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Business Information by Gladys Edmunds

Business Information by Gladys Edmunds
At age 15 Gladys developed a travel service that would prosper for more than 30 years. She is a national award winning entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author and columnist. Visit her at

Let's Consider Micro-Managing and What Problems It Causes

Let's Consider Micro-Managing and What Problems It Causes

Dear Gladys,

I feel that my business has been pretty successful. I own a temporary employment agency and I haven’t been on a vacation in 10 years. My reason is simply one of comfort. I am not comfortable when I’m not in my office. It’s ironic my company is great at matching temps to employers, but I can’t seem to find good people to work for me. My staff is constantly presenting me with problems. It’s mostly one thing after another. I have to double-check everything they do before it goes out to clients. I have already had a few customer complaints. So I feel the need to be present if I want my business to continue. Can you recommend a solution or two?


Sometimes the very thing that comes easy for us to do for others becomes difficult when we try to do the same for ourselves.

Your hiring procedures should be consistent with your business visions and objectives. Before interviewing people, have you decided on the qualities you need in the hire? Are you asking for references to support the qualifications claimed by the applicant? Are your new hires clear on what is expected of them? Aren’t these the same things your company takes into consideration when you send out temps to work for your clients?

After you take a closer look at things and realize there was nothing wrong with your people when you hired them, it might be safe to assume the problems started after they began working.

Therefore, it’s time to look at your management style. I often tell the story from my childhood about my father never allowing my brothers to do the lawn mowing and weeding. As far as my dad was concerned there was some sort of special way to mow that he believed only he could handle. So we grew up with my brothers watching Saturday morning cartoons while my father toiled away cutting grass and pulling weeds. On rare occasions when he allowed one of them to pull weeds, he would stand over them like a hawk and yell out instructions how he wanted it done.

My husband used to micromanage the repairman that he called to come in to make a home repair of some sort. He watched their every move while asking a bunch of questions and periodically throwing in a few suggestions. Never mind that he knew nothing about the repair being performed.

This kind of behavior can scare a person out of their wits and force them to become defensive. Try backing off a bit and let your employees have a little responsibility of their own.

Many entrepreneurs feel if the job is to be done right they have to do it themselves.

This belief can also find its way into other aspects of the entrepreneur’s life. I volunteered to be on a fundraising committee for an organization. The chairperson was an entrepreneur. She wanted to micromanage how each of us approached our prospects for a contribution. Meanwhile she had never done charitable fundraising herself.

Try letting your staff do their own work. Make them feel like a real part of your company by backing off and trusting them more. Those employees who actually can’t handle responsibility will most likely leave on their own. If not, you can feel comfortable in letting them go. Hold regular meetings that focus on the training consistent with goals and the company’s mission statement. You will probably be pleasantly surprised.

Employees who are made to feel like a real part of the company will take pride in their work. They will also feel free to express their ideas and suggestions that can help your company to grow.

A final point: Expect the best from your staff and let them know they are capable of performing with excellence. And you will most likely get it.

Read other business articles by Gladys Edmunds

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