Taking the time to make nurturing your employees a priority can result in a more engaged, productive, and overall happy team. When things aren’t going as ideally as you would hope, employee disgruntlement is often caused by management not giving them the freedom to do their jobs.

As we discussed last week, micromanagement is one of the top four factors that can cause a less than ideal relationship with your employees. Being micromanaged can cause the morale of any individual to suffer, leading to severe employee disengagement. Constant nitpicking and “suggestions” on how to do their job can leave your employees feeling inadequate and disparaged. Micromanagement can drive a wedge between you and your employees with a loss of respect and autonomy leading to high levels of turnover and burnout.

Micromanagement is often not an intentional managerial approach. Managers feel like they are merely doing their job by keeping tabs on their employees, intending to ensure that they are doing good work and meaning to offer constant feedback and support. However, this lack of autonomy can lead to your employees being unable to grow and develop as professional individuals.

This managerial technique is completely avoidable. Try these methods to ensure this is not an issue within your team:

  • Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff – Priorities! Take a look at the big picture and don’t let yourself get bogged down with the little things that don’t matter in the long run. Focus on departmental and organizational goals and how you, and your employees, can work in the most productive way possible to meet those objectives.
  • Learn to Delegate – A difficult skill for some to master, let your employees help you meet those overarching goals and objectives. Delegating can be beneficial for both managers and employees, in that managers have fewer duties on their plate, and employees feel trusted to take on new tasks and are offered chances to learn and build their own professional skills.
  • Communicate – Instead of constantly requiring and asking for status updates, talk with your employees about the best methods for appraisal on overall performance and project progress. If you’re not directly involved with a particular task, cut back on required updates while still offering your support and guidance.

Giving your employees autonomy over their work and the freedom to make (appropriate) decisions will help your employees gain confidence in their work and will help build their problem-solving skills. Learning not to micromanage not only will benefit your employees and team, but will help you further develop your own skills as a respected and effective leader.

Follow along next week as we discuss another factor that hinders the development of strong relationships between managers and employees: Favoritism and Inequitable Treatment.