Holding your employees accountable without micro-managing can prove difficult for any business owner or manager.

We have all been in a situation where we know we can do something better ourselves. We find it difficult to watch someone make mistakes but if we interfere we can end up falling into the trap of micro-managing our employees.

Micromanagement is the ultimate controlling management style. It involves trying to manage and personally control, monitor and approve every decision, every team member or every situation. From an employee’s perspective it is demoralising as they feel that they aren’t trusted and that their manager is always checking up on them.
If you struggle with delegation, you are more likely to become a micro-manager. Delegation isn’t easy. To begin with, you need to be comfortable with the fact that you can’t do everything yourself. You then need to identify the tasks that you are happy to delegate to others. In some cases it can be helpful to set out your strategic plan in writing then transfer the necessary knowledge to a team member that you know will be able to handle the task.

Over time, you will learn to let go of the notion that everything needs to be perfect. In reality, nothing is perfect. In business, everything should be fit for purpose but this doesn’t mean it must be 100% perfect.

In order to avoid micro-managing your employees, begin by hiring good people. If you hire a team of people who inspire confidence and are keen to take on responsibility, you will feel more comfortable trusting them to do their job. Before hiring a new team member, consider the current needs of the business, the team dynamic and make sure that any new recruits will fit well within the existing team. If you trust and respect your people, they will perform well and you will find it easier to step back and let them do their jobs.

Finally, empower your team members to make decisions. Arrange regular update meetings regarding progress, make yourself available in case they have any questions that they want to run by you, but give them ownership of their objectives and make them accountable for delivery of their responsibilities.

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