In the business world, micromanaging is a notorious technique that employees often hate. But does it deserve its negative reputation? In this guide, we take a look at whether it’s the right tactic for you. We also consider some of the alternatives you can use instead.
Micromanaging employeesFirst off, what’s micromanagement? Well, as its name suggests it’s a style of managing your workforce through close observation. A manager who adopts this style takes direct control over his or her subordinates. Unsurprisingly, it’s a type of supervision that’s usually unpopular with staff members. Many find it invasive, stressful, and unrewarding. But as a business, you’re within your rights to micromanage. Just keep in mind the negative outlook your staff may hold towards it.
The advantagesDespite its bad reputation, there are benefits to micromanaging. These include:
- Offering guidance and mentorship to inexperienced employees.
- Nurturing talent up to managerial level.
- Identifying problems faster.
- Providing constructive feedback to encourage personal development.
The disadvantagesOver-analysis of your workforce can have negative results. In fact, the effects of micromanagement on employees are far-reaching. They can:
- Lower morale.
- Affect self-confidence.
- Stifle creativity.
- Create trust issues.
- Raise stress levels.
- Promote insecurity.
The signs of micromanagementSome businesses struggle to realise they’ve fallen into micromanaging tactics. With the hustle and bustle of modern working life, the need to meet deadlines can lead to a lapse into unfavourable tactics. If you want to avoid such an outcome, there are signs to look out for. Managers who micromanage can have weak personal leadership skills, which means they:
- Fail to delegate work correctly.
- Take over other employees’ duties.
- Make decisions for their subordinates.
- Over analyse projects.
- Prioritise the wrong tasks.
- Mismanage their duties.
Getting better productivityIf you want to support progressive managerial techniques, there are a number of ways to encourage your staff to take ownership. The steps you can take to ensure employees aren’t micromanaged at work are:
- Remove yourself from your team: Stop any controlling behaviour and distance managers from their team. This is the first move towards introducing an independent outlook within your business.
- Manage your expectations: Setting high KPIs can lead to problems as staff struggle to reach their goals, made worse if a person is hovering over their every move. Review what you’re asking of your staff to see if it’s achievable. This, in turn, will take pressure off your managers to deliver.
- Avoid overworking: Promote a proper work-life balance that ensures every member of your business has the appropriate time off.
- Encourage employee transparency: Ask your team about the managerial style they prefer. You can tailor your approach individually. If a staff member wants closer assistance, then you can micromanage them.
- Establish more trust: Although it’s tempting to monitor your staff, your recruitment process is there to ensure you hire talented individuals. To encourage staff members to take control of their roles, you can have trust-building exercises.