On Micromanagement: Pros and Cons of a Rather Controversial (?) Leadership Method
There’s undoubtedly a long list of management methods – managers from different kinds of establishments have the opportunity to create their own approaches and check which ones prove to be working when it comes to team leadership and project execution. But if there’s one management method that keeps on receiving mixed feedback and is believed to be rather controversial, it’s micromanagement.
To me, the controversial nature of the subject comes from the fact that quite easily managers can fall victim to embracing micromanagement in two of its extremities.
On the one hand, we have the die-hard micromanager who goes to great lengths in terms of control and following their employees’ every initial step in the process. Then, on the other hand, we have the individual who crosses out micromanagement altogether and leaves their employees just be. Needless to say, both approaches have pros and cons – today’s article aims at showcasing why balancing between the two extremities promises to deliver outstanding results in the long term.
Micromanagement’s Pros: How to Not Cross the Line
Before we get to the point, first we need to make something clear: there’s a huge difference between team leaders and a company’s CEO; while team leaders are supposed to watch over their designated employees, CEOs, on the other hand, may oftentimes find it hard letting go of controlling everything and may start interfering in leaders’ job. Essentially, that’s part of that said exorbitance – and is oftentimes the very reason why micromanagement gets doomed and considered limiting and unproductive.
However, if executed right, micromanagement has indeed lots of benefits.
- It’s time-efficient – through daily or weekly meetings, projects are being discussed in detail and this allows teams and employees to come up with a great working plan and stick to it together with frequent feedback and results observations;
- It promises accurate results – the fact that every step of the project execution is thoroughly examined usually foreshadows the expected results; this leaves room for safe ground that is much-needed in stressful jobs and multiple projects;
- The manager’s interference on frequent occasions immensely decreases the chance of mistakes – careful project management and the execution of the tasks usually give away the proper roadmap so mistakes are easily avoided;
- Managers can add up to the project execution by providing a high-level experience – perhaps one of the micromanagement’s biggest benefits is the fact that high-level experiences usually give a broader perspective and let people come up with better work-related solutions;
- Employees have regular support at their disposal – since the majority of micromanagement tactics involve the managers participating in the process, this often means support and useful feedback for all members of the team;
As we can see, micromanagement done right can in fact offer multiple benefits that would improve not only the project execution but also the overall work atmosphere. But the reason why so many people seem to avoid micromanagement and perceive it as a not successful leadership approach is its cons – if misinterpreted, micromanagement can indeed do harm.
Beware of the Cons: They Are What Could Wreck the Entire Business Organisation
Micromanagement’s cons are connected mostly with the inability of letting go of control – essentially, trusting the employees and team leaders with their jobs requires a certain level of going with the flow and trusting their expertise.
This could be truly difficult for long-term entrepreneurs who are used to organizing and dictating all processes and work agendas. But as you are about to see, excessive micromanagement almost always leads up to more problems than solutions. Here’s a short list of some of the approach’s cons:
- Excessive micromanagement has the potential to ruin the team spirit and harm the relationships among the staff – if the manager constantly interferes with everyone’s job, this could easily be misinterpreted as a lack of trust; essentially, employees might lose their passion for the job;
- It cuts back on freedom and the ability to showcase one’s potential – when there’s a lack of trust, there’s also no room to grow; in order for employees to develop their skills and acquire new ones, they need to feel free to explore their professional aspirations and put them into practice;
- Micromanagement could pose a threat to increased employee turnover – people deciding to leave for good and finding a place where their judgment is being trusted is truly unfortunate but possible;
- It’s a motivation and proactivity killer – if employees are not allowed to express their opinions, and points of view or offer new and interesting work approaches, then their motivation and proactivity might soon hit rock bottom;
As you can see, there are two sides to micromanagement – losing the balance could quickly lead to a disastrous chain of events. But the good news is that implementing the best of both worlds has truly the potential to elevate anyone’s management skills and turn them into great leaders. After all, it’s what we all, both leaders and employees, seek out and expect at the workplace.