Having worked with small business owners for over 40 years, I have seen both positive and negative ways in which they manage their employees. How are you managing your employees? There are two extremes, and one of them is micro-managing your employees.

In many cases, small business owners feel they need to micro-manage their employees because it is the only way to ensure that they are doing their jobs correctly. Micro-managing employees often includes telling your employees what to do, how to do it and when to do it. If you’ve been in the military, then this approach is well known. It’s called a military model, and it works really well in that environment.

Conversely, a military model in a small business most often is a “house of cards” for employees as it’s not a very fun environment to work in. A military model squashes creativity and an employee’s autonomy and is a complete impediment to high performing teams.

A few years ago, the baby boomer generation was surpassed by the millennial generation, which has a very low tolerance for this type of work environment. While micro-managing employees in the past may have worked, it’s not going to in the future.

Having the freedom to do your job and own your own performance is a much better environment to operate and grow your small business. If you’re a micro-managing small business owner, you’d better think twice about continuing this behavior.

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