Some people feel that being a control freak or a micro manager is necessary when managing a project team where accuracy or compliance is required. I disagree. There is a much better way to get desired results and hold people accountable. Yes, you must have accuracy and compliance but you could stifle your company growth, have high turnover, and end up working way too many hours when you decide to micro manage.
Let’s consider some actual examples. I have worked with a person owns a business that includes insurance and real estate. He has a dozen employees involved in the process of sales and contracts. Each person has a job title but not a job description. Things change quickly as does the mood of the owner. To make matters worse people are asked to do a task but then later the owner comes by and says, “stop doing that, I want you to do this.” You won’t be surprised to learn that this company experiences high employee turnover but the owner attributes that to the fact that people don’t want to work. The truth is that no one has been given a job description nor given the latitude to make decisions in their daily work and be held accountable for the results.
Another example concerns a customer service manager. She was previously the best customer service representative and had rave customer reviews. She received a well-deserved promotion. In an effort to continue her top customer service rating, she closely monitors all of the representatives and sometimes even steps in and says, “Let me take this one. It is complicated and I know the customer.” But she has other duties now. Her boss asks her why the overall customer service rating is remaining low even though she was always received top ratings as an individual.
Let’s be clear. Yes both of these people need to have control for the results of their people. For sure they must hold their people accountable. However, here are some of the results that will come from both of these real examples.
The high turnover does not mean that no one wants to do the work. In all my years in corporate human resources one statement has rung true. People did not leave jobs; they left supervisors.
Micro managing has caused these problems. Here is what works better than micro managing. A confident and focused leader who empowers people will create engaged employees which will result loyal customers and a successful company.
Rather than saying, “this is how I want you to perform this job,” try this instead. “Here is the way this has been done in the past. Now if you have a better method of achieving the goal, fine, but just remember that the ultimate goal must be achieved.” The employee should be held accountable for the ultimate goal. Focus on the goals not the activities!
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