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When Should New Employee ‘Micro-managing’ Stop?
You are hiring. Congratulations because it probably means your company is growing. Now the tough part – it is difficult to know when to take the “training wheels” off for a new employee. On day one there should be a clear outline of what their first 10 days on the job will look like, and who they are expected to interact with for their training. Start their first day with a broad picture of the company across every department, and then dive into the details of their job.
Tip: I’ve used board meeting updates as presentations (take out anything confidential of course) because they are a great top level view of what’s happening throughout the organization.
Setting New Employee Expectations
Set expectations that you will be micro-managing their first ten days. Have a co-worker that you believe is a top performer (and possibly a future supervisor or manager) help keep an eye on their work. Particularly when the tasks the new employee is responsible for directly impact the quality of the product being delivered (like client services, data analysis or quality assurance).
At what point do you stop the daily check-in and let them own their job? I have found that 8 – 10 business days should be the absolute cut off. Why?
- Your employee contracts should have a 45-day “sink or swim” policy. Many companies have a 30-day probationary policy. I believe that you need 10 days to train and then 30 (or so) days to see if this individual can do their job. Don’t waste valuable time trying to bring them up the learning curve after that.
- You need to give your team time to collaborate. Adding someone new will cause some wrinkles. Make sure you give existing employees time to train and work with the new hires. Let everyone know that feedback from existing team members will matter during the trial run.
Why Stop Micro-Managing?
Some leaders find it difficult to stop micro-managing and take a step back, especially if they were performing the same tasks they just hired someone to take over. Unless you want to lose the smart people you just made the decision to hire – learn to step back. Two of the “Ten Habits of Successful Sophpreneurial Business Leaders” from Andrew Sherman’s “Grow Fast, Grow Right®” come to mind:
“Empower people to spur powerful growth. Micromanagement is not just annoying to your employees, it may also be a major hurdle to the achievement of your growth objectives… (according to a survey) Companies that granted workers more autonomy grew at four times the rate of those that relied on tight top-down controls”
“Surround yourself with lots and lots of smart people. Leaders of successful Sophpreneurial companies understand that the key to their continued growth is to be around as many people smarter than them as possible – and not just their employees…”
Once you have ironed out the wrinkles that a new team member may bring to a team, I recommend Friday planning meetings (for the following week) and Wednesday team check-ins. Wednesdays will give you two full business days to “fix” any critical areas that may impact your roadmap or clients.