What is micromanagement?
It is a method of managing your employees where the supervisor is highly controlling of the work environment. An example of this would be the supervisor watching to see when Johnny clocked in, if he was one minute late, then he has to stay one minute late to make up the time. Micromanagement is typically perceived as negative and has poor overall results.
Is micromanagement appropriate? No. Micromanagement has more negative connotations than positive, which will push away the employees that find themselves the victims of micromanagement. Employees who find they are being managed this way will tend to separate themselves from the work they do and their manager will become overwhelmed with work. In both instances, the end result will likely be the loss of at least one (possibly more) employee.
Am I or one of my employees a micromanager?
Ask yourself a few questions about how you handle your employees…
- How often do you check-in with employees on projects without notice on projects that have set times to discuss progress?
If frequent, you may be a micromanager.
- How do you feel if an employee makes a mistake when doing the “simple stuff”?
Angry and frustrated, you may be a micromanager.
- How much “free reign” do you give your employees?
Very little to none – you may be a micromanager.
So you’re a micromanager? While I truly hope this is not the case, if you are, you may want to take a step back and think before you act. If you micromanage, you will not only harm the work environment with your employees, you will also damage your supervisors thoughts on your overall ability to delegate work and maintain a positive work environment. That translates to no or lesser promotions for you.
You’re not a micromanager? Hurray! You may find that you have the occasional urge to micromanage but you need to resist. Think about how it will alter the workplace environment. Get to know your team and make sure to have an “open door policy” and definitely, do not become a micromanager.
How do you stop micromanaging within your work place? For many, you can’t, short of letting the micromanager go; however, for a few it can be handled. Take a moment to reflect (try a microbrew!). You likely do not want to approach a micromanager alone unless you are their supervisor. If you are one of the employees being micromanaged, speak with the rest of your team, ask to meet with the micromanager and their supervisor as an open discussion, you might even invite human resources. Discuss what is happening and what the results are (negative work environment) and determine the best course of action. This may take some time for the micromanager to adjust to and they will need help, so be ready to support them in any case. Some may need to be removed from their current position to help them make the necessary adjustments for your workplace. Many people may not even realize that they are micro-managing to the extreme potential of losing employees so be kind in approaching the situation.