Do you have to constantly look over your shoulder to see if anyone is checking on you? Have you ever felt like ‘Big Brother’ is watching your every move in the office? You probably had that one boss that you really disliked because of their micromanagement. They try to control and supervise everything that you do, even the littlest things! Arguably, micromanagement might lead to better results because it’s done his or her way, which in their eyes, it is the “right” way. But more often than not, it affects the employee’s growth and engagement. Based on a survey conducted in 2014 by Accountemps, 59% of employees surveyed have worked for a micromanager. More than 50% also reported that micromanagement has negatively affected their work and office morale. But is micromanaging all that bad? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of micromanagement before you decide.
One of the perks of micromanagement is that you get timely feedback about your work. Yes, it can be stifling and demoralizing for your manager to scrutinize and criticize your work at every juncture. But think about the opposite. Imagine if you dedicated so much time into a project only to find out at the last minute that it is off focus? A hands-off manager who does not offer feedback or support makes it challenging for you to complete your work and determine if you are going in the right direction.
Helps New Hires
Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a manager that supports and guides you at every step? This is especially important if this was your first job or if you are new to the company. Rather than throwing you into the deep-end of the pool and watching you struggle, it will be comforting to have a manager who is always there to support and guide you. You would be able to quickly understand the company’s ways of working and assimilate into the company’s culture.
Influence Business-Critical Tasks
More often than not, projects are multi-departmental and we are unable to understand the full picture. A micromanager is often someone who is knowledgeable, has a bird’s eye view of what is happening and a perfectionist. Their knowledge would be able to set the direction for decision making especially if this is the first-time you are embarking on a project. Getting down to the nitty gritty details also means that problems will be nipped in the bud before they can manifest.
High-Staff Turnover Rate
As if work is not stressful enough, having someone dictating what you should do during work just makes things more frustrating than it should be. Trust is the bedrock organizational success. When managers micromanage, it is often a sign that do not trust their employees and think that they are too incompetent to handle complicated tasks alone. When employees do not feel valued for their inputs, unhappiness will arise and they will seek alternative career paths that will allow them to grow.
Let’s use this analogy, if a mother always dictates what the child should do, the child will only learn to follow instructions and lack the creative streak in them. Same goes for work. Without the freedom to explore alternative ways of working, you will always be stuck using the same methods which might not be necessarily efficient. Be careful, being too reliant on a micromanager is also dangerous for your company. Employees can become too reliant on the micromanager and lack the creative problem-solving skills that are needed for a company to grow.
Do you find your projects moving too slowly? Have you lost a client because of the vast amount of paperwork and approvals that you have to submit? In the worst case scenario, micromanaging is two people doing a job that can be accomplished by one. Think about it. The time wasted on supervising could have been used to do more productive work. Rather than wasting time justifying your work and having to seek approvals, you could have went home on time. If you are wondering why your company has poor performance, inefficiency from micromanaging could be the reason.
Now that you are aware of the pros and cons of micromanaging, what do you think? Are you for or against it? If you are being micromanaged by your manager, speak to them about it. Who knows? They could be unaware that they are micromanagers. Give them the assurance by goal-setting together and prove to them that you are capable. If you are the micromanager, loosen your leash on your employees. It is alright to be involved in every project especially when you are in a small firm, but know when to let go and give your employees the freedom to explore and experiment.