Does your team depend on you too much?
You've just arrived at the office, and it looks like it will be another typical day. Before you even sit down, one of your team walks into your office and asks for your help on the budget she's preparing. As soon as she leaves, someone wants to know if you have any time to help him with a marketing plan that's due by the end of the week.
Before you know it, you've spent much of your day helping your team to do their jobs, while your own tasks are left untouched.
It's important for managers to be a resource to those they lead. But it's easy for teams to take advantage of this. Over time, they can develop "manager dependency."
So how can you train team members to take more responsibility for their own tasks, instead of running to you for "hand-holding" through every step?
In this article, we'll examine how to decrease manager dependency, and how to get the members of your team to stand on their own.
Team members often become dependent on their manager because of micromanagement . When managers don't let team members take responsibility and ownership of tasks, then it's understandable that people come to depend on that control.
It's important to take a close look at your management style. Is it possible that you're managing your team just a bit too closely?
If you are, then cut back slowly. Start by giving people tasks that don't have to be perfect. (When you reduce your control and input, your team might be uncertain at first – that's why it's a good idea to start with low-priority or low-importance tasks or projects.)
Next, look at how you're delegating . When delegating tasks, team members must understand exactly what they need to do, they need to know that they have the skills and knowledge to complete the task, and they need to feel responsible for delivering it with a certain level of quality by a certain deadline.
If any of this information is missing when you assign tasks, then your people may be forced to come to you for more information. You can avoid this by making sure that they have everything they need at the start of the project. To learn more about assigning responsibility, see our article on The Responsibility Assignment Matrix .
One strategy for preventing manager dependency is to
"When I started using Mind Tools, I was not in a supervisory position. Now I am. Along with that came a 12% increase in salary." – Pat Degan, Houston, USA
This ensures that you don’t lose your plan.
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