Say it with me: “I will not micromanage my team.”
Letting go of the reins is one of the scariest and most challenging parts of being an entrepreneur. If you don’t do it, though, you’re sabotaging your company culture and severely stunting the growth of your employees.
If you want a strong team that functions independently (meaning you don’t have to be in the office every waking minute), it’s time to recognize these 7 benefits of empowering your team to thrive—without you looking over their shoulder.
1. You’ll have fewer fires to put out
Why do some entrepreneurs keep their employees on such a tight leash? In most cases, the intentions are good. They simply want to make sure things are done correctly and the customer ends up happy.
So, it might feel counterintuitive to accept that when you stop micromanaging, you’ll have fewer fires to put out.
Realize this: people are human, and mistakes are going happen whether you’re micromanaging your team or not. In fact, mistakes may be more likely to happen when your staff is under the pressure of trying to perform perfectly for you at all times!
When you empower your team members to make decisions and resolve conflicts on their own, you don’t have to deal with every single customer complaint or incorrect purchase order. Your team will tackle it for you, saving your time and energy for the important, boss-sized problems.
2. You’ll enjoy more creative solutions
Remember that old saying “two heads are better than one?” Believe it or not, your way isn’t the only right way of doing things!
Psychological studies have shown that people come up with their best ideas when working in a non-judgmental environment. Workers are also able to be more creative when they feel trusted by their counterparts on a project.
When you empower your employees to think creatively and share what they come up with, you’ll reap the benefits of a dozen innovative solutions to a problem instead of just your own.
3. You’ll build a strong company culture
No one wants to feel like they’re looking over their shoulder every second, anticipating the next time they’ll be corrected. There’s no faster way to kill your company culture.
When you instill your trust in your employees, you’ll be amazed by how they respond. Employees who feel like their boss trusts them are confident in their work. They build rapport with clients more easily because they’re more at ease.
Most importantly, they feel a sense of ownership in the company because what they do at work matters.
4. They’ll learn by doing and grow in the process
What happens when a parent does everything for their child, all the time? They cause a phenomenon known as “learned helplessness,” where the kids (and later, their adult selves) feel powerless to accomplish even the most basic life tasks.
Think about that for a second—learned helplessness. Does that draw any parallels to employees in your company? Could it be that you’ve contributed to their lack of initiative by “fixing” everything they do?
Part of empowering your employees means allowing them to make mistakes—even if you see them coming from a mile away. People learn by doing, and employees are no different. Making mistakes helps them learn a better way to do things in the future, in a way that’s much more effective than you barking instructions down their neck.
5. You can groom them for more responsibility
If you could dream up the perfect vice president or COO, what would they be like? Chances are, you’d want someone who could take some responsibility off your plate.
Employees don’t suddenly wake up one day ready to tackle more responsibility—you have to prepare them for it.
Empowering your employees to try new things, take the lead in uncharted waters and sometimes, fail, sets them up to handle the type of responsibility that comes with upper management. Don’t we all want an executive team we trust? You can’t get that trust without giving employees some yourself.
6. You’ll enable company growth
Sure, you can run your company alone… for a while. But if you have any ambitions to scale your business, you’ll need to empower others to run parts of it alongside you.
I love this post from M&A advisory firm Generational Equity: Let Go and Watch Your Company Grow. How simple and beautiful is that?
In their post, they address the struggle that comes with letting go of the minute details to focus on the bigger picture in your business. It’s a universal business truth: you simply can’t have massive growth and be a micromanager. They’re two forces that are diametrically opposed.
When you choose to empower your team, you’re choosing the path of unlimited growth.
7. You’ll keep your sanity
I’ve never known an entrepreneur who could do it all without burning out. If you don’t empower your team to make decisions and manage their work independently, you’re setting yourself up for inevitable disaster.
At the end of the day, remember what you hired your team for: to help you build a more profitable business. So let them! (Our CEO Eddy has a great video on the 5 kinds of employees you should hire here.)
Keep your sanity by letting go of your choke hold on the company.
Have you made a conscious choice to empower your employees? Let us know how it’s working out for your business by leaving a comment below.
Get weekly insights for managing your team and building a better company by subscribing to our blog below!