Full Article in Forbes:
Micromanaging good or bad? As a leader, working to achieve a set goal with your team can be an overwhelming task. Not only will you have to provide the necessary directions, but you’ll also have to employ different managerial techniques and styles in order to drive your team toward the realization of the set goal. These techniques include effective planning, creating a vision, instructing and directing the parties involved. One of such managerial styles is micromanagement.
Even though there are a lot of negative connotations related to the term, micromanagement is quite relevant to modern-day leaders and business owners. In reality, micromanagement is not a bad thing, and micromanagers are as humane as everyone else. For clarity, let’s define micromanagement and understand how it relates to you as a team leader or manager.
The Definition Of Micromanagement
Micromanagement is a managerial technique or method where an individual (the manager) watches their subordinates or employees closely, thereby pushing them with iron gloves to realize the organization’s goals.
With the above definition, it isn’t surprising that most people, especially those who have had a firsthand experience of micromanagement, hate the word or have negative reports about micromanagers. But micromanagement is not entirely bad; there are still a few ways to benefit from micromanaging your staff — if you do it with purpose.
The mistake that most micromanagers make when it comes to micromanaging subordinates or staff is that they fail to define the purpose of their management style. At the end of the day, what they get is dependent staff members who don’t know how to execute plans without the micromanager being there. This happens because the micromanagement has gone on too long, and as a result, the subordinates know not how to act when the micromanager is not around. This can pose a problem for you when you have to rely on your subordinates to handle intricate tasks on your behalf. On the other hand, this will not happen if you micromanage your employees with purpose.
What Does Micromanaging With Purpose Look Like?
It reminds me of a quote attributed to General George S. Patton: “Don’t tell people how to do things; tell them what to do, and let them surprise you with their results.”
If you are considering taking a micromanaging approach with your staff to achieve your organization’s goals and objectives, then you need to take note of these things.
1. Have a clear understanding of why it is happening. If you want to reap the full benefits of micromanaging your staff with purpose, you have to ask yourself why you are choosing micromanagement in the first place. There are different types of personalities, and as an employer of labor, you need to know these things. This invariably means that there’ll be one or two people among your staff who need to be micromanaged to make headway with their careers. I’ve talked extensively about personality variations in a previous article.
2. Include a time frame. Another mistake far too common among micromanagers is that they don’t know when to stop micromanaging their staff. Micromanagement is not supposed to last forever; unless you want to become overbearing to your employees, you must state a definitive time for this type of oversight.
3. Communicate with the employee. Don’t forget that communication is key. You must explain to the employee all of the above: why it is happening, the time frame it will happen for and the expected outcomes.
4. Measure your results. When you micromanage with purpose, you watch your staff closely to boost productivity among your team. As you continue to micromanage your staff, compare your present results with what you had before you began micromanaging your staff. You can use a performance improvement plan (PIP) format to determine your progress with regard to micromanagement. By using a PIP format, you outline prospects with closing dates and additional resources that will drive your employees to achieve your organization’s goals.
Believe it or not, we all micromanage in our own way without paying attention to what we are doing. There are different levels to micromanaging. You might not realize it, but the meetings you organize every day to review the performance of your team are a form of micromanaging. If you feel any of your employees have talent or potential that can be honed, try this micromanaging technique — but remember to be intentional and do it with purpose.