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How Should Employers Avoid Micromanagement?

July 10, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Although micromanagers usually face the disdain of HR experts and most members of the workforce, in some ways, their intent is in the right place--it's their execution and habits that are annoying and counterproductive. Yet, according to an Accountemps survey, a full 6 of 10 US workers indicate they have worked for micromanagers at some point during their career.

Historical data indicate that micromanaging causes decreases in worker productivity, morale and job satisfaction. The inability to successfully delegate responsibility to others is the commonly accepted reason for managers developing this annoying practice. However, there may be a more basic underlying foundation for this habit.

Trust Issues?

Could it be trust issues that fuel this management 'style?' How, you ask?

  • Managers may lack trust in themselves to make the best decisions.

  • Possibly, managers may not trust their teams to process tasks or projects successfully.

Managers who have a 'perfectionist' personality are particularly prone to micromanaging. They often believe no one can complete details as well as they do it. In a way, this is the unspoken basis for the business theory icon, "The Peter Principal."

Since many employers historically promote from within those employees who have performed exceptionally individually, they often wonder why the same superstars fail miserably in line management positions. Were these employees simply promoted to their personal 'level of incompetence' or has management ignored the signs that these workers have neither the training nor the aptitude for managing others?

How Employers Can Avoid Micromanagment

  • Make a commitment to recruit the 'right' candidates. Screen candidates to find those dedicated to accountability.

  • Create peer pressure on workers to be accountable to each other. Your corporate culture will determine employee behavior; if it's positive, so are your employees. If it's not, you experience performance and accountability problems.

  • Be clear with your expectations for your staff. When your workers know what you or the company expects from them, it becomes easier to avoid micromanaging and equally easier to delegate responsibility.

  • Offer 'ownership' in the company. A popular mantra for companies is their stated desire for workers to produce as if they were entrepreneurs or owners of the company. Install recognition, bonus and/or profit sharing programs that help workers feel like owners. Most will also perform because they care about their company.

  • Install HR software solutions that automate multiple processes. This provides added time to focus on employee and management development. Using employee information software helps smaller companies stay in compliance, while freeing up scarce time needed to create the atmosphere of accountability and eliminate micromanagement tendencies of entrepreneurs.

Just as HR software solutions offers affordable automation solutions for smaller businesses, these tips will help companies install effective measures to curtail micromanaging, improving staff and manager performance. Commit to some or all of these suggestions to avoid the dangers of micromanagement.

Tags: HR software small business employee information
Category: HR Software Solutions

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