Do you intervene too extensively in your subordinates’ activities? Are you reluctant to trust the capabilities of your team? Do you control people rather than the processes?
Well, these are the signs that you are into micromanagement!
Micromanagement is monitoring your subordinates and team members extensively. It requires the team to take approval for everything they do. This leads to being fully involved in the team’s work, thereby limiting creativity, autonomy, and input. It often results in enhanced attrition.
A boss who micromanages is like a coach who wants to get in the game.
– Simon Sinek, Author & Speaker
Micromanagement is mostly unwanted intervention. Study by three eminent professors from Harvard University shows that people have strong negative emotional and physiological reactions to this unwanted help and that it can erode interpersonal relationships.
However, managers cannot be completely laissez-faire. People doing complex work need assistance and it has to be both well-timed and appropriate to their work related issues. So, how can you give your subordinates the assistance they need without undermining their sense of efficacy and independence?
The professors suggest the following three strategies:
- Plan the timing of your help so it comes when the team is ready for it
- Clarify that your role is to be a ‘helper’
- Align your involvement – its intensity and frequency – with the team’s specific needs
Micromanagement has positive impacts like enhanced control, easy delegation of work, high engagement with team, etc. Also, negative impacts like trust deficiency, increased attrition, dependant staff, narrow scope, etc.
An efficient manager is expected to do the balancing act seamlessly!