An article on Entrepreneur.com yesterday, Six Alternatives to Micromanaging Employees by Andre Lavoie, CEO & Co-Founder of Clear Company—relates to much of what we talk about here at Management Mentors.
Lavoie's article insightfully provides tips to managers who may have a tendency to micromanage their employees, especially when productivity is down. Lavoie suggests letting go of micromanaging tendencies that damage employees' attitude toward the company in the long run.
We found Lavoie's 6 tips to be extremely helpful, and couldn't help but to put a "mentoring" spin on them:
1. Hire the right people.
...people are the most important piece of any mentoring program. Properly matching pairs in a mentoring program is vital to getting the most out of the mentoring relationship.
2. Set clear expectations and goals.
...but without direction, mentors and mentorees don't know what it is they are trying to accomplish. Attach clear expectations and goals to your company's mentoring program (i.e. develop talent, reverse mentoring, diversity initiatives, etc.) and require that pairs are accountable to those goals via monthly or quarterly check-ins with a Mentoring Program Manager.
3. Provide real-time feedback.
...Any successful mentoring program has at it's core a Mentoring Program Manager (MPM). An MPM creates and implements the program, trains the participants, plans meetings, evaluates the program, and provides reports to senior management. In essence, the MPM keeps everything running smoothly for current and future mentoring program participants.
4. Develop employee ownership.
...Some organizations recommend participation in the corporate mentoring program—others' allow voluntary enrollment. Regardless of how employees entered into a mentoring program, partaking in the program should take it seriously. Do not waste the time of your mentor or mentoree. An employee mentoring program is a benefit—not a chore.
5. Understand the power of peer accountability.
...aah, this is the tip that got our attention! There is so much to be gained by a mentoring relationship, not only for the mentoree, but also for the mentor. We have heard time and time again from mentors that they feel that they gained invaluable insights about their managing style and their relationships with co-workers during their time with their mentorees. Many of them went into the relationship thinking their primary role was to encourage and guide the mentoree, when the reverse was happening simultaneously!
6. Openly communicate to avoid misunderstandings.
...We are all involved in relationships. You may be a parent, a spouse, a son, a daughter, a friend, a co-worker, a pet-sitter, the list goes on! Communication is key to any relationship. Whether it's a relationship between a manager and a sub-ordinate or a mentor and mentoree, communicate, communicate, communicate! But don't confuse communicating with micro-managing! Making sure that your mentoring partner know that you are open to discussion without being overbearing can be a fine line to walk. Consider discussing your communication styles at the start of the relationship to avoid any misunderstandings.
So thank you, Mr. Lavoie, for the inspiration for today's Mentoring Matters post. We hope that we've opened up even more discussion about your topic!