MICRO MANAGING

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MICRO MANAGING DEFINITION

Micro-managing is to try to control or manage every detail of an activity or task, lacking trust on others or in their performance  in a way that is usually not wanted or that causes problems.  In business management, micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager closely observes and/or controls and/or reminds the work of his/her subordinates or employees.

SIDE EFFECTS OF MICROMANAGEMENT

Micromanagement is bad for all the parties involved, especially for the business. It creates conflicts in business, ruin relationships because the other party feels undermined or bullied. Micromanagement is generally considered to have a negative connotation, mainly due to the fact that it shows a lack of freedom in the workplace.  It may lead to high staff turnover as the staff feel disempowered and this may cause the cognitive symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression, and give rise to poor performance.  Micromanagers often experience burnout, which affect their immune system and general wellbeing.  They destroy the spirit of teamwork, morale, and are more likely to blame others whenever something wrong happens.  They loose staff loyalty and commitment, and this can be highly depressive.

SIGNS OF MICROMANAGEMENT

You are a micromanager if you are a perfectionist, which resist delegating work, immerse yourself in the work assigned to others.  If you are always looking at the detail instead of the big picture, discouraging others from making decisions, and get involved in their work without consulting them.  This is when you undermine the experience and knowledge of colleagues, and demotivate them. 

HOW TO DEAL WITH A MICROMANAGER

Trying to influence a micromanager to change his/her behaviour can be a daunting task.  They are very rigid, resistant to change, and not willing to learn from others.  Changing their behaviour isn’t easy but it is possible in time and with great patience and resilience.  Just pay attention to task/s or activities, or give the job your full attention.  Ensure that you don’t give him/her any cause for concern.  Learn to see things from his/her point of view, but be assertive and challenge him/her.  Communicate frequently, remind him/ her to stick to the contract or agreement.  Keep asking him/her to give you an opportunity to do your duties on your own, and update on progress.   Micromanagers rarely recognise their behaviour and the impact it has on others.  It is therefore worthwhile pointing this out to them once you have gained some trust.

HOW TO REFRAIN FROM MICROMANAGING

Micromanagement is generally considered to have a negative connotation, mainly due to the fact that it shows a lack of freedom in the workplace.  As managers or entrepreneurs, we need to hire people that want to work for us, that want to work hard, and that can think and make decisions on their own.  When you’re just starting your entrepreneurial journey, it’s easy to become the micromanager of your operations. But, micromanaging your team comes at a high cost.  All you need to do is hire the right people, who share your vision, and then develop the processes and monitor the results.

PROCESS DEVELOPMENT 

The first step in developing the process is to understand your goal or desired result. You can take a big-picture item, such as marketing, or a more specific item, such as creating invoices. Both of these are important and developing processes on how to accomplish them will help streamline your day. Processes have steps, responsibilities, value, and consequences, so be sure your goal is worthy of the effort of developing a process as well as executing it.   Processes apply to both business and households.  Responsibilities must be assigned to each and every member of the household.

Some processes require multiple people, including representatives from several departments, assistants, clients, and vendors, to name a few. If everyone involved is part of the development, you’ll have a better chance that everyone will adhere to the process. This may not be an option in larger organizations, as decision-makers typically develop the processes and pass them down to the tactical people who will execute them.

According to Ellen Williams, good processes require multiple people; otherwise you run the risk of bottlenecks. When just one person is busy and puts off their part of the process, it stops. When the process stops, things get backlogged and sometimes deadlines are missed. Regardless of the goal of the process, the business loses either time or money, or both. Before creating any process, you need to consider who is involved and how their workload will affect the process and the results. If you do run into bottlenecks, find out why and make a change. Either remove the person from the process or reduce their workload if they are important to the process. Bottlenecks create stress for everyone.

PROCESS MONITORING

The results of any process should be something that moves the organization, family or business forward. When the process is completed successfully, things run smoothly. Whether it’s getting the children to school, getting invoicing done and to the clients/customers, creating marketing content so it’s ready to post, or making follow-up phone calls that either clarify information or allow you to continue important conversations, the process results should have a positive effect on the entity.

Some processes are vital, and the consequences for not following them are very high. Things “fall through the cracks” when processes break down. Depending on the results you expect from the process, the consequences could be dire. There’s no need to overcomplicate a process, but trying to get through it quick is not the right approach either. When developing processes, make sure to talk through and walk through all the necessary steps to get the job done to the result you desire. Spending time in process development will help you gain time in process execution.  Communication is vital when executing the processes.  Everyone involved in a process needs to take responsibility for their roles, and there should be checks and balances built-in to help the process run smoothly.  Validation is important to ensure several things, that the process is running as planned, and the desired results are being accomplished.

7 Comments

  1. Thanks for this great post about micromanagement, I think each company needs a micromanager because some companies will just have the general manager that ll assign work alone not concern how it’s been executed, But a micromanager will make sure he follows the process till its successful thanks so much about this post on managerial method.

  2. I had quit from a job sometimes back when the manger was too involved with everything I was doing. I felt chocked and really undermined and incapable.  He monitored every bit of thing I was tasked with and i when I couldn’t take it anymore, I reacted angrily to which he fired me from the job. This is really a bad thing but then, what to do. This is a good one and I value it here as you have addressed a germane topic that requires redress on most people. I’d love to share this out to more people

  3. I see you quote Ellen Williams, who exactly is she?  Are there any books of hers you may be able to recommend?

    I’m very guilty of micromanaging and have trouble delegating, partly due to situations beyond my control, but it’s hard to transition once the situations clear up.  I really do have to work on letting others help me and delegate more.  I do really try, but it is sometimes hard not to slip into old habits.

  4. The issue of micromanaging is very rampant in different business organizations nowadays and I believe it’s more of a negative impact than it does good. I can’t work in an environment where i don’t have the freedom to work, freedom to chip in my own idea and even be depended on, it makes me feel very useless and unwanted. Thanks for stating the ways to combat such situations. It’s really helpful.

  5. Wow, this is something I didn’t know about before. I didn’t know that this is what people have have such character are referred to. It is nice to learn this because my former boss was just like this. H ewas a perfectionist and didn’t let others finish their work before he snatched it away. I had to quit my job because it made me feel like i wasn’t doing just enough. I wish I had read this post earlier, I would have known how to deal with it.

  6. This same issue scattered a company because the boss was practically nosy into every division even though he appointed heads for them, employees started leaving one after the other and obviously they left their reviews online about the company, people didn’t apply there. I think it’s more of the feeling of not trusting people with your work, if you trust your workers and their competence, you’d be able to sit back and expect their delivery instead of doing their job for them. 

  7. I didn’t know that this was really an issue, I feel like I am guilty of this because I am just about to start my own business and I feel like I keep doing this which is in fact not a good thing. I see why it tagged as a negative denotation. You gave very good tips to refrain from it. Thank you very much for sharing this awesome post. Cheers!

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