Keeping workers productive is one of the primary goals of any manager. Whether you’re in a low-level supervisory position or you’re managing an entire division, you want your employees to be contributing to your organization as efficiently as possible.
There are, of course, any number of leadership styles you can adopt to achieve this goal. Likewise, there are innumerable leadership tips for managers depending on what supervisory strategies they adopt. One of the most prevalent strategies is micro-management, a highly controversial leadership style that has plenty of proponents and detractors alike. If you’re a micro-manager and you want better results from your workers, here’s what you need to consider.
Face the Truth About Micro-Management
First things first: you’ve got to stop. While there may be some specific instances where micro-managing your employees can be useful — such as when dealing with inexperienced workers assigned to tasks that have highly exacting requirements — the efficacy of micro-management is short-lived. This makes the best types of leadership tips for micro-managers those that convince them the error of their ways.
The impetus behind many decisions to micro-manage is fear. It’s natural for to have anxiety and uncertainty about your abilities to lead a team of workers, especially if you’re new to a supervisory position. Even if you are experienced, you might choose to rely on micro-managing unproven teams or employees. Even if you are managing a group of veteran employees, you may feel more comfortable micro-managing them if you have no established relationship with them, as you have no grasp of their capabilities. However, succumbing to your desire to micro-manage your team simply because it provides you peace of mind is doing no favors to the employees you supervise.
Find Better Ways to Support Productivity
Keep in mind that micro-management is just one tactic for eliciting productivity from your employees. Additionally, this particular tactic is also not the most effective one when it comes to long-term effectiveness. This has been researched and investigated, with scientists discovering that exposure to repeated micromanagement leads to lack of engagement with workers. In one study, an overwhelming 71 percent of micro-managed workers said that the practice interfered with their job performance.
It’s clear that micro-management does not engender employee engagement. This is unfortunate because engagement levels are directly related to productivity. Research has shown that as engagement increases, so does productivity: teams with overall high engagement are, on average, 21% more productive than teams that lack engagement. In other words, your overwhelming desire to have a productive team of workers at all costs is sabotaging that team’s ability to be productive.
Embrace Group Dynamics
If you want better results from your workers, you need to spend time fully integrating yourself into the group dynamic. Your ultimate goal is to groom not just the employees you supervise directly but yourself into a fully-functioning team with yourself in position as leader. This requires a slow-but-sure transition away from micro-management tactics and instead adopting ones that showcase the confidence you have in your team members.
Not sure how to accomplish this? One of the most effective methods to build rapport with your employees is to engage in team-building exercises and activities. Rolling up your sleeves and working alongside your team members towards shared goals reinforces cooperation and bilateral communication, skills you need to develop if you want to position yourself away from micro-managing. It’s the most important step in actively supporting better engagement for your team. Doing so will allow you to reap the rewards of increased productivity, all without micro-managing your employees to death.