Every manager or CEO has their own way of leading their team. While some managers believe in empowering their subordinates with autonomy, others prefer to keep discretion to themselves. However, the brightest managers are those who constantly adapt their leadership style to reflect the latest workplace trends. Talking about workplace trends, you already know that things in the workplace change very quickly. Now that remote work and hybrid offices are the new dimension of work, there’s a lot to reconsider.
However, as a manager, you should examine whether micromanagement is relevant to today’s corporate culture. Are the positive effects of micromanaging enough to outweigh the downsides, or vice versa? Every leader should keep this in mind when considering the meaning or relevance of micromanagement.
It is an undeniable fact that managers are not without problems. Your team is your responsibility, you must oversee it effectively and ultimately you are responsible for your team. This often creates a dilemma for managers. You can never be sure how much autonomy your team will give. In the end, your productivity will be watched when your team members underperform. Here you can feel the compulsive tendency to micromanage. However, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons of micromanagement. Before we get into that, let’s try to understand the importance of this business management style.
What is micromanagement?
The term micromanagement is self-explanatory for the most part. It is a leadership style in which the manager tries to control or oversee every little detail in a team or workplace. This can also be understood as the opposite of giving team members freedom and believing in their abilities. A micromanager shows little faith in his team members to let them go their own way. Of course, in some cases this may prove mandatory and lead to greater efficiency. But is it always like this? Let’s dig a little deeper to understand the pros and cons of being a micromanager.
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When you micromanage, you contribute to the effectiveness of each team member by mentoring them. As a manager, you naturally have more experience than your team. So when you micromanage, you are constantly instilling a sense of direction in your subordinates. In addition, you can track their mistakes, predict and prevent failures. Thus, micromanagement appears to be a bright style of business management.
Plus, your strong interest in all aspects of workflow management can drive better collaboration. It also provides a continuous flow of information and important details. In fact, it becomes much more important in a remote work culture. According to GoRemotely, 83 percent of employees now rely on technology for collaboration. Additionally, SalesForce concluded that lack of collaboration is a major cause of inefficiency in the workplace. More than 86 percent of employees and managers cited it as the leading cause of absenteeism from work. You can prevent the consequences of a lack of cooperation through micromanagement. They are the key where the team aligns its interests and goals.
- You can provide better support
Not all employees feel secure enough to do their own work. It’s quite possible that not everyone on your team is looking for flexibility and autonomy. Instead, they seek constant support and feedback from their superiors. Everyone has their own pace of learning and that’s fair enough. From now on, you will be a supportive manager for employees who want to continuously upgrade their skills. They will appreciate you keeping track of everything, pointing out their mistakes and helping them grow.
As Lohrman cited, 87 percent of millennials say they want to learn on the job. However, micromanagement can create a supportive work environment.
They can ensure better sincerity in the team
When you micromanage, your team knows you’re watching them every step of the way. This will bring out in them the best sense of discipline and sincerity. In this day and age, when most companies are embracing the remote work culture, employees can take unfair advantage of it. Since he didn’t have anyone to watch over him while they were working from home, they were able to exercise their freedom. It is possible that they will become relaxed with their sincerity and ability to work. However, if you micromanage it, you eliminate such a possibility.
It is understandable that the overall performance of an organization will be affected when employees start to lose diligence. In the end, the responsibility lies with you. You must ensure that your employees are honest, responsible and engaged at all times. Remote workers may have engagement issues, according to Buffers 2021 State of Remote Work. While 15 percent of employees are overwhelmed by distractions at home, 12 percent struggle to stay motivated. To solve this problem, micromanagement is probably the best approach.
Disadvantages of Micromanagement
This can lead to higher employee turnover
Given the high cost of recruiting, no company wants a high turnover rate. In fact, every company tries to develop and invest in different strategies for high employee retention. Likewise, companies place great emphasis on the need to encourage high levels of employee engagement.
In most cases, micromanagement tends to annoy employees and they quit or quit. To confirm this, a study by Trinity Solutions concluded that 69 percent of workers are considering changing jobs due to micromanagement.
In addition, according to the aforementioned survey, 36 percent of employees have changed jobs due to micromanagement. Additionally, micromanagement can lead to lower employee engagement. One of the key characteristics of highly engaged teams is their autonomy. As a result, massive micromanagement can reduce retention and engagement. Better to have a balanced and sensitive approach to micromanagement as well.
This can hinder creativity and motivation at work
According to LinkedIn Learning, creativity is the most important skill. Creative employees create added value and diverse perspectives in the workplace. This is why companies are hiring for creativity. You need people who can think outside the box for strategy and problem solving. But according to Gallup, 35 percent of employees feel they don’t get enough creative freedom. For employees to bring out the best in their creative talents, they want their managers to support them. Rather than micromanaging, they want their boss to have more trust in them to do things their own way. They want a work environment that inspires them to express their creativity and value thinking outside the box. But if you micromanage, you can destroy your team’s creativity forever.
Likewise, a lack of empowerment can affect employee motivation. It goes without saying that falling motivation leads to a decrease in labor productivity. Increased autonomy leads to greater role clarity, engagement, alignment and adaptability. All these virtues contribute to employee performance motivation. However, not many workers feel that they have much or no autonomy in their work. This prevents them from realizing and developing their true potential. As you can see, too much micromanagement can limit individual and organizational productivity.
Micromanagement can lead to employee burnout
No manager will like that; The people on your team are under constant pressure and prone to burnout. A depressed mind cannot do its best. It is a well-known fact that burnt-out employees have nothing to offer the organization. If you micromanage and tend to interrupt employees at all levels, it can create tremendous work-related stress. In fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, 40 percent of workers report extreme stress at work. While human problems account for 26 percent of workplace stress, workload accounts for 44 percent. As a manager, you don’t want to add stress to your employees.
Instead, you want to support them, inspire them, and encourage them to align their goals with those of the company. When employees are stressed, they also begin to balance their work and life. With each passing day, they lose steam and can soon become a liability for the team. What employees are more likely to want from their managers is empathy. Empathy in the workplace is more desirable than ever in times of the ongoing COVID pandemic. Everyone experiences emotional trauma and insecurity during COVID-19. However, more emotional support is what managers need to do now. Therefore, micromanagement as the basis of corporate governance is not highly valued.
In short, micromanagement comes with great advantages and disadvantages. While it has benefited from a management perspective, it is not appreciated by most employees. It is now a widely accepted fact that the future of work is a long way off. While micromanagement can be very important in remote organizations, flexibility and autonomy are more desirable virtues. However, you should find the right balance between supervision and empowerment. The more you empower your employees, the more confident you are in their independent work, and the better results they will achieve. If you can instill trust in your team members, you don’t have to micromanage them.