In business, micromanagement is a style of management that is characterized by managers closely monitoring or controlling the activities of workers or subordinates. This style of management is basically characterized by the use too much control and meticulousness. Managers who use this style of management usually give too much attention to minor details. Such managers do this so as to strive to ensure that all the tasks are carried out to perfection. This requires managers to make constant follow-ups so as to ensure that all the tasks are carried out accordingly. In many cases, employees and subordinates perceive micromanagement negatively.
Considering that this style of management is perceived negatively by many people, it is important that managers ensure that they make appropriate decisions while choosing which style to adapt. Generally, employees and subordinates may have a negative connotation towards this style since they may prefer working under little supervision. However, since some managers prefer using this style, it is important that various aspects of the style are looked into. Therefore, this paper will primarily focus on a discussion on micromanagement. Some of the aspects that will be looked into include advantages, disadvantages, and consequences of micromanagement.
In general, businesses are started with the main aim of attaining profits. It is with the help of human capital that these profits are realized. To achieve this, businesses usually use considerable amounts of money and resources to attract and secure exemplary human capital and to ensure that they have the proper support, tools, and environment. Furthermore, many businesses ensure that they provide their workforce with some kind of continuing education. The more a business grows, the more it needs to invest in human capital, and the more complicated the procedures of attracting, acquiring, sustaining, and improving human capital becomes. Sorry to say, all the money, resources, and time spent to develop and extend such processes can be considered less than useful, thus wasting a business’s money and resources.
Micromanagement can be considered as an unrewarding element that can potentially harm a business as it continues to drain its resources. It can be perceived as one of the most unconstructive forces that can be found in any working environment. It is seen as obscure since it exists under the pretense of developing processes and bettering human capital. This style has a negative impact on the morale of teams. In addition, it creates a gap between the management and employees and dispirits employees from implementing new ideas. Instead of bettering processes, micromanagement makes them complex and wastes a significant amount of money and resources.
Some people consider micromanagement as good if carried out in small levels and aimed at particular processes for the main aim of progress. Some employees may also support this claim since they may need step-by-step guidelines for specific processes. However, it should be noted that many employees who would support this point may be quick to point out that micromanagement should not be emphasized in many processes. If the management micromanages each and every process, employees may not be able to work at their best. In addition, employees may sometimes doubt the decisions made by the manager and just carry on since they may not have an option. Consequently, the productivity of employees may begin to reduce and their morale may start to decrease.
Micromanagers usually tend to closely observe all the steps in various tasks with the aim of ensuring that everything is done in a way that they themselves would have done. Micromanagers closely monitor employees to ensure that they are carrying out their tasks according to the specifically laid down procedures. Employees who complete projects according to the specifications of the micromanager are seen by the micromanager as the most competent ones. Micromanagers are usually overly influential and controlling over their employees, and in many instances at undesirable levels. Employees are given various responsibilities, but they are not given the chance to have any form of authority over them, thus depriving them of the opportunity to showcase their efficiency in attaining objectives. In some cases, some employees may decide to take it upon themselves to make various decisions or take some initiative. Such employees are perceived by a micromanager in a negative manner and the consequences are increased levels of supervision and monitoring of work. Too much control and influence from a micromanager may lead to adverse effects such as destruction of standardization processes and poor interdepartmental communication.
Considering that there has been an increase in competition in various industries worldwide, it is important that businesses assess all aspects of management. Proper management is essential for the success of any business, especially in a competitive field. Therefore, the various issues brought about by micromanagement should be identified and dealt with appropriately fro an organization to continue being competitive in business. The entire management team and leaders in a business should completely support and advocate for the shift of micromanagement into a better and constructive element. Micromanagement can be viewed as an old style of management that should have been done away with by now. It is important that businesses aim at embracing change, especially in the competitive nature of many industries. Businesses ought to advocate for concepts such as thinking outside the box as well as forward thinking. This has been seen to be an effective way of staying in competition.
Working under a Micromanager
A micromanager normally second-guesses every decision, confuses communication, interferes with instructions, and looks over the shoulder of each and every employee. In many cases, working under a micromanager can be very stressful. Some employees may even consider the pressure as too much and start to seek for employment in a different place. Usually, a micromanager may not be aware of the adverse effects that their style of management has on employees. Therefore, it is the employees who need to know how to adapt so as to limit frustrations in such working conditions.
As an employee, it is important that one is self-confident in their communication. In many cases, micromanagers are not aware of the adverse effects that there style of management has on the workforce. Therefore, it is important that employees understand this and try to get into terms with the management. One of the ways through which this can be done is communicating respectfully to a manager. As an employee, one can suggest to a manager that he or she be allowed to work on their own in a particular task. After the task is complete and the manager identifies some faults, the employee should request the manager to allow him or her to try and correct the faults on their own. If this is done successfully, the manager might trust the employee more, thus allowing him or her to have control over an increased number of duties. In the long run, this may even better the relationship between the manager and the employee.
