In business, the term “micromanagement” is usually associated with negative connotations. Micromanagement is defined as the act by which a supervisor closely observes and controls every single detail of the employees’ work. Companies that want to eliminate turnovers avoid being overinvolved in the daily tasks of its staff. It’s enough to say that “victims” of micromanagers may feel somewhat annoyed in this type of situation. However, micromanagement is not as bad as the majority of people might think. The key is knowing when, where and how to micromanage.
In most workplaces, managers are responsible of training new recruits. This is the ideal time to micromanage. The trainee might be inexperienced in the industry, and it is the manager’s job to get them familiar with their new position. One can allude to teaching a toddler how to walk. First, you guide them in taking their first steps. Eventually, you will have to let go and let them walk on their own, even if it means they will occasionally stumble and fall. Eventually, they will be able to do it on their own.
A problem can arise when the employee has spent a considerable amount of time in the job, yet the supervisor is still closely monitoring their every action. In this case, the problem lies with either the employee or the manager; whether the employee is just incompetent or the manager is unwilling to let go. If you (as the manager) have tried to empower the staff member to do the job independently and they failed, then you might want to relieve them of their position. On the other hand, if they are fully capable of operating on their own, it is time for you to give them independence in their work.
Letting employees work on their own, reflects that you trust them enough to finish what is expected of them. In return, you can focus on more important tasks, like hitting targets, serving customers, meeting deadlines, etc., the employees gain experience and the company is able to progress as a whole.
Workplaces such as hospitals, law offices and accounting firms require minute attention to detail. An oversight could cause critical consequences to patients and clients. In these situations, it is reasonable to micromanage, especially if your employee is inexperienced. Reviewing their work is necessary to ensure customers are satisfied with the output.
Another critical moment where micromanaging can be acceptable is when your company is venturing into new businesses. For example, if a business decided to provide complete online services, supervisors will have to pay attention to every detail to ensure a smooth transition. Once the company is accustomed to its new procedures, the managers can let the employees to work independently.
Micromanagement is just a question of timing. It is entirely up to the manager’s discretion on when to delegate tasks to their subordinates, depending on whether the employees are capable enough to handle their responsibilities. Nonetheless, despite its negative effects, micromanagement can also be useful to some extend depending on the need.
J. Tjoandi | DBPC Blog