Managing a team remotely comes with lots of challenges and due to these challenges, it can become hard to not micromanage. Although micromanaging can be effective sometimes, it usually causes some serious problems in the long run. It is agreed upon by every good leader that micromanaging your team can have some very negative impacts on your team’s success.
In the modern world as companies around the globe are transitioning into full-time remote work it is becoming even more important to avoid micromanaging. It is normal for you as the leader to feel the need to have more control over your team but micromanaging would only result in your team feeling distrusted and frustrated. So, given below are a few strategies that can help you avoid micromanaging your team remotely.
Keep an Open Door Policy
Ensure that you keep an open door policy so any individual in the team can come to you regarding a problem. This will allow problems to be recognized and solved earlier on. A problem can go unnoticed by you if you don’t have an open-door policy resulting in the problem possibly becoming a very serious issue later on. If your teammates are not coming to you for problems, then it might indicate that you are not very approachable. The solution for the team not coming to you with their problems is not to start micromanaging but it is to simply become more approachable.
Ensure that your teammates feel comfortable approaching you and maintain regular contact with them. If your teammates come to you with a problem, don’t take it as a sign that you need to start micromanaging but instead provide them with the support they need to solve the problem themselves. Keeping an open door policy will allow you to avoid micromanaging while also ensuring that problems don’t go unnoticed by you.
Don’t Focus Too Much On the Process
If you focus too much on the process, you might become too fixated on it and this could cause you to overlook if the process is even working or not. Focusing too much on the process can also cause you to start micromanaging. Establishing a process is a necessity for a team to function properly. Not allowing your team to share their views on a process can make them feel distrusted. Allow your teammates to be able to share their ideas and opinions on what works for them and what does not. Through this, a process can be created that works for everyone in the team. Try to ensure that the expected result is clearly communicated and reduce the time spent on documentation as much as possible.
Recognize Your Weak spots
Try to recognize what your weak spots are. Remember no one is perfect and in the field of managing the most common and biggest weak spots are micromanaging and distrusting your team. Some managers try to override their experienced employee’s work while they themselves have no qualification or experience in the field. Behavior like this can result in the employee feeling frustrated.
Try to find any weak spots you might have and take steps in bettering yourself in those areas. Asking your teammates for feedback can help you a lot in finding these weak spots. Once you have recognized these weak spots you can work towards finding solutions that can allow you to eliminate or reduce them. It is important that you try to recognize your weak spots in terms of skills and knowledge in certain areas.
Manage the team but don’t give advice outside your area of expertise when you are not asked for it. Allow your team members to complete their tasks unhindered. This will make them feel more comfortable and allow you to manage your remote team without micromanaging.
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Let Go Gradually
Over time slowly and steadily let go. With time ease up and learn to trust your teammates more. You can let go over time by setting regular check-in times instead of pinging your team. Allow your team members to make decisions on their own where possible. Reduce the amount of supervision where it is possible to do so safely. Another possible way to let go is to make small groups once your team is large enough and put someone in charge of those groups. This can help you reduce direct supervision. Let them solve the problems themselves and learn to trust them while also maintaining an open-door policy and proper communication with your team.
Stop Pursuing Perfection
Seeking perfection can make your team scared of going outside the well-treaded path. It can make them too afraid of making mistakes and to innovate. The pursuit of perfection can also cause the loss of time and effort due to constant revisions and rechecks. This usually results in the project being delayed. Try to be ok with some minor imperfections here and there. If the necessary goals are met there is really no need for endless revisions. To make room for innovations, don’t make your teammates too afraid of making mistakes. It is also very dangerous to set unrealistic goals as your team will be in a constant struggle to reach them costing time and effort as well as stress to the team members.
Set Clear Expectations
Ensure that you communicate your expectations and guidelines to your team clearly right from the start. If you don’t do so, it can result in frustration for both you and your team. It can also cause you to start micromanaging. From the very start of the project ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the expectations and guidelines are agreed upon. This will save you from re-doing a project later because of a lack of clarity. Be specific and clear when communicating your expectations. This will allow for a much clearer accountability structure and allow for everyone to be on the same page.
Learn to Trust Your Remote Team
When managing a remote team your team will likely consist of individuals with independent personality types. Try to have a better understanding of your teammates and learn to trust them. Once you understand a team member it will be much easier to figure out how to manage them. Most importantly trust your team to get the job done. Have trust in their skills and experience. If you trust them in these regards it will be much easier for you to avoid micromanaging them. Trust your team members to make their own decisions independently. You should trust your team members to be able to work independently and to be able to hold themselves accountable.
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Dr. Tina Persson |CEO| Career & Leadership Coach| Author | Helping people to fulfill their goals