Have you been micromanaged or been a micromanager? Has it affected you and your performance and morale at work?
Micro-management – The word itself is dreadful enough for employees as well as managers. It not only impacts the employee morale but the overall work culture. Do you want to manage or lead your team?
Let’s know why by breaking it down into two sections –
Section 1 – Let’s identify what is micromanagement after all, is there a way to handle it?
Section 2 – Whether micro-management is good or bad?
As quoted by Joe Apfelbaum, Micromanage the process, not the people.
According to the Cambridge dictionary, micromanagement is the act of controlling every part of a situation, including small details. Micromanagement can hamper the team spirit, trust, and confidence of the employees thereby leading to attrition and you are left with a mediocre, unhappy team.
So, are you being micromanaged? Are you a micromanager? How do you correct it or stop it?
On several occasions, I’ve experienced both during my career so far. I’ve worked with both –micromanagers as well as some charismatic leaders and managers over the years.
In both cases, it changed the course of my career, my approach, my attitude towards work, and my work ethic. It gave me a better clarity about what and how I want things to be in my career and what I don’t want to be as a person and professional whether in authority or not.
I’ll list down the traits or red flags of being one in such situations, following are some traits observed –
Traits of a micromanager –
- Lacks trust – The manager tends to doubt the capabilities of the team and not trust them.
- Not looking at the bigger picture – The emphasis is on minute aspects of work that lead to missing out on the bigger aspects thereby under-utilizing the available resources.
- Resembles helicopter parenting – Like a helicopter parent, the manager keeps on checking the progress of the work assigned repeatedly thereby not trusting the team’s dedication.
- Control freak – Repeatedly interrupting through calls/emails to check in the progress thus limiting the creativity and input of the team.
- No or Zero decision-making power – Not given the room to handle tough situations or make decisions about routine activities. The team has no scope to take charge of the situation and handle it in their way.
- Tends to bad mouth or demotivate the employee in front of others.
Traits of being micromanaged –
- Multiple Reports – Team members were expected to keep the manager in the loop for every aspect by making various reports for every activity taken up. This led to various repetitive and mundane tasks leading to loss of time.
- Approvals for trivial matters – Sought consent for even the simplest and routine activities, resulting in losing self-confidence, trust, among team members, etc.
- Too many instructions – One gets webbed up in too many instructions and restrictions.
- No encouragement or feedback – There is hardly any feedback or encouragement from the managers or supervisors leaving no scope for improvement and motivation.
- Knowledge sharing is missing – No skills or knowledge being transferred by the manager to the team members, it’s a sign of insecurity in the manager.
If you have faced or noticed (two or more of) the above-listed signs or traits, you might be a micromanager or are being micromanaged.
Having been in the same space as some of you’ll, I too had a tough time handling the entire phase of being micromanaged. There were some simple steps taken to overcome and address it subtly and effectively. Here I’m sharing some of them with you’ll –
How to address it with your micromanager?
- Simply, talk it out
- Set the expectations straight and clear from day one
- Understand their insecurities
- Attempt to gain their trust
- Let your work speak
How not be a micromanager?
- Stop controlling every situation
- Limit the reporting process
- Delegate tasks to your team and trust their work
- Have a proper feedback mechanism
- Schedule Productive meetings or brainstorming sessions to understand what’s working and what’s not
Takeaway’s – Employees look for guidance and direction for them to work more efficiently whereas managers look for a self-sustained team who are loyal and competent. In short, Micromanagement needs to be handled wisely and effectively to avoid any collateral damage…
Are you being watched closely? Do you hover over your staff to know their every move? How have you tried to overcome it? Do share your experiences – good/not so good.
Leave your comments and views.
In the next article (Section 2) – we will look at whether micromanagement is good or bad? Is it good for the team and work culture? To be published soon!!