February 21, 2022
February 21, 2022
Contributor: Jackie Wiles
Ask these five questions to determine whether you’re guilty. If you are, do this instead. Your employees will thank you.
As remote work becomes the norm for many employees, some leaders are falling into the trap of micromanaging employees, a practice which ultimately drives down engagement, motivation, productivity and trust. Don’t despair: You can still stop yourself with these actions.
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“Whether they admit it or not, micromanagers usually feel that they can’t trust employees to perform their jobs away from the physical office environment,” says Daniel Sanchez Reina, Gartner VP Analyst. “Employees who don’t feel trusted lose self-confidence and contribute less. Micromanagers stifle creativity and growth, and need to take action and work on both their own behaviors and the norms they set for their teams.”
Not sure whether you’re prone to micromanaging in the world of remote work? Ask yourself these questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re likely a micromanager.
To avoid crossing the line from supervision into micromanagement with remote workers, take two types of actions:
If you believe they may also be micromanaging, make sure to redirect these actions toward managers on your leadership team.
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When it comes to “me” actions, adopt new approaches to stop micromanaging. For example:
And for “them” actions, first follow the golden rule of leading remote workers: default to trust. Let your team members work through challenges autonomously. Reduce the amount of checkpoints (control meetings). Ask how your team will benefit from your engagement, not how you will benefit from engaging with your team.
Set guardrails for before, during and after initiatives to keep yourself from micromanaging. For example:
Just remember: Executive leaders who make a concerted effort not to micromanage their remote workers will have more successful teams in the end. Who doesn’t want that?
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Recommended resources for Gartner clients*:
Avoid One of the Worst Enemies of Remote Work: Micromanagement
Toolkit: Actions to Keep Motivation, Engagement and Performance High in a Hybrid Workplace
How CIOs Can Motivate Unmotivated Technology Workforces
*Note that some documents may not be available to all Gartner clients.