One habit that is not always easy for an IT business owner to break is being a micromanager. This is especially common in the MSP world because most MSP business owners started with just one employee… themselves.
They’ve gotten used to making all the decisions and doing everything the way they liked for several years. Then, as their business grows and they bring on more employees, they expect everyone to be a mini copy of them.
Of course, that’s not realistic and it’s natural that other IT technicians may do things slightly differently. This can cause a micromanaging boss to come down harshly and reprimand someone for even the smallest misstep.
It’s also hard to cultivate a productive team at your business if none of them are being allowed to spread their wings and if they feel their every move is being judged.
While you may think micromanaging is just “managing,” this type of excess oversite can actually hurt your business and cause you to lose good employees.
Seventy-one percent of micromanaged employees stated that it interfered with their job performance, and 69 percent said they considered leaving a company due to micromanagement.
How do you know if you’re micromanaging your employees?
You May Be a Micromanager If…
- You ask to be copied on every single email.
- You always assume someone can’t do something as well as you.
- You spend excessive amounts of time looking over employees’ shoulders.
- You expect perfection and are harsh about mistakes.
- You want input on every decision, no matter how small.
- You don’t invite two-way conversation on how your business is run
So, how can you get a good balance between managing your team and micromanaging? Read on for some tips on how to cure yourself of this habit for a happier and more productive workplace.
Tips for Managing Employees Without Overdoing It
Provide Adequate Training
Managers often set up employees to disappoint them without realizing it. They do this by throwing someone in to work on a client project or man the help desk without giving them proper training first.
Then when a mistake is made, the boss gets upset and feels as if they can’t take their eyes off the person – hence needs to micromanage.
Take the time to properly train employees in each area of responsibility. Don’t assume that they’ll just “pick things up” by watching you. You should have documented procedures for staff to follow for your PSA and RMM ticketing and other activities, which sets your team up for success instead of failure.
Be Clear About Expectations
Employees aren’t mind readers, and things that are obvious to you because you’ve been doing them for 20 years, might not be obvious to a new technician.
Be clear with employees about expectations for their work, including attendance, break times, interactions with customers, and how documentation on support is to be done.
Provide Constructive Daily Feedback
One mistake that IT business owners make when trying to break the micromanaging habit is to think they can’t say anything at all.
Constructive feedback is good, and it keeps everyone on the same page. Just frame it as a way for everyone to grow and get better, not as a “you did this wrong” complaint session.
Don’t Make Your Employees Afraid to Ask You a Question
The last tip leads right into this one. Often lines of communication break down because a manager is too critical, and employees are scared to even ask a question or they’ll get their heads bitten off.
If your employees are afraid of asking something you’ll consider a “dumb question,” they might try to figure it out on their own and come up with the wrong answer.
Keep an open line of communication that allows employees to come to you without feeling as if they’re going to disappoint you by simply asking the question. Let them know that you’d much rather they ask than have to spend time figuring out the answer themselves.
Ask for Team Input on Decisions
Yes, you did a great job building your business and that’s a testament to your way of working. But this doesn’t mean that “your way” can’t evolve. Bring employees in on decisions about things like how to handle a certain client request or the right tools to facilitate workflows.
You may just be surprised at the great ideas that come from inviting different perspectives into the decision and giving your employees a say in how your business is run.
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