I hate micromanaging my team every week. I don't think this is what a team leader should focus on. If, as a manager, you only handle your employees, you are not doing meaningful tasks yourself. You'll be busy but not productive. Here is how to avoid that.
I have chosen to automate most of the reporting and goal tracking in my team. I have built an environment where employees share their work progress willingly.
Track goal achievement as a manager.
As a manager you need to understand how all your employees are doing. Both to anticipate upcoming problems, but also to fairly offer praise to employees who accomplish their tasks exceptionally.
You may think you have everything under control and that you know what's going on. However, most managers spend way to much time on reporting. This might lead to you spending all of your time monitoring employees instead of doing the tasks that you need to do. In order to be a great leader, you need to track employees work without spending all your time micromanaging. So, how do you keep track of everything and still have enough time to do your work?
Tracking goals with Objectives and Key Results.
To understand what is happening in your team, you need to keep your eyes on everything every week. This means you must know what tasks everyone in your team accomplishes and how these tasks help you move towards your long term goals.
We use the Plans, Progress, and Problems method for weekly task management. E Every employee in my team sets 4 – 6 important tasks (Plans) each week and aligns them to their quarterly goals. When a task gets done, everyone can see how their goals are progressing.
For long term goals, We use the Objectives and Key Result methodology.
The system starts with you and your team setting inspiring quarterly goals. From there you add Key Results to each goal and measuring the progress of Key Results every week. You can read more about OKRs here.
Even when you have one KR per person, going over and updating all of them each week can become quite time consuming. As I don't want to micromanage, I use Weekdone and have employees update their KRs themselves. This way I get a report every Friday about how they're doing. By going through Weekdone's automated reports, I am fully briefed on our team's work in 15 minutes.
Weekdone has an amazing dashboard that lets you see the progress in real time. You can log on once a day and immediately see who has updated their KRs and how this affects all of the aligned goals. If there is a problem (e.g. some task lagging behind) you can tackle it before it drags everyone down.
As employees fill-out the report themselves, they don't feel micromanaged. To make sure they don't feel ignored either, I always make sure to give positive feedback to those who accomplish more than just the bare minimum.
The difference between a busy and productive manager.
Some managers feel that if they spend all their time micromanaging, reading reports, and goal tracking, that they are valuable and get a lot done. After all, if you are working 12 hours a day, you must be good, right? Actually, there is a big difference between being busy at work and being productive. As Larry Kim, Founder of MobileMonkey says: "Busy people are hell-bent on fitting in more things into their day. Productive people cut their to-do list thoughtfully by 50 percent".
If you spend all your time handling your team, you will be busy but not productive. This is micromanaging at its worst. You will get stuck in fake work and endless meetings and become the weakest link in your team. This will bring down productivity and reduce moral for everyone.
Use Weekdone to easily manage and track all the goals you and your team has. That will save you a lot of time and make it possible to always know what is going on in your team.