Micromanagement at work environment
Oh my god! How many times do I have to say it?
Every little thing that goes on around here must go through me first!
Now, Adam, explain yourself! Why did you greet the customer with Good Morning instead of the script-written Hello?
Do I have to do everything around here myself?
Ugh! Follow the script, people!
Well, that was quite an unfortunate situation for Adam. Adam thought that by greeting the customer with good morning, he would come off as friendlier and would be able to build a better rapport. But his boss though differently, he doesn’t want any thinkers around him and wants everyone to follow the exact script he wrote because he believes that this is the best thing to do.
Adam despises the way his boss is managing work and doesn’t want to continue working for him. He knows that good morning is way better as a call starter than a simple hello.
On the other hand, having worked in this specific niche for over ten years, the boss understands that their customers prefer a simple hello, and somehow, this increases customer satisfaction.
According to the manager, because after running plenty of analysis on how to increase customer satisfaction, he found out that his customers are businessmen who prefer straightforward short calls.
Now, whether you agree or not with Adam, you have to understand that there is a huge difference between micromanagement and leadership.
Communication could turn you into a great leader that everyone wants to work for, so they could learn and grow, or to that stereotypical bad boss that we laugh at in every lousy comedy movie.
Here are the tools; here is the manual, you may never go wild!
Micromanaging is a lot like believing you are supervising kids.
You don’t believe that they will ever make the right decision.
You are confident that you know more than them.
You can help them avoid mistakes that you’ve made before.
And you believe that their opinion is invalid because you know better than them.
Even if this was true, you cannot shelter your kids forever.
They have to make mistakes to learn from them. And to depend on and trust your kids in the future, you have to let them make those mistakes while supervising the consequences and help them grow from them.
The very same thing goes for your employees.
To help them grow, you have to give them room for mistakes, to invent and make things differently.
To depend on them, you have to see how they react to mistakes they have made.
To make them trust you, you have to trust them first.
And for them to give you their best skills, you have to stop breathing down their necks like they have no idea what they are doing.
Start leading them into a better work environment.
So let us ask you, as a business owner, do you provide a constructive or a destructive criticism to your employees when they make a mistake? Do you even allow them to make their own decision?
Micromanaging is mismanaging
There are plenty of reasons why people have the need to micromanage. Some micromanagers are perfectionists that cannot stand the sight of not having everything done correctly as they imagine. Some do not believe that the employees fully grasp and understand their vision, and that is why they have this unbeatable desire to get everything done themselves. Micromanaging has a lot to do with the boss’ tendencies, mental health, and psychological state.
A paper published by Richard D. White titled The Micromanagement Disease: Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Cure describe micromanaging as a form of behavioral disorder similar to other addictive patterns. Looking back at Adam’s boss, he seemed to have quite the temper when it comes to people not following orders, and he did not care to explain the reasons behind his anger. Now imagine how the boss treats his family and friends when they do something slightly different.
The numbers of dissatisfied employees and customers are starting to rile up and show that his managing approach is not practical nor acceptable in the modern non-industrial world.
- Consider them a team and not employees.
- Communicate more.
- Explain the reasons behind the tasks you’re assigning.
- Delegate more tasks.
- Make room for errors.
- Make room for creative solutions.
- Don not waste time with unnecessary reports.
- Accept feedback.
- Give constructive feedback.
- Build a constructive process for the team to follow.
- Most importantly, lead by example.
Otherwise, you will lose creative employees and the rest of them will lose the urge to fix anything or be proactive because, well, why bother?
Ways that micromanagement is hurting your business
So why exactly do people hate being micromanaged and micromanagers in general?
● Feels like someone breathing down your neck.
● Causes anxiety.
● Increases stress.
● Forces employees to leave because they fear to make a mistake.
● Tones down creative thinking, because no other ideas are accepted.
● Obliterates any sense of freedom.
● Raises distrust inside of the work community.
● Wastes the time of the manager, minimize delegation process and that obstructs business growth.
Work is stressful; therefore, if you can help out your team by giving them a bit more trust and a sense of comfort, that would go a long way for you and the business.
When should you endorse micromanagement and ask to be micromanaged?
If done right, micromanagement could be your best friend, as a boss, and as an employee. Here are some situations where you should endorse micromanagement to be a vital part of the managing process.
1. Micromanagement works best in small-scale projects.
To get the best results out of the resources given, you have to adopt a micromanaging mindset. Whether you’re working on a low-budget, working with limited human-resources, or maybe on a tight deadline, you have to involve yourself in every situation that goes on around.
And since it is a small-scale project, working with limited resources does not allow much room for mistakes, so your team would appreciate it if you give them your undivided attention.
2. When a new set of rules or processes are implemented.
Change is hard, especially when it comes to significant rules and processes within the company. But it is necessary.
As a business owner, change is a crucial part of survival within your market. Still, to implement that change successfully, you have to get your entire crew onboard, and micromanagement comes in for the rescue.
Are you a micromanager?
All you need to do is look back and reflect on what you do, if you answer YES to 3 out of 5 questions below, you need to rethink your management style.
- Do you review everything yourself?
- Can your team activate any step without your approval?
- Do you create all your reports?
- Do you minimize the delegation tasks?
- Are you paranoid that employees will hurt your business if you give them a little more freedom?
Micromanagement serves as a tool, and like any other tool, it depends heavily on the wielder. If you know how to use it properly, it’ll help you grow your business and create a better environment for you, your team, and your business. On the other hand, if you use it randomly or with the wrong employees, and without any proper guidance, it will end up backfiring and cause more harm than good.
If you need a consultation about managing your team, contact us!