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.
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.
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.