No one likes micromanagement, least of all employees. In many cases, it leads to a sharp fall in productivity But, in some places, employees require micromanaging so that they perform well. They need the push and guidance which is only possible if the managers micromanage and follow up regularly.
However, that too should be dealt with carefully as micromanagement can easily cross a line, leading to higher attrition rates and negative employer feedback. Naturally, no organization wants that in a highly tech-savvy professional environment where employee feedback also makes a difference in the way operations take place.
So, is micromanagement good or bad? It is not that simple and depends upon the situation and the intensity.
In this article, we will address micromanagement meaning, and micromanagement examples. We will also be talking about how to deal with micromanagement in a way it maximizes productivity and minimizes frustration amongst the employees. Overall, this is your complete guide to understanding micromanagement at work and how to deal with micromanagement issues.
What is Micromanagement?
A micromanagement definition simply states that it is a stage of micromanaging, i.e. managing each and every small aspect of work that is being done by team members.
A healthy management style involves letting the team members handle the project as within deadlines but with less handholding. Micromanagement in the workplace, however, may mean the meddling of management at every stage. Not only is it dreadful for the morale of the employees, but also for the clients. This can be hazardous for the brand.
What are the Micromanager Signs?
To avoid or minimize the situation of micromanagement in the workplace, one needs to pay special attention to how the manager behaves with the team. These micromanager signs are important if you wish to tackle micromanagement before it gets too much for the organization to handle.
A High Task-Approval Ratio
One of the major micromanager signs is that the ratio of approvals to tasks is extremely high. This means that every task, no matter how small, needs to go through the manager. Micromanagers make themselves a part of every task. This leads to a lack of control on the team’s part, thus leading to dissatisfaction. A healthy team needs individual ownership and credit.
Marked on Every Mail
A micromanager cannot tolerate being left out of any stage of the work. And thus, they may need to be cc’ed in every mail. While it does work when the team needs support, in case things go awry. But to mark them simply to oversee every small step is micromanaging. This may lead to overanalyzing, leading to delays and confusion.
Hyper Awareness with Respect to Employee Whereabouts
Micromanagers tend to track each move of their employees. For instance, a half an hour lunch extending to forty minutes and may lead to unnecessary panic. Or when the employee takes more than a few minutes to respond to an email. If the manager makes an issue out of such situations, this means employees are being micromanaged at work.
An Instinct to Overcorrect
Micromanagers have a tendency to over-edit, overcorrect, and overreact, in no particular order. Micromanagement happens when mistakes are given priority over deliverables. Not saying that substandard work should be delivered, but a good manager should prioritise speed, which a micromanager often fails to do.
A Tendency to Not Delegate
Micromanagers are so involved in scanning every aspect of work that they end up overworking, even when they do not need to. Also, the level of attachment they have to work prevents them from delegating the task efficiently which would have saved considerable time and would have been a good use of the existing resources. This stunts employee growth.
A Habit of Stressing All the Time
Because micromanagers are so adamant about supervising and dealing with everything, they are often overworked and overstressed. This leads to fights and slow decision-making.
It is important to identify these signs and regulate their behaviour.
How to Stop Micromanagement?
There are two stages of doing that; acceptance and avoidance.
The first step is to accept that there is micromanagement. It is difficult for any person to admit that they are wrong, manager or not. But it is important. Once acknowledged, the steps to avoidance begin.
- Ask your manager to create checklists with objectives and metrics. Also, tell them to stick to it and not interfere in every aspect of the task
- Set deadlines for deliverables. Question employees about the status when the deadlines approach or when those are past
- Set periodic meetings within the team, with the manager and employees, to check the progress of projects
- Managers should keep communication channels open for helping and guiding the team in the right direction
These are some of the tricks that may help curtail micromanagement issues to some extent.
Pros and Cons of Micromanaging
We know the disadvantage of micromanaging. But is there any good side to it? Well, if exercised in balanced measures and in the right situations, yes, micromanagement has its benefits too. But, it’s a double-edged sword. It is only as good as the person wielding it.
If the manager can identify which situation is suited for micromanagement and which for macromanagement, micromanagement issues wouldn’t arise.
Advantages of Micromanagement
- Micromanaging skills can be very fruitful in tracking the organization’s operations and employee progress
- If the managers rigorously follow the employee, in the event of any missed deadline they can pinpoint the exact cause and help the employee
- If an employee asks for help to get through complicated projects, a micromanager is good at taking the lead and helping every step of the way
- Micromanagement many times plays a great role in managing remote teams as it enables the manager to know exactly who is performing as per expectations – A micromanager is aware of exactly how much time a task should take and how much time the employees are actually taking
Disadvantages of Micromanagement
- Lack of trust leading to issues between the manager and subordinates
- A micromanager cannot work in larger organizations. Their attitude leads to overwork, stress, and poor relationships
- A micromanager does not create strong teams since they are totally dependent upon the manager
- Micromanagement often leads to poor employee morale
- Although in theory micromanagement may have advantages, the fact is that the disadvantages of micromanaging are far more damaging. In fact, the pros of micromanagement are simply what good management should look like.
Macromanagement vs Micromanagement at the Workplace
Macromanagement is great when you have an experienced and efficient team already in place. On the other hand, micromanagement is good when you have a relatively newer team and.
A good manager should know when to micromanage and when to macromanage depending upon the circumstances.
Do you Need to Tackle Micromanagement at Work?
Micromanagement in its essential form is just management. However, excess micromanaging can doom the organization. The managers need to know their boundaries and not step over. It can choke employee growth. Micromanagement to the extent it helps the managers know specific pitfalls and correct those is fine, but too much of it and it will hamper teamwork and overall productivity. Tackle the roadblock.
How do you tackle micromanagement in the workplace? Do tag us at @HarmonizeHQ and let us know.