In business management, micromanagement is a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of their employees, generally used as a pejorative term. In contrast to giving general instructions on smaller tasks while supervising larger concerns, the micromanager monitors and assesses every step.
Micromanagement may arise from internal sources, such as concern for details, increased performance pressure, or insecurity. It can also be seen as a tactic used by managers to eliminate unwanted employees, either by creating standards employees cannot meet leading to termination, or by creating a stressful workplace causing the employee to leave.
Regardless of the motivation the effect can de-motivate employees, create resentment, and damage trust. Micromanagement can also be distinguished from management by worker to boss ratio. When a boss can do a worker's job with more efficiency than giving the order to do the same job, this is micromanagement.
Micromanagers are managers that oversee their workers too closely. They are constantly looking over your shoulder, commenting positively or negatively. They tend to look at the details of an employees job many times during the work day, usually making unwarranted remarks.
The worker who is micromanaged will reason, "Why can't my boss just let me do my job and leave me alone? What mistakes are they looking for now?"
Micromanages will do compulsive overseeing with both good employees as well as those who are not performing well.
They engage the lowest frequency emotion, FEAR, in the workplace. Fear ----> frustration -----> Depression ---->Sabotage ----> Accidents ----->or Lack of Productivity. Too much micromanagement can cost a company its best and brightest.
This often taps into childhood issues for workers who had dictatorial parents and are now reliving that pain.
Remember that adulthood is often about moving past childhood traumas created in the first 20 years of one's life. In the 21st century we recognize issues, and hopefully deal with them, or else dwell in dysfunctional behavioral patterns, using them as a crutch to not function.
Micromanaging is a compulsive, behavioral disorder similar to other addictive patterns. People who micromanage generally do so because they feel unsure and self-doubting. Sometimes they are pressured by a supervisor above them.
Employees may see them as controlling, dictatorial, judgmental, critical, bureaucratic, snooping, and more.
Do you micromanage? If the answer is Yes and you wonder why no one has brought this to your attention, the obvious answer is that they are afraid of repercussions. Micromanager do not see the 'big picture' because they are too busy dictating font size and controlling everyone else's moves that it totally escapes you and your workers. They are probably not getting your job completed because they are doing everyone else's. They lose the respect of co-workers and fellow employees.
Micromanagers should seek out professional help, perhaps offered by their company. Seek out other fellow managers and discuss how they operate. Have group discussions with your employees to resolve issues.
On the flip side, we have the Macromanagers.
For the most part they leave their employees with a lack of decision making, especially when the details of the job change and they need immediate assistance.
Employees need guidelines and someone to talk to if they have a problem. Macromanagers leave their employees too much on their own. As a result the lack of direction and input is so lacking that an employee wonders if they are doing the job correctly.
Macromanaging can lead to inefficiency on the part of employees in regards to time spend on the job, work completed, and who they seek out for answers.
A boss who takes on too many projects, moving from one to another, and is therefore not easy to reach for guidance by anyone as he have overextended his time, will never get any of the jobs done properly, will always consider his employees incompetent, and will have to waste company time and money correcting mistakes.
For the best efficiency, there must exist an ongoing communication between employer and employee, that is not dictatorial, but gets the job done in the most efficient way.
There are souls who are very efficient, who do not micromanage, but cannot tolerate the inefficiency of those they work with. Yet they often have to work with people who are not equipped to get the job done, or they just goof off all day playing on the computer, coming in late, leaving early, talking on the phone, gossiping in the office, flirting or having sex with co-workers, etc. Often the efficient employees has to complete or correct the work of the other person. That must be very frustrating.
This takes us to another archived article about firing employees who do not do their job efficiently.
Behavioral scientists propose the presence of three psychological states that could result in a highly motivated and productive worker. The worker must experience:
1. Meaningfulness or significance of their job
2. Responsibility for outcomes
3. Feedback on the work performed
Wise management never underestimates people's pride and dignity for work. Recognition goes a long way. When the environment is happy, work translates to play. Money matters but that's not all there is.
At the end of the day we have to wonder whose fault is it if things go wrong, an inefficient employer who micromanages or macromanages, or an efficient employee who is wrong for the job?
This is almost like balancing a marriage or friendship!