Give Your Employees Freedom to Ensure Success

One of the biggest issues I have had is with managers who don’t let me have autonomy. I am a hard worker and don’t mind giving updates to managers to keep them up to speed. Problems arise for me when micro-managers won’t let you make a move without running it past them first. I am not alone. As adults, we want to be able to have some freedom in our lives.

Maybe it’s a generational thing or maybe it’s personality. I think a ton of people are similar in this preference. You have probably heard that quote, “You don’t leave a job, you leave the manager” and I couldn’t agree more. If you are a manager, how can you ensure you aren’t getting into that despised “micro manager” title?

photo:  Pixabay

photo: Pixabay

Be Open to Ideas

Even if you already have a specific idea in mind, ask your team for their ideas. Not only may they surprise you with other ideas, they may have the same general direction as you. This helps your directs feel as though you value their opinion.

Even if you end up doing something else, it will be helpful to elicit feedback. If you are a manager, you need to be able to influence your team. You aren’t a dictator. Your team isn’t there to just take orders from you. Give them opportunity to voice their opinions and explain to them if you cannot take action.

In HR I hear so many grievances by people who just want to be heard. When you have expertise in your field and managers ignore it, resentment ensues. It all comes down to being Emotionally Intelligent. You are a manager now. You are responsible for the people as well as the work product.

Provide Autonomy

Unless you are in a very entry level industry like a call center, quit time tracking. Focus on work output instead. Who cares if someone is 10 minutes late to work if they are getting all their work done? Unless they are missing key meetings, it’s just not worth it. Spend your time focusing on ways you can improve the department instead.

I once had a manager that had 1-2-1’s every couple of days. Instead of helping me think through things, she literally wanted a play by play of everything I did. Then she proceeded to tell me how what I did was wrong! Listen, I get that senior leaders need to know what’s going on at a high level.

They don’t want to be caught off guard. But most of my managers have been cool with my decisions. I firmly believe that there is no ONE right way to do anything. Maybe your style is different, but as a leader you need to be open to other styles.


Think about your career advancement to get to be a manager. There was likely someone, maybe a manger, who took an interest in your development. Make sure you are paying it forward. Even if you have people on your team who need development, you can help them reach their potential. There is nothing better than helping someone get to the next level.

Not only does it help motivate your ambitious employees, it makes you look great as a leader. People want to know they have a runway to get better and grow their career. Sure some people are OK with mediocrity, buy that certainly isn’t the norm. Keep the best employees by helping them grow their careers.

As Forbes states, “Happy employees are loyal employees”. What could be better than that? People who work for you who are loyal and happy? That’s amazing! As this article from The Balance points out, managers drive motivation.

You have such an opportunity to drive the team dynamic. This is leadership. You are here to help your team be the best they can be. Think back to what helped you succeed. It likely was someone believing in you. There is nothing wrong with high expectations. I thrive on them. But leave the condensing tone at the door.