Have you ever heard the word "micromanager" used in a positive sense? Neither have I. A micromanager can really suck the joy -- and the success -- out of a team.
The funny thing is, this kind of manager probably believes that the over-the-top vigilance is a service to the team and to the organization. But no one does his best work when the boss is constantly looking over his shoulder.
Here are just a few ways that a micromanager can hurt your organization.
1. Employees Don't Reach their Full Potential
In a healthy, growing organization, new employees are trained and mentored. They learn, grow, and master their jobs, and then they move up the ladder to the next level.
If a boss can't let go and trust the employee to do his job – if he continues to tell the employee exactly what to do and when to do it – the team member will have no chance to flex muscles and to develop skills.
What a waste of expensive recruiting!
2. The Manager Doesn't Reach his Full Potential
By spending so much time obsessing over lower level work, the micromanager will waste time better spent on higher level responsibilities such as strategy and planning.
It is exhausting to monitor every team member at all times. Managerial burn out is a real threat.
3. Innovation is Impeded
When employees are taught that there is only one correct path to the successful completion of a goal, there is no incentive to create new and innovative solutions.
The micromanaged employee feels little job engagement and is unlikely to take the initiative to try new ideas.
1. Employee Competence is Difficult to Measure
When employees only robotically follow the manager's detailed instructions, or when the manager performs many of the lower level tasks himself, it is very difficult to evaluate the employee's skills -- or lack of skills.
Incompetent employees may be kept on because the manager completes or corrects tasks himself. Talented team members may get bored or frustrated and quit.
2. Team Members are not held Accountable
If employees have no autonomy and no authority to make decisions regarding how they reach their goals, they do not feel accountable for the outcome. The manager has all of the authority and all of the responsibility. The manager has co-opted the accountability of the entire team.
How to Fix Micromanagement with Accountability
- First and foremost, assemble a great team.
- Train that team and give them the tools for success. The manager's job is to provide clear goals, expectations, milestones and deliverables for the team. They need the "what" and the "when," but not the "how."
- Encourage communication. Team members need to know that they can come to the manager if they run into problems.
- Trust – but verify. Team members will thrive when given the freedom to reach clearly defined goals as they see fit. But the manager must know whether milestones are being met as expected and on time. He may need to keep a closer eye on some areas or employees. Things rarely go according to plan, but a well informed manager can tweak the plans as the project proceeds.
- Accept that there may be a few failures along the way. Don’t overreact. It may be that the employee needs more training and mentoring. The team member will grow through the process. If an employee continues to under perform, the manager is equipped with good information when it is time for performance reviews.
Learn more by downloading our Ultimate Guide to Accountability in the Workplace here:
The Ultimate Accountability Tool
CommandHound is a tool that has been designed from the ground up to manage employees by communicating concrete expectations and enforcing clear accountability to make sure things get done. How? By tracking individuals performance at the milestone level.
Want to learn more about unlocking the benefits of accountability?