Avoid Micro Management.
By Dr. Rick Johnson
Wednesday, 11th February 2009
Micro managing may make you feel in control but in reality you are only hurting yourself and the company.

It only limits an employee's ability to be innovative and creative. This can cost the company thousands of dollars because it is the creativity and innovation of your employees that maximize the profitability of your company.

Micro Management is often just a symptom of ineffective planning, too much compassion and the inability to judge performance and develop bench strength. Developing a strategic plan for your company is a very effective way to address any or all of these challenges. I often tell my clients that the most valuable part of a strategic plan is the development process itself.

Running a company with a shoot from the hip mentality often encourages micro management and does not allow employees to develop their skills and maximize their potential.

One of the many warning signs is a high turnover rate. The reason is simple; good employees just won't tolerate micro management and they will leave to find employment that will challenge them and help them grow.

1.Try to understand your lack of delegating skills. If you keep things too close to the vest because you fear losing control, you may need personal coaching to help you understand that empowerment and delegation will actually increase your control as it provides you with more time to plan and work on strategic issues.

2.If you lack trust in your employees remember the statement --- "Employees won't start trusting you until you start trusting them". If you absolutely can not let go; ask yourself why you hired the employee. In the end if you can't trust them you need to replace them. If you find you can't trust any of your employees than you need help in developing your leadership skills.

3.Create a skills assessment inventory for every key employee. Supplement that exercise by creating a training and development matrix to improve the overall competency of the organization. Include yourself in the assessment. Communicate the purpose in a positive fashion to the employees.

4.Consider doing a 360 review that includes you as a leader or create an anonymous survey for employees to rate the entire management team, including you, and the company culture itself.

5.Utilize your skills assessment to make sure you have the right people in the right seats and identify future potential leadership.

6.Stop answering questions and start asking them. When an employee asks you what they should do, ask them what they think they should do.
7.Search for projects, issues or challenges that you would normally tackle and create a project team or empower an individual to solve the problem. Do this even if you think you have the answer.

8.Let your employees fail. The hardest thing to do is to watch an employee make a mistake. But, unless the mistake is life threatening or is going to cost the company thousands of dollars, it is a better learning process if the employee learns from his own mistake.

9.Provide more than just skill training and product training. Create an employee development program for those employees that show potential for future stardom. This development program must be based on empowering these employees to make tough decisions. Intern programs are also effective as a platform for development.

10. Results happen in various ways. Remember, you may have a specific way of doing things but it may not be the only way. As long as the employee is getting the results expected, give them praise. Your way may not be the best or only way.

Rick Johnson, expert speaker, wholesale distribution's "Leadership Strategist", founder of CEO Strategist, LLC a firm that helps clients create and maintain competitive advantage. Need a speaker for your next event, E-mail rick@ceostrategist.comm

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