It Might Be You: Why Your Management Style Might be Making Your Projects Fail (And How You Can Fix That) Pt. 3

Business man trying to handle workload

The Dangers of Micromanaging in Regards to Productivity:

The human tendency when something needs to be done is to get involved and make sure it happens. In other words, take control. This is especially true with “Type A” personalities, who are perfectionists by nature. If this sounds like you, micromanaging could become an issue, and will likely reduce your employees’ overall productivity. The following outlines why micromanaging is so detrimental and how you can avoid it a project manager:

Micromanaging Increases Stress:

According to an article in the Los Angeles Times that evaluated productivity in various companies, micromanaging can and does lead to stress. In some cases, micromanaging might seem to be working early on, according to the article. However, after a while, the stress of having someone “lord over you” gives way and employees begin getting stressed and this eventually results in a loss of productivity. It can also increase health issues and workplace accidents as well.

How to Change It: As a manager, you have to fight your natural desire to “take charge” and micromanage. Realize how this makes your employees feel. Put yourself in their shoes. One employee quoted in the article said this about how micromanaging made him feel, “we’re just like human machines. They (employers or managers) don’t care whether we feel good, or if we’re having a bad day.” Keep this in mind next time you are tempted to take over.

 

Micromanaging Can Over Complicate Simple Tasks:

As a manager, your job is to oversee those who work under you. However, this doesn’t mean you have to tell them how to do their job per say. The old country saying “there is more than one way to skin a cat,” is applicable here. Your employee might have a way they like handling certain tasks, and you prefer them done a different way. Well, unless their way is simply wrong or dangerous, why do you fight it? Why worry about how they get to the finish line if they make it there. When you nitpick, it just makes getting the job done harder and hampers production. Of course, if an employee isn’t completing their job, this becomes a completely different issue.

 

How to Change It: It’s important that you understand the fact that every time you force your way on your employees in an unhelpful way, it reduces their productivity. Perhaps, because you want things the way you want them, they have to redo things that aren’t wrong, but just aren’t how you want them. This in turn makes them apathetic. They might think, “why bother doing the job, when we are just going to have to change it anyway.” Therefore, keep check of the final product, but don’t feel you have to be involved in every single step. It just isn’t productive.

 

Micromanaging Hampers Employees Aspirations:

Many employees just starting out have the desire to one day make it to management themselves. However, micromanagement from their superior can derail this goal. After all, how will an employee ever learn how to think on their feet, if you as a manager are always right there telling them what to do next? This in turn will make an employee whose goal was to move up become discouraged and eventually become less productive in the process.

How to Change It: Understand that just as a child falls down countless times before they can walk; your employees will stumble a few times as well. Just remember that your goal is for them to grow as employees. They can’t do that with you hovering over their shoulder or controlling what they say and do, though. So, especially when an employee shows management potential, back off somewhat in regards to control.

Micromanaging is a big temptation as a manager. After all, you want things how you want them, when you want them and with a smile. However, you must remember that management means overseeing, not doing. It means shepherding instead of controlling, guiding instead of dictating. If you remember that, you will become a fantastic manager who is overseeing many productive employees.