Don't Micromanage - We Have an Alternative Approach

1st May 2020

Micromanagement Alternative

Micromanagement requires too much control over every little thing people do. You may not like observing other people making mistakes, especially when you would never make those same mistakes yourself. It would feel tempting to correct their mistakes and let them know what they did wrong, but you probably wouldn’t want to embarrass them or cause a scene.

So, what should you do? How do you micromanage them without pointing out every little mistake they make? To figure this out, let’s explore the definition of micromanagement and the best ways to replace micromanagement with something less demoralizing to people.

Overview of Micromanagement

Micromanagement is the practice of personally trying to control every situation in the workplace, including all the actions of your employees. There are some situations where this might be helpful, such as smaller projects with smaller teams, but micromanagement does not work so well on bigger projects.

For example, it is normal for a manager to assign tasks to their employees. The manager will give the employees some basic directions and answer any questions they might have. After that, the manager will leave the employees alone and let them work on their own.

But if the manager decides to micromanage, they will either monitor each movement and action of their employees or request progress reports from too frequently. As a result, employees that make even the smallest mistake will get disciplined by their manager.

Have you ever been in a workplace situation where you had a boss hovering over your shoulder and watching you all the time? If so, then they were micromanaging your workplace activities.

Advantages of Micromanagement

Micromanagement is good for smaller projects. Whenever you have a small team, you have fewer people to work with. That means all their actions are very important for the success of the project. If one team member were to make a mistake, it could have huge consequences on the project. Micromanagement can prevent this from happening.

There are plenty of bad things to say about micromanagement, but there are some good things too. It all depends on the nature of your project.

Let’s go over some possible advantages of micromanagement:

  • Micromanagers control everything
  • Easier to customize workplace functions and operations
  • Offer more personalized help to employees
  • A better understanding of the operations

Employees are required to submit status reports to the micromanager for quality control purposes. The micromanager wants to make sure the work satisfies the standards of the company.

After all, smaller teams are under a lot more pressure to do a good job. New employees can benefit from having their work frequently checked too. That way, they can correct their mistakes and do a better job next time around.

Sometimes you’ll have to deal with a very complicated project that requires specific instructions to be given to employees. Micromanagement is a great way to organize your small teams to tackle these kinds of projects and to successfully see them through to the end.

Larger teams would not do so well on complicated projects under micromanagement.

Disadvantages of Micromanagement

More people think of micromanagement in a negative light. Let’s see why below:

  • Employees don’t feel like they’re trusted
  • Managers forget about the overall objective
  • Employees build resentment toward the micromanager
  • Micromanagers can make mistakes too
  • Employees are more likely to quit
  • Micromanagers and employees become stressed and overworked
  • Too much dependency on the micromanagers
  • Slows workflow productivity in some cases

Micromanagement may be recommended for smaller teams, but that doesn’t mean it will be a pleasant experience for the employees.

How would you like to have a manager always coming around your desk and asking you for updates and status reports? How would you like a manager who is always watching you, whether it’s through a surveillance camera or the glass walls of their office? Then for every tiny mistake you make, they criticize you for it. It is not a pleasant feeling.

Micromanagement conveys a feeling to employees like they’re not trusted by their boss. Employees then become resentful toward their boss, and the working relationship between the two sides is destroyed.

Teams want to make decisions and work independently. Once their actions become criticized every step of the way, they lose confidence in their own ideas and work. It gets to the point where they won’t do anything without approval from the micromanager.

None of the work is scalable or efficient anymore. You have a micromanager who reviews each action of each employee every day. With all that time wasted, teams cannot grow or accomplish new tasks that need to be done. They’re always waiting for the micromanager to finish checking their past work, which could take a very long time because there is so much to check.

At some point, the micromanager will feel stressed and burned out from all that responsibility.

Identifying a Micromanager

You might not always know when you have a micromanager in your midst. But you can find out by noticing certain traits that only a micromanager would have. Some of their biggest traits include:

  • They are usually not happy with all the delivered work.
  • They constantly want you to update them on your work progress.
  • They don’t do anything else other than watch other people and criticize their work.
  • They care too much about the tiny details instead of the overall objectives.
  • They want to make all the decisions without any consideration of other people’s opinions.
  • They want delegated work done over again if a mistake is made.
  • They don’t like to delegate work.
Boss Micromanaging Employee

Again, a small team may benefit from these overbearing traits of a micromanager. However, if the team ever wants to grow and expand their operation, it will be difficult for them if they’re still under the scrutiny of a micromanager.

When delegated work is viewed as unsatisfactory by the micromanager, they will take back those tasks or stop delegating tasks that they don’t think are necessary anymore. A lot of new companies run into this issue with their micromanagement.

The manager will only focus on doing the tasks they’re good at while ignoring the tasks they’re not good at. It gets to the point where they have no choice but to delegate the tasks that they’re not good at.

Workflow Documentation to Replace Micromanagement

If you want to find the perfect replacement to micromanagement, then try workflow documentation instead. It eliminates the need for micromanagement because the instructions on how to complete various tasks are recorded for everyone to see. There is no longer a need for managers to come along and tell everyone what to do all the time.

Of course, you can still have a manager check on the employees periodically to see how they’re doing. It just won’t be a constant everyday thing that becomes annoying. As long as the employees are meeting company standards, then everything is good to go.

If you need to create your workflow processes fast and efficiently, then use CheckFlow because it was designed for this very purpose.

CheckFlow is the most popular business process management software available. It can help you eliminate the need to micromanage your team today.

Do Not Bother with Micromanagement

At the end of the day, micromanagement is too much of a hassle to deal with. Sure, it has some advantages in certain circumstances, but it ends up becoming a burden on the employees if it is used for too long.

Micromanagement may be helpful for managing smaller teams, but that still won’t stop the employees from resenting you and not trusting you. If employees have to be totally dependent on a micromanager watching them all the time and telling them what to do, they will eventually want to quit over the stress it creates.

On the other hand, workflow documentation eliminates this problem because it is more effective and gives employees a feeling of trust and independence in the workplace. Employees can still uphold the standards of the company without being watched all the time. That is what everyone should want in the organization.