Are You an Effective Administrator? Look in the Mirror

By Jason M. Jones

The simple definition of micromanage is to “control every part, however small, of an enterprise or activity.”  Many administrators, including me, are guilty of this more often than we think even if we don’t mean to be this way. We want everything to be perfect but at what cost to the organization?

Getting involved in everyday details is not an effective or healthy way to manage. Sure, not everyone communicates information, policies, and procedures the way we would, but empowering people to make decisions on their own is much more positive in the long term. Having employees wonder if they are making the right or wrong decision doesn’t allow the employee, or organization as a whole, to flourish; rather, it creates stress and apprehension.

There are some basic things you can try:

  • Empower your employees, which will lead to better engagement and a healthier workplace.
  • Conduct staff meetings that are not agenda-based but open forums for discussion.
  • Let employees make more decisions from the heart, not from the stated policy.

And especially during the holiday season, do not forget those less fortunate or in need and be mindful that employees have things going on in their personal lives. As administrators, we must avoid making the workplace even more challenging by micromanaging. Our lives are not shaped by power and prestige, but rather love, generosity, and kindness. Your management style can be a reflection of that.

Jason M. Jones is director, parking & mass transit services, at the University of Albany.

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