Think you’re a pretty good boss to work for? Find out by answering True or False to each statement below.
- My employees excel at their jobs, because they have been doing the same work for years.
- I share my experience with employees, so they learn from what I have done.
- I help employees with assignments, offering my ideas and input.
- I standardize workplace procedures for optimum results.
- I know what everyone is working on, because my employees complete detailed status reports.
- I have a hand in everything my department does.
- I check in with the staff often when I am out of the office.
- I am the most knowledgeable and hardest working person on the team.
- I’m a control freak, but that’s why my department runs so smoothly.
Results: Answering True to any of the above statements could indicate that you are micromanaging your staff. Don’t think that’s you? In surveys, four of five workers have said they have worked for a micromanager. To be sure that you truly aren’t guilty, take a closer look at your answers.
- If employees have been doing the same work for years, they aren’t stretching and developing new skills. That means you probably are not delegating enough to them.
- Of course you should share your expertise, but employees also need to learn for themselves. Instead of spouting advice before they ask, offer them guidance and support.
- Nothing kills initiative on an assignment like having the boss do the work for you. Set the parameters and then listen to employees’ ideas first. Don’t offer your opinions unless they truly add substantial value to the project.
- Standardization is great, unless it kills initiative and innovation. Allow your staff to try new approaches
- Having employees submit brief progress reports is a great way to keep tabs on your department, but recordkeeping should not take a major chunk of the workday.
- If you have a hand in everything your staff does, you are stretched too thin. Let go, or at least loosen the reins.
- If your staff can’t survive without you for even a few hours, they are relying on you too much or you are forcing them to seek your approval too often before they act.
- You should know more about some things than your staff, but they should be the experts in other areas. Hire people with complementary skills and your team will have much greater capability. And if you are working harder than anyone on your team, look at your to-do list and identify tasks you should be delegating.
- You might consider the “control freak” label a badge of honor, but employees never mean that as a compliment when they say it. If your team can’t operate smoothly without your constant attention, revamp your hiring practices.
A micromanager is just one type of “toxic boss” who can undermine morale and kill productivity. Don’t let that be you. The Cure for Toxic-Boss Syndrome: Avoid the Blunders That Disrupt Teams shows you how to avoid damaging behaviors. Learn more here.
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