Posted on June 10, 2014 · Posted in Leadership, Management, Project Management

One of those people most employees aren’t particularly fond of is the leader who micromanages. And the not-too-shocking truth is, sometimes, micromanagers just can’t help themselves, and that their exasperating, growth-stunting behavior has nothing to do with employee performance. As published by HBR, it’s more about the bosses’ “level of internal anxiety and need to control situations than anything.”

If you are predisposed to micromanage, you probably know by now that micromanagement is a dying art – if you can call it that. Micromanagement encourages poor performance and stifles an employee’s innovative tendencies. If you haven’t yet resolved to reform your ways or at least tone down the annoying habits, you may find yourself without any employees to manage sooner than later – or worse, a company to work for.

If you already have, however, and need a little help, here are a few reasons why investing in a project management tool may be worth considering:

#1. It allows you to skillfully delegate.

Delegation is an essential management trait. Failing to meet deadlines because you keep all the “essential” work to yourself by assigning easy, repetitive tasks to others and then blame them for failing to meet stringent delivery dates is an awful way to treat your staff.

If what you’re worried about is accountability, a project management tool allows you visibility into the tasks each team member is working on, including how far along they are with each, and whether or not the project is moving along as planned.

Remember, teams work better and faster than individuals. Collaborative thinking is a core tenet of improved productivity.

#2. You don’t have to make all the decisions.

Whether it’s the notion that you’re smarter than everyone else, the need to control even the minutest details, the feeling that a project will not succeed without you at the helm, or an outright lack of trust in other people’s abilities, the long and short of it is micromanagement is bad management. Trust is important for a team to thrive, and that means letting your subordinates make decisions within their authority.

A project management tool facilitates effective communication within teams. This way, you get to know them better, as well as gain helpful insights into their individual capabilities while allowing them to learn to trust you in return.

Constant communication puts everyone on the same page, giving your team members the ability to make informed decisions when and where necessary, and without having to barge into a closed-door management-only meeting to obtain your approval and keep the project from veering off course.

#3. It controls the urge to hover.

Aside from saving hours normally lost to long commutes and the need to spend more time with their families, one reason that’s foremost in employees’ minds when switching to freelancing is freedom from the boss who breathes down their necks every chance he/she gets.

A project management tool equipped with real-time updating capabilities lets you know, even at a glance, which tasks everyone is busy with. This saves you needless trips to employees’ work stations to check on their activities, and consequently, them the urge to strangle you with their bare hands for being such a nuisance.

#4. You know what’s going on all the time.

Getting involved is a good thing, but getting too involved, particularly if your involvement sends off a “much ado about nothing” vibe, hurts your chances of earning the respect of your subordinates.

Using data fed by individual team members into the system, a centralized project management dashboard enables you to generate reports within minutes, and spot inconsistencies and take corrective actions before they get blown out of proportion.

#5. It boosts employee morale.

Understanding when to keep a comfortable distance – not smotheringly close, not difficult to reach – is the first step towards effectively keeping a team together. A project management application can afford you that distance, so you can work on the more morale-boosting aspects of your management role.

Work dedication is good, but sometimes, you just have to let your team members be, especially if they’ve already proven to be an asset to the company. The more you keep a tight leash on people, the more they’ll try to break free. Control what you can but not at the expense of demoralizing your team.

What else can you add to the list?

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