As more people settle into the work-from-home routine, many of the communication issues that go unnoticed at the office have become apparent. When an employee feels like their manager is never off their case, the problem is usually caused by each party’s inability to understand the other.
What Micromanaging Looks Like
When most employees are asked what micromanaging is, they all have the same answer: micromanaging occurs when a leader is overly involved in their employee’s work. Running a team is all about trusting each member to do their job. If the manager steps in too often, it can leave the employee feeling frustrated, disrespected, and undervalued.
In the work-from-home world, micromanaging often takes the form of checking in too often. Many employees complain that they can’t work if their boss constantly asks them when the work will be done. Managers can also overstep their bounds by making surprise changes to projects, completing responsibilities that belonged to someone else, or asking to review the project at each small stage of development.
Of course, accusations of micromanaging aren’t always accurate. Managers need to check-in with their employees regularly, and they should also be involved in the development of a project. This is why it’s important to develop a healthy relationship with team members to ensure that no one feels like they’re being left out.
Learning to Communicate as a Leader
One of the best ways to stop micromanaging employees is to learn to communicate more effectively. Most employees thrive when they receive fewer messages that are more clear and to-the-point.
Struggling managers should ask a neutral third party to assess their current communication skills. Show the party the messages in question, and ask how they would feel if they were a team member. Receiving criticism can be difficult, so make sure to be patient and maintain a calm attitude.
Next, start identifying the issues that have led to the communication problems at hand. Work to make all messages clear, concise, and directed. Ensure that both managers and employees know their responsibilities and what kind of check-ins they can expect. With a little work, most micromanaging issues can be left behind in favor of clear discussions and steady workflow.
One of the biggest keys to success in any business is to do good research. By finding out what’s working for others in a given industry, it’s possible to construct a template to follow. Research is also one of the best ways to identify existing gaps in the marketplace. Understanding the landscape of an industry is the first step in making a successful foray into it. The most important cohort to research is any existing consumers a company already has. Understanding who buys and why can mean selling more in the future.
Partnering with related brands is another great way to get ahead. Customer research can be key, here, too. Knowing the consumer can mean knowing their other interests. If a product appeals to people who are also heavily invested in an activity like gaming, partnering with a company that makes games can be a great idea. Best of all, it can be a great way to put a related product in front of a new and very interested audience.
Lead magnets are incredibly important for any business. Getting people’s attention is the best way to get their contact information. Showing them some expertise up front means they’ll be more willing to let a business into their inbox. Directly contacting people whose trust has been earned is a proven way to convert leads into sales. Managing these customer relationships is best done with CRM software like SalesForce or Hubspot, rather than paper-based tracking tools.
Finally, one of the fastest ways to grow is by buying another company. This brings new locations, inventory and customers into the fold of the purchaser. It’s even one way of expanding into new industries. However, it can be a mixed blessing. Takeovers can be complicated. Making some employees redundant can damage morale. In cases where a former competitor has been purchased, retaining customers who’ve been loyal to that brand can sometimes prove challenging.
Are you looking to hire an assistant? As a decision-maker, there is a never-ending stream of events seeking your attention. A reliable aide can help you focus on results instead of busywork. Keep reading to learn how to find the best assistant for your needs.
1. Clearly Define What you Want
People perform best when you clearly define your standard procedures. Take note of everything you do each day. Break these tasks down into steps. It needs to be so easy a fifth-grader could understand. Otherwise, you can’t expect a new hire to understand their responsibilities.
Define the Type of Assistant You Need
What will be their focus? You need to make sure you’re looking for the type of person who has the right skillset.
There’s a difference between an administrative assistant and an executive assistant. Social media assistants reply to your customers who post online.
Have a clear picture of their day to day responsibilities. Using the proper terms will also attract more qualified candidates. Quality people are looking to work where there’s concise communication.
2. Post to Multiple Job Platforms
Don’t rely on only one job site. Hiring people requires interviewing many people to find those who meet your criteria. It is a fact that many people go through the motions of job-seeking.
Give them exact steps to fill out. You can tell them to record a short video. Another popular trick is to have them change the subject line of the email they’re told to send.
This is a good way of sorting out people who do not follow instructions. Tell them to fill their resume out a specific form to see who pays attention. They should be detail-oriented, or they will cause long-term issues.
3. Ask Questions To Probe Beneath The Surface
Asking good qualifying questions is also key. Some people have sterling resumes but are a dud in person. You should ask them to answer the following three questions:
Why are you leaving your current position? This will tell you if they are a team player, looking to take the next step up, or a problem in the office.
What traits are most important in a person? It helps to understand how they see themselves and their teammates.
What do you do to keep learning? A valuable employee is always looking to learn and grow. You want to weed out the people who aren’t looking to learn. They will likely do the minimum and cost to receive a paycheck.
The Bottom Line
Hiring an assistant is an investment that will make or break the growth of your business. Investing the time to vet an assistant properly will pay off. A good assistant will help you focus your time on more significant priorities. This enables you to see the big picture and take your company to the next level.
About Gorman Houston
Gorman Houston is an esteemed professional in the fields of education and business. He is an inspiring leader with years of experience in communication, management, and team-building.
His mother was a businesswoman and his father was an attorney, providing a perfect support system early on. Prior to seminary school, Gorman majored in economics. His first degree was a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia, which was followed by a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Alabama. He then earned a Master of Divinity from Yale and received his Doctorate in Ministry from Emory University.
After 25 years as a minister, he started working in business when he began teaching at the university level. As a professor, he has always inspired students to achieve academic and personal success. As a member of the graduate faculty at Kaplan Test Prep, Gorman Houston taught and tutored students to prepare for their LSAT exams. At the University of Alabama, he continues to manage and expand faith-based ministries on the campus while teaching courses in management and marketing. He is the founding pastor of Pure and Simple Lifestyle Christianity and serves on the preaching staff at First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa, preaching regularly in both the traditional and the contemporary services. He also preached for a year as interim for “The Bridge” service at the First United Methodist Church.
Gorman has a long history of helping businesses in his community. His technique is to first create a vision for a company’s transformation, and then help them meet goals using a team-based approach. He specializes in group-leadership, team-building, budget management, negotiations, fundraising, marketing, and human relations.
One of his most notable projects was the rebranding of the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church, where he developed, wrote, managed and oversaw the production of a major marketing campaign. As a result of this campaign, the church saw a broader, more positive awareness grow in the community. As senior minister, he has helped many organizations expand and grow in membership, attendance and budgeting.
Fundraising is also a big part of Gorman Houston’s life. He served as Chairperson of the Capital Fund Campaign for Blue Lake United Methodist Camp, where he helped raise $3 million in gifts and pledges. He was one of the 15 members of the United Methodist Central Conference Pension Initiative, which helped raise $20 million. He led a campaign to establish a YMCA in Greenville, Alabama, and chaired the Capital Fund Drive to build an interfaith chapel at the Mobile Metro Jail. Gorman has restored, renovated, and expanded facilities of several churches and has achieved all of this by working respectfully alongside architects, contractors, church staff, building committee members, historic neighborhood associations, fundraising teams and the congregations.