The 5-Step Guide

Being a great manager isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly important to the success of your team and of course the business as a whole. Micromanaging is one of the top complaints that employees have about their managers. When managers are over-involved and don’t give employees enough autonomy to do their jobs, it leads to inefficiency and high turnover. If you have a tendency to micromanage, learning how to stop micromanaging while still ensuring you achieve results is key.

1. Hire the right people

As mentioned in our post about effective remote teams, hiring the right people is the first step toward a successful, high-performing team. If you want to avoid micromanagement, you have to be confident in your team’s abilities and trust that they can do the job. Try to ensure your team is made up of accountable people who want to take ownership of their work and don’t need heavy hand-holding.

2. Clearly define what success looks like

The next step in preventing micromanagement is goal setting. You need to set clear, attainable goals and be transparent with each person on your team. Team members must know exactly what they are responsible for and what success looks like. Having defined goals allows employees to go forward with a clear picture of what to do and establishes success criteria that can be used to track progress.

Being open and clear in your communication, as well as asking for feedback to ensure employees understand what you are asking of them prevents common misunderstandings that often derail projects. If you lead a dispersed team, make sure you have the right technology to power effective communication and collaboration so that everyone stays on the same page.

3. Learn how to delegate

With employees on the same page about what is expected of them, it’s time to let them do the work, not you. Micromanagers nitpick every detail of the work being done and eventually take over the whole project, leaving nothing for employees to do.

Instead of this, you should focus on clearly communicating your expectations, then delegate projects out to each team member. After delegating, take a step back and let employees do the heavy lifting. As a manager, your job is to check in on progress, answer questions and hold employees accountable for the work they are doing.

4. Give employees decision-making power

Learning how to stop micromanaging your team really means learning how to let go of some control. Encourage your team to come up with their own ideas and give them decision-making power so they have a voice in the work they are doing. Give up some control and let employees have full ownership of their work, from start to finish, rather than assigning work out task-by-task.

5. Check in regularly

Schedule regular one-on-one’s with your team members so you can stay informed on their progress, answer questions, give feedback and make sure things are headed in the right direction. When problems do arise, tackle them head-on. Step in and get more involved to help your team get back on track. Don’t swing to the other side of the pendulum and become totally uninvolved. Stay informed and be involved with the work they are doing, but give them a certain level of autonomy at the same time.

How to Stop Micromanaging: Do’s and Don’ts

The Management Center sums up the differences between micromanagers and good managers well in this chart below.

Management Center tips: how to stop micromanaging

ABOUT Kristen Wells

Kristen is the senior manager of corporate communications at PTC and editor of Field Service Digital. She is passionate about elevating the stories of women in field service and improving communication between the field and the office. Prior to ServiceMax, Kristen held content marketing roles at startups such as Zinc and cielo24. Kristen holds a B.A. in Communication with an emphasis on Professional Writing from the University of California, Santa Barbara.