When someone moves into the ranks of management, he or she encounters an entirely new set of challenges. No longer is his or her own performance the only concern. The new manager now is responsible for the performance of a number of people.
One of the pitfalls every new manager needs to be aware of is the urge to micromanage. It may be hard for a new manager to learn how to delegate effectively, but it is a skill he or she must acquire if he is to be successful. Micromanaging will slow things down, damage morale and productivity.
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to avoid micromanaging.
1. Determine if you are a micromanager.
You may be micromanaging and not even aware that is what you are doing. There are several ways you can find out. One way is to ask your team members for their opinion. Another thing you can do is talk to someone who is familiar with you and your management style.
Another way to find out is to conduct a little thought experiment. Pretend that you have been given an important assignment, but not a lot of time to work on it. You have to delegate some work in order to finish on time. How does that make you feel? If it makes you feel uncomfortable, and you naturally resist having to do it, you may be a micromanager.
2. Don’t feel bad, micromanaging is more common than you think.
In surveys, nearly two-thirds of those responding said they have worked for a micromanager sometime in their careers.
3. Examine your role.
You need to realize that your role has changed. You got into management because you were an outstanding performer, but that no longer applies. You need to turn your team into outstanding performers.
You need to create an environment that enables people to give their best effort. You need to communicate your strategy and vision to your team, give them constant feedback, enable them to develop their skills, and reward them for good work.
One way to do this is to allow them to do their jobs, to give them responsibility and accountability, and then let them take over.
4. Hire the right people.
One reason that you may feel the need to micromanage is doubt about the ability of your people. To handle this situation, you need to go back to the hiring process itself, and make sure you are hiring people with the right qualifications and skills for the job.
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