Micromanage or Train? Choose Wisely
The Journal of Experimental Psychology produced a study that reasoned that being micromanaged and supervised would minimize the executive function of the individual and make it easier to disrupt them. This makes it a lot harder for workers to learn quickly and adapt to new circumstances. Consequently, this can create a vicious cycle in which the worker begins to perform poorly and thus experiences more pressure and micromanaging from their boss.
In this blog, I am going to deep dive into a discussion on micromanagement and employee training, which is better than the other, what are the best practices, and how to become an effective leader.
So, what is micromanagement?
Micromanagement means an individual managing a team under a microscope.
It can be both; a curse and a blessing.
When in small projects, this is often beneficial. Micromanagement typically results in the manager losing sight of the bigger image and frustrating the department by being unnecessarily supervised.
It will mean that the boss gives the job to you, checks if you need something and states what is required, and then allows you to finish the job. They must be open to speaking to without explicitly intervening with the job and slowing down the process.
If they micromanage instead, they will either monitor each move or request status reports more frequently than usual. They would punish you for the smallest error or for doing a job differently from how they would do it.
So, if your manager is annoyingly involved in your day-to-day tasks, always questioning your performance, and doubting your capabilities, you are being micromanaged.
Have you ever been micromanaged?
Let us say you are an individual who is passionate about his work, completes his projects on time and with utmost quality, always has a plan, and ways to execute that plan on time.
Yet, still, somehow, you feel like your boss is always monitoring your work, pointing out every deviation, and is always criticizing your work.
I have been micromanaged ones and I hated it big time. I want a peaceful work environment where my boss trusts me completely. I feel all right when I am given a priority task or basic directions to finish it. But I lose my passion when I am continuously interrupted and told what to do and how to do it.
It is quite a pain. Isn’t it?
On the contrary, would you hate it so much if instead of being micromanaged, you are getting training to acquire the missing skills, being certified with top-notch certifications, and given a chance to work with the industry leaders to complete a project?
It won’t suck that much, huh?
This leads me to switch my job, find myself in a company where I am trained to get new skills instead of humiliated by getting micromanaged. I did that and joined QuickStart.
QuickStart is an IT training provider that helps thousands of organizations to achieve workforce readiness by providing the required training to their employees. It is also a platform for individuals who want to break into their careers and join Fortune 500 companies. However, it is not just that, at QuickStart, employees feel motivated to complete their tasks with 100% quality. Here, if employees are lacking skills, they are trained to acquire those skills with numerous courses and certifications. Employees are given a chance to learn from industry leaders. Instead of being micromanaged, QuickStart builds its employees with high-end training and coaching.
What is training?
Training means developing or teaching skills and knowledge to build competencies. Training has clear objectives of improving skills, efficiency, and productivity.
Employee Training vs Micromanagement
This goes without saying, employee training means to educate your employees with the in-demand courses, tools, and trends, and help them in becoming a better version of themselves. In a training capacity, you can easily be successful — you can help new workers learn the ropes or prepare employees for new roles.
On the other hand, Micromanagement is intense scrutiny. The tiniest detail will hold tremendous significance, much to everyone's annoyance. Micromanagers usually do not completely trust the employees or workers. They constantly challenge the behavior of employees, closely track every step of employees, and dictate every assignment of employees.
So, let's contrast the difference between micromanagement and employee training:
Employee training offers basic skills and abilities to workers in current positions to promote and enhance employee productivity.
Micromanagement is a style of management in which a manager closely watches and/or monitors and/or informs his subordinates or workers of their work. Primarily because it indicates a lack of independence in the workplace, is commonly perceived to have a bad connotation.
Employee training indirectly empowers workers in their employment to be more productive and successful. It also increases the motivation of workers, which improves efficiency and productivity.