Employees should try asking the micromanager what they are not doing in the correct manner and how they can improve. Some micromanagers may remind an employee of a time when they did not carry out a task effectively so as to use that as an excuse of closely monitoring them. When this occurs, an employee should consider asking for additional training if need be. On the other hand, if the manager suggests that he or she is satisfied with the completion of a certain task, an employee should courteously state that he or she needs to work more independently since the close monitoring is a sign of mistrust.
Another approach that employees can use is turning the micromanagement style back on the manager. In this case, employees should not resist the urge of the manager to be involved in each and every step. Therefore, they should encourage the micromanager to get more involved in each and every detail. In some cases, it has been noted that micromanagers would not want to be assisted with their style of management. If the manager gains self-esteem by being involved in every detail, an employee should esteem him or her by seeking advice from him or her on every detail. Consequently, the micromanager may perceive the cooperation with micromanagement as that which deserves an increased level of trust. Therefore, the manager may start to allow the employee to have more and more authority over various tasks.
Since some managers may not change their management style even if the approaches above are followed, an employee may consider being defensive. This can be done through documentation. An employee may send follow-up emails to the manager stating that he or she is fully aware of the current task and set deadline. If any clarification is required, the employee should request for a reply. If the manager replies, he or she may not see the need to closely monitor the task since the employee has confirmed having a good understanding of the entire task. From another perspective, after requesting for clarification, a micromanager is likely to include other tasks that are not in line with the original project due to the nature of being too involved. In such instances, documentation may come in handy since an employee may use it to report the manager’s characteristics to the human resources department.
On the other hand, it should be noted that reporting the micromanager may turn out to be unfruitful and may lead to an employee losing his or her job. Therefore, employees willing to take the risk of reporting their micromanagers should be ready for any kind of feedback. When all's said and done, the most effective solution is to look for another place of work where micromanagement does not prevail. Also, an employee can request to be transferred to another department if possible.
Advantages of Micromanagement
One of the main advantages of this style of management is that the manager has the opportunity to keep a close eye on all the employees. As a result, employees are more likely to carry out their duties according to the satisfaction of the manager. This is primarily due to the close monitoring and direct control that the manager has over employees. The manager will be able to ensure that all tasks are completed in a manner that he or she would have done. This style can be very effective in situations where employees usually don’t meet the specifications of the management. Close monitoring and issuing directions for every detail will ensure that the manager gets the desired results. An example of a case where micromanagement would be effective is in the case of new employees. Where an organization hires new employees, they may not be in a position to complete all their tasks effectively. Therefore, it is important that the manager monitors them closely to ensure that all tasks are completed according to the given specifications.
Where a certain project is too complicated or delicate, micromanaging may be very beneficial. This is mainly because a manager has the opportunity to guide employees in every step so as to avoid costly errors being made. This ensures that the task is completed in time and according to the specifications of the management. The manager may also be able to identify some errors that had occurred in past tasks. This ensures that appropriate corrections are made, thus increasing chances of success.
Disadvantages of Micromanagement
Micromanaging is associated with activities that consume too much time for a manager. This is because the manager spends so much time monitoring every move of the employees rather than being engaged in more productive activities such as smoothing the progress of processes and advancing systems. For example, where a manager monitors even the minute of details of every employee, he or she may not have enough time to develop systems that would increase efficiency in the organization. Furthermore, it may even be possible for a manager to complete a certain task faster by himself rather than directing it to an employee and then constantly monitoring the employee while he or she is carrying it out. Many successful managers usually use their time effectively. Effective use of time often does not go hand in hand with micromanagement. Successful managers usually focus on important organizational issues and allow their employees to handle a large part of their daily tasks. However, this is usually applicable where the workforce is comprised of competent individuals. Micromanaging in an organization ties up a manager with issues that would have otherwise been effectively tackled by employees.
In many workplace environments, it has been noted that micromanagement can be stressful not only for the employees, but also for the employers. Many a time, employees do not like the idea of micromanagement. A large percentage of employees would prefer being allowed to carry out their daily activities with little or no supervision. This is especially in the event where the employees have adequate knowledge on the tasks at hand. Micromanaging causes employees to feel as if they are not being trusted. They feel that their employer does not have faith in them to complete their tasks effectively. As a result, employees are likely to experience low levels of job satisfaction. In such situations, the likelihood of an organization achieving success decreases. This is because the success of an organization heavily relies on the efficiency of the workforce in many cases.
