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Two keys to achieving trust and accountability in the workplace
“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.” — Ronald Reagan

Surround. Delegate. Don’t interfere. If your employees were honest, is this how they would describe your management style? Or would they say that you hover and micromanage?

In Rebecca Knight’s article for Harvard Business Review, she states,

“If you’re the kind of boss who lasers in on details, prefers to be cc’ed on emails, and is rarely satisfied with your team’s work, then—there’s no kind way to say this—you’re a micromanager.”

What your employees should hear: I trust you
Instead of micromanaging, great managers trust their direct reports to carry out their responsibilities by giving them the freedom to make decisions. In pursuit of this aim, IBM employed a creative tool in the workplace. At a time when blogging was in its infancy, IBM prompted its employees to write company blogs and “drafted a corporate blogging policy that encouraged employees to be themselves, speak in first person, and respect their coworkers,” according to Business Insider. In addition to the message this action sent to their employees, both IBM and the industry have benefited from these blogs, as they have become a tremendous marketing tool for IBM as well as a trusted technology resource.

What your employees should see: Measurable goals
Complete autonomy in the workplace may sound ideal, but few employees actually thrive in this type of hands-off environment. Good managers keep their employees in check by setting measurable goals and then holding their team accountable. In his article How to Stop Micromanaging Your Team, Marcus Erb states that managers “often find themselves micromanaging their staffs when they don’t adequately communicate their expectations.” He offers the example of two companies, Hoar Construction and FatWallet, who each use regular evaluations that offer personalized, detailed feedback to their employees. “New tracking measures, goals and developmental needs are determined during these evaluations,” states Erb.

By giving your team freedom to make decisions and then holding them accountable to measurable goals, managers can avoid the trap of micromanagement and achieve trust and accountability in the workplace.