An article by USA Today demonstrated that micromanagement makes employees more distracted and less productive. Constant scrutiny reduces productivity along with increased finessing and input. In order to process and incorporate constant feedback and changes to their processes, workers have to slow down their work. It could also cause them to question their skills to independently accomplish projects. This leads to a workforce that relies on their boss for direction to complete their job. Hence, productivity is compromised.
Training provides employees with the skills and knowledge they need to combat and prevent any errors on the job. It makes them confident and cherished. As a result, their morales are high and they give their best to complete the projects successfully.
Employees tend to experience a lack of control when micromanaged. They will eventually lose the ability to surpass expectations for a mission and take pride in what they're doing. They'll restrict themselves to much of what their boss requests. Basically, they avoid trying, and their levels of interaction decrease. Inadvertently or deliberately, micromanagers prevent others from making decisions by putting aside their workers' knowledge and expertise as they take care of their jobs.
A Harvard Business Review report concluded that the lack of prospects for career advancement was a significant cause of workplace discontent and constant job switches. As workers believe that businesses invest in their futures instead of just their existing job positions, it improves their loyalty, performance, and productivity. As an outcome, they are more willing to invest back in the business. In addition, individuals actually like feeling respected and being knowledgeable. They report higher levels of job satisfaction when they believe they are critical to a company and are well equipped to do their duties well, contributing to lower absenteeism and turnover rates.
Persistent micromanagement causes individuals to leave their jobs. It ruins the relationship between employees and managers. The continuous monitoring of their work, repeatedly going over every aspect of their tasks, and revamping the processes the way the micromanager would like it, drains a skillful workforce, and directs them to search for a better alternative of a job. The effort, time, and resources needed to employ replacements also adversely affect the profit of the company.
Leadership has an immense effect on an organization's success. Therefore, it is important to train and retain talent to shift into these positions. Offering quality training and experience to employees readies them to take your organization to new heights.
When workers interact less with each other and mostly or only with the micromanager, the teamwork is destroyed. It can make workers feel unrewarded and unappreciated. By regulating their every move, micromanagers underrate the abilities, expertise, and talent of their employees. Over time, micromanagers pay a serious burden on the wellbeing of their workers. Without the freedom to make choices, being supervised at work makes workers more prone to become stressed. That in return affects the organizational success and such companies face the wrath of their own mismanagement, which we better call micromanagement.
How to Cope with Micromanagement – Advise for Employees
A helicopter manager is not a treat to the eyes. Micromanagement is a source of dissatisfaction and inefficiency in most workplaces. Yet, it is quite common. Mostly, micromanagers argue that they do not intend to micromanage. However, they ought to as workers are not responsible and do not provide the deliverables promptly. On the other hand, employees tell you that confidence and motivation are not given by bosses to enable them to succeed and grow. In all probability, both are right in some regard.
But the question is, how to stop someone from micromanaging? Or how to cope with a micromanager without affecting productivity? Here is what I will suggest to you.
Investigate the Source.
The first thing that you should do is sit down with your manager and try to understand where he is coming from. Usually, there are three reasons to micromanage the employees:
- The urge to complete the project on time
If your manager is hovering you because he thinks you won't complete the project on time. Then work on a timeline, set up check-in meetings, and in the meanwhile, ask him to give you space and freedom to carry out the job your way.
- Fear of failure
If your manager is afraid of failing and this is what is making him micromanage you. Just assure him you have got his back and you will complete the project promptly with quality. Also, keep him updated on the status of the project.
- He is a micromanager
If he believes in micromanaging and this is the only reason for his constant scrutiny, then try to work tightly aligned with him and gain his trust. However, if you are unable to see any difference in his attitude even after months of struggle then maybe it is time to change the boss. A Gallup poll of around 1M United States employees concluded that the reason workers switch their jobs is mostly a bad boss or a micromanager. Around 75% of individuals left their jobs because of the evil bosses and not the job itself.
