There's no quick fix for micromanaging, but there is a fast way to figure out if this is your problem. Start by making a list of things you're doing that you shouldn't be doing, then list the parts of your job you don't get to each day. As you winnow the first list, the second one will also shrink, when you realize all of the other things you should be doing but aren't.
"You've got to ask yourself, 'What is my job?'" Brenner says. "With most of my clients, part of their job is to develop the people who are working for them. When I ask them, 'What did you do today to develop someone else's skills?' the answer is usually, 'Nothing.' They're not doing their jobs."
Stepping in and doing the job for your reports only makes the problem worse, Brenner adds. The key is teaching your staff the skills they need to stand on their own. That may require outside training, allocating more resources, or finding ways to reward productive workers without necessarily promoting them into management.
IT productivity win No. 7: Get socialGiving employees free reign to spend all day on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube is not the path to productivity. But encouraging them to use Web 2.0-style enterprise collaboration tools can be.
For example, the IT staff at direct marketing firm InfoCision uses SharePoint blogs to distribute information, says Doug Backus, senior manager for enterprise architecture.
"We have an IT group of 100-plus individuals with vast amounts of knowledge on multiple topics," he says. "In an effort to share that knowledge more effectively, we've begun to push the use of team and personal blogs. We have SharePoint, so this is a very easy site to create. Even without SharePoint, though, there are free tools available via the Web Platform Installer that make it easy for any organization to disseminate its knowledge."
Enterprise social networks like Yammer, Spigit, and Clearvale allow employees to collaborate on projects and create a common corporate culture, no matter where they may be physically located. For example, employees at gaming network IGN Entertainment's U.S., U.K., Australian, and Canadian offices use Yammer internally to critique each others ideas, says Greg Silva, vice president of people and places for IGN.
"Yammer gives our leadership team the opportunity to see which employees are consistently contributing ideas and adding to the conversation," he says. "And because we operate in multiple locations worldwide, it gives our employees the opportunity to engage in any discussion, no matter where it started."