Photo courtesy of Jeremy Yap

Why the “Hands Off” Approach To Management Doesn’t Work

  1. One-on-One Communication. Many executives find that individual meetings with key employees help to outline clear expectations, as well as provide a platform to address questions. As opposed to a group setting where details are glossed over, one-on-one meetings make sure that everything is crystal clear. While it adds a few more minutes to executive involvement, the end result provides better returns.
  2. Observe and Critique. The best executives know that “on the job” monitoring is a great way to provide the most relevant feedback. Seeing how an employee does a certain task, interacts with customers, or even solves a problem can give insights. Then, the feedback those employees get is highly tailored and can help them improve their performance dramatically.
  3. Consistent Performance Reviews. While there’s a place for group check-ins and overall evaluation of output, individually assessing employees is a great way to provide hands-on involvement. Objectively assessing output or productivity, as well as ideas or new projects the employee has been involved in, is a great way to stay involved. Employees respond well to leaders and executives who stay attuned to their workload.

Involved but not Encroaching

Being an executive means that you are good at delegating, at managing, and at seeing how well your systems are working. To be involved with your employees or your team doesn’t mean that you’re bothering them to see what progress they’ve made every day; it means that you’re checking in deliberately and giving them some autonomy.

After all, you want to make sure people are succeeding, but you don’t want to put out fires all day long, either. Finding the balance between “hands off” and micromanagement will be one of the most important steps you take towards being a successful leader. It starts with taking an involved interest in what your employees are doing without trying to take over.

Carl is a business psychologist and leadership development expert who focuses on the development of high performance leaders.

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