Is Micromanagement Hurting Your Workforce?

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Great managers are worth more than gold; these are the people who organize and rally your teams, keep everyone on track, and make sure that all talents and skill sets are being deployed to your company’s best advantage. When employees aren’t sure where to turn next or how to tackle a specific challenge, managers point the way. Managers are coaches, guides, trainers, mentors, and trail bosses. Management is the oil in the gears and the fuel in the engine of your company. But it is possible to over-manage? Can you apply too much a good thing and actually stand in the way of your own progress? Sometimes it’s better to back off.

Watch out for signs of selective hearing loss.

Too many orders, too much advice, and too many corrections within a one-hour (or one-day) period can lead to trouble. This is the kind of noise overload that causes employees to tune out. And it’s best if they do; staying open to constant criticism can fill employees with self-doubt and make them question their own decisions and actions. Ironically, the more hand-holding you give, the more hand-holding your employees will require….Unless they ignore you altogether.

Micromanagement breeds resentment.

Talented, hard-working employees didn’t get where they are by accident. They’ve studied hard, worked their way up the ladder, and experienced plenty of risk, failure, and consequent growth. In other words, they know what they’re doing. And if they don’t know something just yet, they’re capable of learning it. They’ve already proven their ability to do this, so excessive hovering can seem like mistrust. Mistrust breeds resentment. Resentment leads to expensive turnover.

Micromanagement reduces ownership.

If an employee tackles a task and makes independent decisions, the employee owns the task. If something goes wrong, the employee can be held responsible. A debriefing session and some constructive criticism can steer the employee back on track, and all parties can move on. But if the employee didn’t make any key decisions and wasn’t permitted to make any mistakes, the failure belongs to her manager. And no single person can take responsibility for everything that goes wrong within the company or department. When managers delegate responsibility, their jobs become easier. They can accomplish more during the day and sleep better at night.

Don’t wait to be pushed away.

Most employees won’t immediately push back against micromanagement, so don’t wait for obvious signs or clear messages that this behavior is unwelcome. Encourage managers to police their own behavior and make conscious decisions to back off when their help and intervention isn’t necessary.

Don’t let micromanagement, nitpicking, and excessive hovering stand in the way of productivity. Let employees take responsibility for their own mistakes—and their own growth—whenever possible. Turn to the management and staffing experts at CSS.

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