Managing Micromanagers

Managing micromanagers

We often hear complaints in organisations about micromanagers. The inference is that this is not a good attribute for managers and supervisors to adopt. How important is managing micromanagers? There are many studies that confirm that this approach creates undesirable features in the workplace, including.

  • Creating dependent, unengaged and resentful employees
  • Loss of employee initiative, confidence, development and creativity
  • Employee stress, anxiety and low self-esteem, often leading to high staff turnover
  • Loss of teamwork ethos and general efficiency
  • Both Management and employee burnout

Micro-managing is a relationship issue within organisations and as such there are two approaches to resolving its negative effects. Firstly, the manager needs to be self-aware of the influence and impact of their micromanaging behaviour on the team and its performance. Understanding the effect of one’s own behaviour on the way in which the team operates is the first step toward identifying improvement. Secondly, the employees need to take some constructive initiatives in responding to the Manager’s behaviour.

From the Manager’s side, they need to:

  • Find ways to develop confidence and trust in their teams, through delegation.
  • Develop better ways of monitoring performance through effective reporting.
  • Provide clear direction and the tools necessary to do the job to the Manager’s expectations.
  • Communicate clearly and regularly with the team, listening to their concerns and suggestions.

From the employees’ side, they need to:

  • Find ways to develop the Manager’s confidence and trust, through a track record of high-performance.
  • Provide effective and regular reporting and updates to the Manager on work outputs and quality.
  • Provide constructive feedback to the Manager to help improve systems and procedures that assist the team’s productivity.
  • Actively seek out guidance and priorities from the Manager, pre-empting the need for the Manager’s intervention.

Often these actions are difficult to initiate from either side, depending on the workplace environment and the relationship between the manager and the employees. Where executive management has identified this as an issue, helpful mentoring and support is essential. External facilitation may also be an alternative where there is some imbalance in the relationship that makes either or both parties uncomfortable in the discussion.

Need an effective workplace facilitator?call in Reinforcements..

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