Show them the right way to manage employees
Nobody likes being scrutinized continuously. Even micromanagers do not want to get micromanaged. Collaborate with the micromanager to adjust his management style—providing fresh ideas and strategies to make sure the project is done, but in a manner that does not always include standing over the shoulder of others. Set employee targets, get feedback, track their results, and modify them as required. Then move out of the way of your staff and let them get on with their jobs.
Individuals micromanage because it is, in some ways, terrifying for them to let go of power. They care about looking weak, for example, or being outsmarted: a usually unconscious habit rooted in fear or performance pressure. Do your best to consider where they come from, rather than see your micromanaging maniac as a bully, not to excuse their disrespectful actions, but to put it in your view differently. You can then be ready to let go of rage and resentment and find a way to work with them peacefully. Start with regular updates, such as going over budget, particularly on problems that concern to take your campaign south. Be straightforward and direct.
Delegate the tasks
Helicopter bosses are not always bad. You can salvage them with your professionalism. Through demonstrating that delegation liberates them up to do what you need them to concentrate on, encourage them to delegate. Explain that they need to be substituted if their teammates need to be monitored that tightly.
Win their trust
The key is to get ahead of them. Let us suppose that the micromanager is someone you know you will have to deal with and assuming that you have had a clear discussion about their micromanaging tendencies. This means anticipating and providing complete, efficient answers to the granular-level critiques they would have before they give them. It implies that you will have to wow them to the extent that a more hands-off approach makes them feel relaxed. That being said, if this doesn't succeed, it's possibly time to re-evaluate if it's still so vital that you keep working with them.
How to Replace Micromanagement with Employee Training – Advise for Employers
The lack of good workers is the main downside of unnecessary micromanagement. Typically, one person is not generally marked by a micromanager. They micromanage around the board, even concentrating on those workers who are top talent and extremely effective in their way. The result here is that talented workers will always leave and take their skills elsewhere because pushed, leaving a huge void that will be hard to fill. The ongoing loss of good workers will also minimize the chances of the team being able to deliver outcomes and will also possibly further decrease morale, which would have already dropped significantly from unnecessary micromanagement.
So, instead of micromanaging, maybe you should consider training your employees to bridge the skill gaps and achieve 100% workforce readiness. Here is how you can incorporate an effective employee training program and take your first step towards employee productivity, retention, and eventually success.
Realize Your Organizational Goals
Review the overall strategic priorities of the firm. Then, use these priorities to direct the design and implementation of job training, concentrating on developing initiatives that have a meaningful effect on the achievement of goals. The best way to guarantee quality monitoring, preparation, and outcomes is through a reliable learning management system (LMS).
Identify and Measure KPIs
To determine training performance, learning targets should have concrete long- and short-term results. Then, if appropriate, introduce frequent changes to methodologies. Using an LMS like QuickStart's CLIPP platform, that has mapping, monitoring, reporting, testing, and certification capabilities is an efficient way to ensure that workers regularly meet and surpass targets and goals.
Bridge the Skill Gaps
A survey conducted by QuickStart listed the popular IT skills, the relevant certifications to acquire those skills, along with the ways to acheive both individual and organizational goals. You can use this study to find specific learning targets, examine differences between existing and ideal skill sets. Ideally, three learning purpose classes should be targeted by the employee training plan.
- Skills: Training them with popular tools to efficiently conduct their job.
- Critical Thinking: Training them how to do critical thinking and problem solving to succeed for improved cross-functionality in a way that goes beyond the department and job function.
- Motivation: To train them to motivate and excel at doing their jobs.
All aspects of the corporate training should be addressed by these learning objective classes, like leadership training for staff, employee engagement training, workplace ethics training, HR training, and labor relations training, as well as essential training to the new supervisors and managers.
Reap the Benefits
Replacing micromanagement from microlearning will help you reap ample of benefits. Some of those benefits are:
- You promote a culture of lifelong learning
- You gain your employee’s trust and loyalty
- You can scale the organization and promote from within
- You are always ready to work with the latest technology
- It helps you stay ahead of the competition
- It improves productivity and employee retention
- You save money by investing in training