Micro-managing Kills Initiative

Why aren't more of your staff comfortable with working in your association's database? One reason may be micro-management.

I've been working with a client and recently realized that a huge hurdle they face is that their executive director micro-manages everything they do. As a result, staff is fairly paralyzed and unable to make any decisions on their own. None of the staff takes any intiative to do anything, because they know the executive director will second-guess their decisions. Better to just wait to let him decide than make a decision and then be "slapped" for it.

This type of behavior can have a hugely negative impact on AMS usage. If staff perceives that everything they do within the database will be checked, double-checked, and second-guessed, they will quickly learn to not bother.

Yes, it's important to make sure staff knows what they are doing in the database. But micro-managing their use is not the answer. As a colleague of mine once said, "Tool 'em, train 'em, and trust 'em." This means you have to provide them with the tools to succeed, you have to train them how to use the tools, and then you have to trust them to do it right. Micro-managing kills that trust.

So…are you micro-managing your database users? Or are you training them and trusting them?

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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