Giving your employees autonomy can be hard. But micromanagement kills both motivation and creativity. Resist checking up on your employees, asking whether they’ve finished a task or constantly monitoring how they achieve their goals. Instead, try asking questions like, “What do you need to get this project done?” “Is anything getting in your way?” or “What can I do to help out?” Find out how their projects are going without making them feel as if they are under constant surveillance. This will put you in a better position to provide your team with the resources and help they need. And, it should be a two-way street — share information about what you are up to, especially if it might be relevant to what your team is doing.

(Adapted from “Checking In with Employees (Versus Checking Up)” by Teresa Amabile and Steve Kramer)

(This article was published on September 6, 2012)
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