Are you micromanaging? - It’s not bad, sometimes it’s good!
“Micromanaged!” A dreadful word ever heard by a CEO.
Popular management books and mentors constantly ask to “Stop Micromanaging”. But you just cannot help. And you land up micromanaging at various stances. Even this popular write up at Inc Magazine busts the micromanaging myths, tagging them as productivity killers.
Let me help you visualize a lil'.
You’re just 30 years and running a startup. So there’s every reason to be proud of yourself. Even though there are dozens of people who keep on asking 50 different things almost every day.
Whether you are in the lift, or in your cabin or may be loitering in the corridor - you see faces popping up suddenly with stupid to intelligent questions.
We know that micromanaging is a hassle not for the CEO himself but also for the employees. Nearly 60 percent of the employees say that they have reported to micromanagers at some point of time or the other. But if you are hyper-controlling someone then you are sure to face resentment sooner or later.
Take heart. You do not need to grin about it.
Being a boss, if you are micromanaging - it is simply because you need a deep sense of control in your life and another reason is that you’re afraid. Since you go from being the person who generates a result, slowly turning into a person who has to depend on others to perform.
But if you ask me, I will say that micromanaging is not so bad. There’s a sunny side of being micromanaged. Wearing the leadership role for a number of years, I know there are times where I have found micromanagement is utmost essential while running my web and mobile app development company.
There is an executive team in almost every startups or enterprise to whom you toss works and stay assured that it will get done on time. Those employees might ask for input and help from time to time, just to finish the work with quality, timeliness, and expertise. It’s reality. These are some of the circumstances where I have personally seen that a CEO require to put close supervision and give attention to details and micromanage.
Take my words.
So I thought to keep all my opinion about micromanaging on the table, which I have learned over the years. And I have seen that these are the 3 situations that echo -
“Micromanaging is good, not so bad as you think.”
1. When you are having a new employee onboard
No matter how much qualified a new hire is, you will need some hand-holding when you start a job. He or she would want to stay more involved in the day-to-day responsibilities than you would normally do. This might mean reviewing projects in detail, help to set priorities, providing interpretations of various situations, making introductions at some point is darn important!
But you should tell such a new leader, “I will work closely with you for a while, but interaction will cease over the time as soon as you fully move into the new role.” That’s what I do actually with my team! Get things cleared on the first day. This system should flow down the entire hierarchy, your manager who is experienced should micromanage the employee until he or she is competent.
To nail things perfectly, you need to set a performance standard and a timeline for developing the skills. Employees will appreciate a high direction when a task is new to them, they will soon resent if you do not let them go on their terms.
I personally believe that competence comes faster if the employee got more of the boss’s time in the beginning.
2. When you change the strategy, take on a new endeavor or target some new market
When a company or its individual unit decides to change the strategy or take on a new endeavor to launch something or tries to move into a new market - it is important for the leaders to provide close direction until everyone buys into it.
Recently, we launched an in-house product AllRide Apps, that focuses on transport and logistics app development. And I remember that to make it popular in the transport market, I required closer supervision because my company was moving into something new. It was an uncharted domain where I need to speed up. You have to build up a hands-on-deck mentality if you put your hands on something new.
It’s the same if you are trying to enter a new market. The decision to micromanage will depend on the skill and competency of your team. Say if you have a lot of people with no experience, and 2 to 3 managers, then it’s high alert, you need to manage the situation more closely.
3. When you’re in crisis or the results are disappointing
If a project does not go as planned, it is necessary to troubleshoot. That could involve assessment and relocation of your team members. Since there are areas in your company where results are paramount. If they are not as expected, and the figures remain week after week, a leader must ask the responsible person for more information. Ask them what is being done to turn around the situation, if the turnaround does not occur within the reasonable time, you should delve more.
Just remember, the reason for poor results or if you are running into crisis is due to poor planning, a loophole in training, and bad hiring. You need to investigate carefully and find out the mistakes behind and implement strategies so that it does not repeat.
Speak up to your employees, say something like “ we will resolve these issues together” or “I am here to help you with the transition.” I did it in the last quarter when I was stuck with serious transition issue with my web and mobile app development company. And you know the phrase actually worked like magic - we shared responsibility and managed to gain better result this quarter. I did not even sound like micromanager.
Well, I also caught some great ideas in this video that tells me that micromanaging is not so bad after all! You can view -
What’s Your Take?
I will still advise people here, that be careful and do not stay linger too much with other’s work. If your close supervision needs an extension, in case if you do not have the right employee or leader, then have the ruler in hand, else cut short the micromanagement timeframe and trust the leader you hired.
Being too poky is sometimes bad for your company’s health. And if you run a startup micromanaging requires a comparative balance. It’s an art and you need to learn it!