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A Balanced View On Micro Management

A very common candidate answer to interview questions relating to “The reasons why you are considering leaving your current company” or “what is important to you regarding the next step in your career” often surrounds micro-management.

“My boss is too controlling and micro manages me” or “regarding the next step in my career I would like to report to a boss who can be described as taking a non-micro management approach to his or her management style for example lets agree on the results expected and when they should be achieved but let me find my own path there”

Here are some general points below on the subject of micro management:

Untrendy and unfashionable approach to management which stifles employee growth

The term micro management is a powerful and a frequent discussion point in human resources across multiple industries and disciplines worldwide. Many argue micro management is ineffective and a result of a leaders insecurity and the need for control that gets in the way of individual and collective achievement. It is also unfashionable – do we know of managers who when asked to describe their management style and philosophies proudly share what a great micro manager they are? No quite the opposite – it is more trendy and popular to proclaim how you leave the team to do their job but are always there to support should they require help or run into difficulties .

Disengages employees and accommodates insecure leaders

It is true many leaders holding positions of authority micro manage highly competent performers due to insecurity and fear. Their own personal needs of recognition come before the team moral and goals. Consequently acting as a hindrance to both.

Before joining a company…SOME PRACTICAL ADVICE

An individual should do their research prior to joining a company and consider a future bosses management style. This can be covered by the individual asking a series of questions to the reporting line in an interview. Be proactive during interviews, collect and qualify. For example:

How would you describe your management style?

Would you consider yourself to have previously used a micro management style and if so in what situations do you think it is necessary to do so?

How often do you hold one to one and team meetings?

How would my performance be measured and in what time period – what does good look like to you?

If I am performing well in what time period would I be able to prove I can continue operating as a team player but also take on some independent tasks?

Do your research and plan your questions before an interview. Take writing materials to the interview with your questions written down and take notes during the interview but keep the eye contact consistent. “Steer around the ice bergs” before you and your future employer commit to each other, in most situations prevention is better than cure.

Before An Employee Complains About Being Micro Managed What Should They Ask Themselves?

On the flip side the best leaders bring a mixed approach to their management and avoid the one size fits all attitude. Sometimes micro management is necessary to industry new comers or under performers. Leaving them alone to suffer in silence because a manager does not want to be viewed as a micro manager will not benefit anyone involved.

Are you living up to your end of the deal and doing your job? For example are you hitting your numbers if your work in sales? If not are you hitting the Key Performance Indicators should the company you work for use them? Are reports, paper work and database tasks handled on time and when agreed? How is your attitude and punctuality? Of course you may have an insecure manager who needs to be controlling and wants to keep you in your place no matter what but before making such conclusions ask yourself these questions, take a look in the mirror first and be honest with yourself.

Is your boss micro managing everyone? Or is it just you and a few others? Are there employees in the team your boss leaves alone? If so why might that be? Think about it before jumping on the “I am being micro managed band wagon"

Now with Covid-19 to contend with ...

Working remotely due to required social distancing will require a more hands off approach to management then ever before. Several of our European based clients found they already had the right organizational culture in place to tackle Covid-19. This promoted self-management, independence , working from home when required but being 100 per cent accountable for getting their job done. Employees of all levels must be self-starters. Covid-19 will provide no room for an old school micro-management style. It will simply not be practical and more draining then ever before for all involved. Even so, both employers and employees must compromise and meet in the middle to create a Covid-19 effective, non- micro management style complimenting a culture of independence , self-empowerment and accountability. This definitely needs to work for organizations to survive and thrive and can only work if both do their part.

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