Management Matters

The silent killer choking the life out of your team

How To Engage Your Team, Beyond Just Hired Help

Does this sound familiar? You meet with your team leaders every morning and spend an hour discussing what was done yesterday and telling them what needs to be done today and where to go.

This silent killer of motivation can seriously tank the productivity of your business. Did you spot it?


Take a moment to think about your daily routines. Are you the gatekeeper of all knowledge and decisions? Does your record-keeping system reinforce this behaviour?

 If you run a single notebook, or spreadsheet that only you update from daily worksheets or verbal reports, there is a high chance you exhibit micro-manager leadership. If so, you will be unwittingly choking the life out of your team. It's a trap many of us fall into, especially if we've built the business from the ground up. We mean well, but that desire to control every detail can backfire on us.

Research shows that 60% of us do it subconsciously. From years of experience, you know what works and don’t want to see others make mistakes as the consequences can be high. Understandable, you want to get the best outcome.


The Accidental diminisher

Another name for this leadership behaviour is Accidental diminisher, as popularized by researcher Liz Wiseman in her book "Multipliers". When you micromanage, you inadvertently tell your team, "You're not capable of thinking for yourself." Guess what? They start believing it.

Staff switch off if you make all the decisions for them. They stop noticing problems or coming up with solutions because they expect you to do it all for them. “Why tell {first name} what I have seen today when they're going to tell me what to do tomorrow anyway?”

This has a huge detrimental effect on people's motivation, drastically reducing your visibility of what's really going on and reducing productivity. Were multipliers can get two times more out of people than diminishers by doubling the intelligence and capability of their team.


The antidote

The solution is to implement a system that doesn’t reinforce our micromanagement tendencies.

Your team leaders are the ones seeing the issues firsthand every day. You want their brains engaged, taking note of what they're seeing and implementing a plan to fix it as soon as possible. You want them to be asking you questions and learning.

The quickest way to get them engaged is to give them some responsibility. They should be the ones creating their plan for the week.

When a team has control over their plan, they own it, and they get on and execute it. We have seen this firsthand. We have found this one change alone improves productivity by an hour a day by eliminating the need for daily sync-ups while improving the flow of information to you as they're now mentally engaged. Over time, productivity will further improve as they become more competent and take the initiative themselves.

Tools like MyApiary's scheduling tool can be a game-changer here. You get visibility into what's happening without having staff waiting on you to be told what to do. A good record-keeping system should disseminate information to everyone who needs it without the need for central administration. Such a system enables staff to make the right decision for themselves while still being accountable. It's a win-win—you're freed up to focus on bigger things critical to being able to scale the business, and your team steps up.


Micromanagement might feel like control, but it's really just holding everyone back. When your team feels valued and trusted, they'll surprise you with their creativity and initiative.

Break free from the cycle. Empower your team, and watch productivity soar in ways you never imagined.

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