The mark of an effective manager is to know when to be hands-on and when to take a step back and delegate. Micromanagement occurs when management feels they must have control of every process or detail, and don’t allow for autonomy within their staff. Check out these signs that your workplace may have a micromanagement problem:
- Processes Take Longer Than Expected
If productivity is slipping and deadlines are consistently being pushed back or missed, take a look to see if micromanaging is playing a role. If a manager must sign off on every step or make employees redo acceptable and functional things because they aren’t considered “perfect,” it will hinder time management significantly. Plus, micromanagement doesn’t teach employees how to prioritize or problem solve, which also holds up productivity. Alleviate this issue by expressing clear expectations up front for employees and then only getting involved if they are not met – instead of proactively striking.
- Engagement is Lacking
Engagement is what managers should ideally be striving for with their employees – it refers to the emotional connection to one’s job and the outcome. Rather than performing tasks at a satisfactory level just for the paycheck or to prevent disciplinary action, engaged employees go above and beyond because they are personally invested in their jobs. Accountability builds engagement because employees have ownership, but micromanaging takes away all feelings of ownership. Provide employees the chance to enact their own ideas on how to do things – they’ll likely put forth more effort than if they were simply following orders.
- Top Talent Retention is Declining
High turnover is problematic, but even worse is if retention rates are lowest among your top talent. The most ambitious and qualified workers want to be challenged and will feel stifled by managers that don’t seem to value their contributions or undermine their abilities through micromanaging. Keep your top talent and attract more by eliminating micromanagement in favor of employee coaching and allowing your workers chances to take risks and grow. If you know you have top talent, show that you trust them to perform well.
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