In the corporate world, we’ve all experienced working with different types of management styles and found certain managers we worked best with. A great manager encourages their team to bring their strengths to the project, is able to see the bigger picture, and demonstrates strong leadership.
On the opposite side of the spectrum are micromanagers. These types of managers can have a negative impact on your team’s productivity and creativity. It’s certainly possible to hold your team to a high standard of work and expect them to produce excellent content. But how can you tell if you’re being a micromanager, or simply holding high expectations for your team?
Here are 5 ways to tell that you’re micromanaging your content team, and what to do instead.
1. You’re focused too much on short term results
If you’re too hung up on short term results, you’re missing the bigger picture which is where your primary focus should be. In addition, because you’re only focused on short term results, you aren’t providing your team with clear, strategic goals which can pay off in the long run.
Try this instead: Develop a system that allows you to monitor short term results and overall goals and strategy in a single location. This will allow you to hold your team accountable for moving projects forward, and help you see how the short term tasks are contributing to the big picture.
Remember, be mindful to not only step in when a problem arises, but also be there to celebrate victories as well.
2. You don’t allow autonomy to team members
Micromanagers have a hard time letting their team members do their jobs their own way. In highly creative fields, like content creation, forcing your team to follow strict and inflexible procedures will only stifle innovation and original thought.
Try this instead: Provide your team with a strategic vision and clear goals, instead of micromanaging their workflow. You can take a step back and still maintain visibility on the project as a whole, allowing your team to use their talents and unique skills to complete tasks.
3. You hound team members for constant updates, without providing actual help
Micromanagers feel the need for everyone on their team to constantly stay on task, and so they check in often for updates. This type of “babysitting mentality” is not only annoying to your team and interrupts workflow, but dissuades your team from problem solving and coming up with solutions which may benefit everyone.
Try this instead: It’s good to periodically check in with your team, but instead of telling your team what to do, take time to brainstorm with them and provide helpful insights. This gives your team a sense that you value their opinion and want to hear their ideas.
4. You’re quick to assign blame
When you’re quick to blame individuals when problems arise, your team will be less likely to come to you when something does arise and dismantle trust and loyalty within the team.
Try this instead: Leverage data so you can make a reasoned judgement on team members’ performance. This will give you deeper insight on whether or not someone is actually underperforming, as well as the data to back you up if you do need to confront them.
5. You keep potentially useful information to yourself
If you keep information to yourself that would benefit your content team, you’re not only showing your team you want complete control, but expunging motivation and productivity.
Try this instead: Be transparent with your team and provide them with all the information so they can excel in their projects. Use a centralized, highly visible project management system so each team member can arm themselves proactively with relevant information.
Regardless what type of manager you are, we all have areas we can improve on. If you’re a micromanager, now is the time to start to rethink your management style and practice ways to better encourage and equip your team to improve your company culture and work flow.