On the other hand, it has also been noted that micromanaging may be stressful for employers. This is especially where the employees do not complete their tasks according to the expectations of the employers even after close monitoring. The employer becomes frustrated since his or her continued efforts of hovering have not paid off. This may also occur even if the tasks have been completed well but not according to how the employer wanted exactly. In the long run, an employer may get too frustrated and decide that he or she can not continue working with the specific employees who do not follow his exact instructions. If the employer fires such employees and hires similar ones, a continuation of the same would lead to a waste of time and resources, thus frustrating the employer more.
Micromanaging is stressful to both the employees and managers and it can develop into a self-perpetuating cycle. This is because employers may become more and more frustrated with the poor performance of their employees, whereas employees may show poor performance since they are on the edge. Therefore, this style of management can adversely affect the success of an organization. This is because the likelihood of success may reduce due to the frustrations experienced by both the employers and employees. To avoid this from occurring, it is important that micromanagement is done away with.
Micromanaging managers usually have very precise steps of the way through which workers should complete their tasks. This is mainly because they think that through the use of their own approach, a given task can be completed in the best way possible. Therefore, they focus on ensuring that employees follow the exact procedures for the tasks to be completed according to their specific expectations. This deprives the employees of the opportunity to try out new ways of accomplishing various tasks. Allowing employees to try out new ways of performing various tasks may give rise to more efficient processes of completing the tasks.
Normally, day to day activities are largely carried out by employees. Therefore, it is the employees who have a better chance of finding more efficient ways of completing tasks as compared to the managers. This is because employees have a better understanding of the day to day activities since they are intimately involved in their related processes. Furthermore, employees who are involved in repetitive jobs are highly likely to discover new ways of handling their tasks, thus leading to increased efficiency. However, micromanaging does not give employees the opportunity to showcase their innovations. Employees are forced to stick to the given guidelines so as to put a smile on their manager’s face.
The Consequences of Micromanagement
There are some consequences that can be noticed when micromanaging takes place in an organization. These consequences usually affect the people and operations that an employer manages. It is these effects that should enable an employer to know whether his or her style of management is as effective as it should be. Where there are more positive effects than negative, a manager should be able to make the easy choice of continuing with his or her style of management. However, when applying micromanagement, the consequences are likely to be negative.
A micromanaging employer usually gives directions and expects every employee to follow them to the letter. Employees are not allowed to make their own choices or use their own methods to compete their day to day activities. Employees who try to make their own decisions even in minor tasks are considered to be disobedient. Even if they complete their tasks successfully, the manager may not be satisfied since the task is not completed according to how he or she wanted. Any suggestions provided by employees are usually looked down upon. Employers using this style of management do not listen to their employees. This causes the employees to shut down and discontinue their efforts of making suggestions. Consequently, the manager may lose the opportunity of getting new and better ideas from the workforce.
It has been noted that micromanaging may bring about detachment. This is because employees may realize that they are only allowed to put in time and nothing or very little of any other thing such as innovation. For example, a manager who requires that even the minute of details is done according to them deprives the employees of the opportunity to provide new ideas that may be very important for the success of an organization. This may demoralize employees since they may feel somehow like machines that the manager uses to press buttons as a way of providing instructions. Also, this style of management gives employees the impression that the employer does not trust them. In the long run, it may have a negative effect on the production of employees.
Micromanaging causes employees to stop making sacrifices. This is because any sacrifices that they may make will usually go unnoticed or be rejected by the management. In addition, financiers may decide to no longer provide growth capital since the micromanager keeps all the responsibility and power to himself. This weighs down the growth of a business and reduces its chances of being successful.
Micromanaging causes employees to lose interest in the job. This may be because many people do not like to be constantly told what to do. Employees need to be given instructions and allowed to make their own decisions when it comes to minor details. Even if they make errors, it should be seen as a way through which they may learn new things. Therefore, at times it is good for an employer to allow his or her employees to make errors so as to be able to learn how to make correct and better decisions.
Micromanaging also causes employees show antipathy towards an employer’s role as manager. Generally, this is because the employees prefer being allowed to make their own decisions as compared to hovering. Since employees may dislike the manager’s role, they are likely to no longer be efficient in their work. In the long run, an employee may become so frustrated that he or she may decide to seek employment in another organization.
In general, it is clear that micromanaging is involved with close monitoring and hovering. This style of management is usually used by managers who require that all business processes are done according to how they themselves would have done. Working under a micromanager can be very difficult since many people prefer to be allowed to make some choices at their workplace. In many cases, micromanagement is perceived negatively. One of the main advantages of this style is that the manager can closely monitor employees; therefore, various tasks are likely to be completed more effectively. However, this style has more disadvantages than advantages in many cases. Micromanaging is seen as a waste of a manager’s time, stressful to both employees and employers, and a way of smothering creativity. Consequently, most of the consequences are negative. Therefore, it is important that employers refrain from using this style of management.