We thrive in trust and freedom.
In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of his or her subordinates or employees. Micromanagement is generally used as a negative term.
“Micromanagement is necessary when there is lack of skill or knowledge, particularly knowledge of process or program or skill in dealing with people.
At the executive level, these issues should not exist, and if they do, the leadership should examine whether or not they have the right people in place. At the other levels of the organization, these issues may exist and micromanagement is necessary only until the lack of skill or knowledge is corrected. After that, hands should be off.
Some reasons to micromanage are related to issues of change management and should be managed as such, not micromanaged. Change management requires clear vision, mission, direction, communication and accountability.
Other reasons require an examination of the systems, programs and processes that lead to the employee’s failure to execute, a project to linger, a customer to complain or result in poor performance. Once the issues are identified, there may be some
micromanagement required at the non-executive levels since it may involve processes, programs or skill.”
—SAM MUTASEM, PRESIDENT, CONSULTING quote from Execunet.com report
So how can micromanaging be beneficial, when mostly it tends to stifle freedom and productivity?
What are the upsides to micromanagement?
Not all employees are the same, some flourish with limited managing and enjoy working in an independent work environment; however there are some who need close monitoring and coaching until they feel confident to get things done efficiently and to the quality that the work demands. For such employees some level of micromanaging is beneficial.
A New Employee
Take for instance a new employee who is joining your team on his/her first job; there are fears, uncertainties and inexperience that stalls this person from doing his/her best at work; it is time to step and act as a coach and also add some sprinkles of micromanagement to monitor and direct this person in the right direction.
It can be done the efficient way. It would be good to convey to your new employee that during a certain time period you would be going through all process and project tasks in good details. Your expectations would be to regularly inform on the task progress and request feedback on the short-term goals set by you.
When you convey your expectations with mutual understanding – you cut down on mis-communication and add respect to your management style. Remember efficient communication is the key to getting things done the right way – or your way.
In most cases your employee/team member feels reassured that there is someone to double check his/her work and the first job jitters are not as strong as before.
If regular resorting is what can make things streamlined – go for it, but let your team know about it. If such processes are well defined then sure enough micromanagement takes on a new meaning – not that negative anymore.
And in other cases you can do the same for an employee who is not performing well and has received poor performance reports. Perhaps this person needs some help and if it could come from you or some other co-worker then again some micromanagement is worth getting this employee back on track or even finding out that perhaps he can be best suited for another job.
As you see in certain cases, micromanagement helps. But remember when treading this tricky path, tact and a goal must be in mind all the time.
Are we not all Micromanagers? We do it all the time!
Have you ever been micromanaged or have you micromanaged someone? What were your feelings and how did you respond to the situation? Do comment!