The Many Faces of Micro Management

  1. You assign tasks to subordinates and chase up for updates as soon as you feel they should have been done.
  2. Regardless of what your subordinates are currently doing, you believe they should be working on something else.
  3. You have just assigned task to a subordinate and immediately you follow up with instructions on how they should be doing it.
  4. You are so bothered about how they spend their time; and you just need to ensure that they have enough work for 40 hours a week, that’s what their contracts says anyways.
  5. You feel that your subordinate should be able to multitask as that’s inherent in humans.
  6. Your subordinate shared a better idea but you don’t trust that they are smart enough; so you insist it must be done your way.
  7. You subordinates are part of a product team but you want to keep them in a siloed functional team where they report to you.
  8. You really need a daily status report - What they are current working on and what they did the previous day.
  9. You believe that you need to help your subordinate prioritise their work as they must be struggling.
  10. You need to make a decision, even when your subordinate could have made these decisions; at the end of the day you are the BOSS.

Does any of these resonates with you? Managers have a crucial role to play in organisations but managers can become too helpful that they get in the way of effective work. Oftentimes, the ways of working is an attempt to optimise for efficiency which ultimately affects the effectiveness of the team. The behaviours listed above might be appropriate in the complicate domain such as Manufacturing, where managers have a desire to maximise the utilization of “machines”. In the complex domain such as product development, these sorts of behaviours tend to have adverse effects on people and are counter-productive. People are a product of their environment and Managers micro-manage for a myriad of reasons, include pressure of deliver, lack of trust, immature teams among others.

Below are some consequences of micromanagement:

  • Burn out: Employee are going to burn out by continuously ensuring that they are always working 40hrs of the week, without time to think, time to develop their skills and time to breathe, reflect on their learnings and decide on how best to tackle future objectives.

  • Lack of Creativity: You will never truly get your employees to unlock and tap into the creativity that is inherent in them; knowledge workers work in a complex domain and will require a lot of creativity to be truly successful in this domain; micro-managers will never get the best of their employees.

  • High rate of Employee Turnover: People that work for a leader that micro-manages are usually low and morale, not committed to the objectives being set for them and It’s only a matter of time and these employees will leave your organisation for better employment when they are valued as professionals that they truly are.

There is a better way to manage people! and the Scrum Framework is a team management framework that I recommend to learn how to build effective individuals that work within effective teams for an effective organisation. You should join one of our Scrum and Agile Leadership workshops to begin to unlearn Micro-Management and learn how to manage people with Goals in the workplace.

You Might Also Like
comments powered by Disqus