is yes.

Holding your team accountable for their performance is one of the easiest ways to ensure that they’re working hard – even when you’re not looking. When an employee knows you’ll be following up with her work, she’s more likely to produce impressive results as a way to show you what she can do. Infuse this type of accountability into your workplace culture.

#4. Empower Your Employees

When faced with a problem, do your employees have the tools needed to resolve the issue? Empower your team by giving them those tools and freedom to make things right as quickly as possible.

With technology today, you can keep a pulse on what’s happening in your business from a distance. By using programs, such as ScheduleBase, you can track what’s happening at work without having to be the only go-to person to manage last minute changes.

#5. Stop Checking In So Often

It’s been an hour and you haven’t heard back about a specific project or looming deadline. Do you check in and make sure your team is working? No.

Trusting your team’s ability to manage tasks and meet deadlines is vital to your long-term success. By checking in, you distract them from the task at hand. More importantly, you make them feel as if they aren’t doing something right, causing waves of doubt to ripple through the task.

#6. Narrowly Define Your Expectations – and then Back Off

Are you micromanaging in lieu of teaching? Training your employees to perform a specific task is one of the best ways to ensure the job gets done right the first time. It’s also one of the best ways to make it easier to back off and let your team get to work.

Remember, not everyone tackles projects or problems in the same way. By outlining your expectations and allowing your team to achieve results in the way that’s most conducive to their work patterns, everyone wins.

#7. Minimize Face Time

The more you hover around the workplace, the more inclined you are to micromanage. Separate yourself from that temptation by closing your door or getting out of the office. No matter how you distance yourself, minimizing your face time will send a strong signal to your team that you trust them, and lower your temptation to micromanage.

#8. Include Your Employees in Decisions

Is there a big decision that needs to be made about your scheduling or your goals? Include your team. Show your employees that you value their opinions and want their input. They’ll appreciate having a voice and you’ll appreciate hearing their ideas from a different standpoint.

#9. Acknowledge the Positive

Sometimes, all it takes is an “attaboy” for your team to feel better about their performance. Positive reinforcement goes a long way in keeping up long-term performance standards. And truth be told, acknowledging the positive behaviors in your employees will also help you feel a little bit better about the team you have working toward your goals.

#10. Take a Deep Breath

When all else fails, take a deep breath and count to ten. Did your employee really do something bad? Or did they handle a situation just a little bit differently than you would have? As long as your team is achieving results, let the small stuff go.

When all is said and done, trust your hiring decisions. You chose your team for a reason. Now, show them that you have complete confidence in their abilities by backing off and giving everyone some breathing room.

Images: “business work of micro management/


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Jon Forknell

Jon Forknell

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