Economics/Business

What is micromanagement/problems/How to prevent

We know that one of the roles of a good manager is to monitor the progress of the tasks of their subordinates and provide the necessary assistance so that everything runs smoothly. However, what is the boundary between closer management and micromanagement ? How healthy is all this care for the team and the relationship between people?

In this article, we will explain what micromanagement is and the main problems that this practice can cause in a company. Then, we will present some suggestions for efficient management, maintaining a balance between monitoring activities and trusting the team. Follow up!

What is micromanagement?

Micromanagement is a management practice that consists of the detailed control of the activities carried out by each employee. Managers who follow this path demand many reports, follow-up meetings and demand that everything that is done by the team goes through its scrutiny before being finalized.

To a large extent, micromanagement is caused by the manager’s own behavioral characteristics , who have difficulties in fully trusting other people. Some influences from the environment are quite common in the formation of this leadership profile, such as excessive demands from higher levels and the examples of managers that the person has had throughout his career. 

What problems does it cause on teams?

Having everything under control sounds good, but micromanagement goes beyond simple follow-up, so it ends up with some unwanted side effects. See which ones are most relevant.

Limitation of professional development

The freedom to innovate and creativity are key elements for the development of an employee , who needs to feel safe to risk new things, experiment with theories and propose changes that can make a difference in the sector’s routine. This is only possible if it has room for trial and error.

A micromanager is not able to provide all of this, as he feels the need to be present at every step, so that everything goes according to his vision. It’s like learning to ride a bicycle using training wheels. As long as the training wheels are not removed, the person will not be able to evolve in their learning.

Weakening of the trust relationship

Micromanagement affects the trust relationship between leader and subordinates in two ways. The first, with regard to the credibility placed on the followers in carrying out their tasks. If the manager himself does not trust that the job can be done well, how could these employees believe in his potential? 

Which brings us to the second point, which translates into the shock of the professionals’ self-confidence . Something that damages not only the career of each one, but also the opportunities for innovation and development of the business as a whole.

Increased team turnover

Any dissatisfaction with issues of lack of confidence and exaggerated control over everything tends to increase the team’s demotivation and, consequently, the chances of losing excellent professionals to the market. High turnover , in addition to causing financial losses, also affects productivity and the progress of activities in the sector, which needs to integrate new hires more frequently.

Loss of macro view of the business

A micromanager spends a good part of his time controlling the sector’s operations and does so in such a detailed way that it is almost as if he performed the entire service himself. Thus, there is no space left on the agenda to take care of more strategic issues , such as the analysis of the team’s results, alignment with business objectives and medium and long-term planning. 

How to prevent micromanagement in company management?

Micromanagement is quite harmful for the company, so it can be avoided if some precautions are taken. Check out which ones they are. 

1. Get ready for a mindset change

One of the main impasses of micromanagement is that it represents a manager’s way of thinking. In the mind of a micromanager, he is not exaggerating and can keep up with everything, yet he needs to have control or something really bad ends up happening.

Therefore, the first change needed to avoid micromanagement is in the mindset of leaders. Therefore, it is critical that these people understand the importance of being more flexible and trusting their teams more . Without this, none of the following steps will be effective.

2. Lose the fear of delegating functions

Fear is a natural reaction to a risky situation, the point is that, in the case of micromanagement, this threat is not real. The manager needs to realize that his team can do the job and that one mistake or another is totally normal and acceptable. 

In this sense, delegating functions is putting a task entirely under someone else’s responsibility . Let her do everything to the end, trust her team.

3. Strengthen relationships with your team members

Trust is not something that is born overnight, it is built over a period of coexistence. In this sense, leaders who spend more time with their subordinates create stronger bonds, and may even become friends beyond the company. 

Participating in happy hours and break-time conversations are great opportunities to learn more about the people behind the badges and build confidence in them. 

4. Review industry processes

Finally, analyze the sector’s processes and see if they can be streamlined , with fewer approval steps and more freedom for professionals to work. To do this, reduce the frequency of checking some reports, not everything needs to be checked daily or weekly. 

Therefore, focus more team time on execution and more management time on tactical and strategic activities.

Beware of micromanagement

As we have seen, micromanagement is a dangerous practice that can bring many problems to team management. Thus, trust is the keyword to prevent it from happening and end up harming the performance of professionals and the company’s results. So, if you are going through this situation and want to reverse the situation, follow the tips we have given here and ensure more efficient management.

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