And what is not?
There’s a lot of talk about micromanaging these days, and majority of the people, even the ones who do micromanaging themselves agree that it’s a bad strategy.
Micromanaging is indeed something a boss should not be doing, but the real problem is in understanding what micromanaging is and what is not. Therefore this article is about that.
In short real management focuses on “what to do”, while micromanagement on “how to do”.
It’s obvious that in the company the boss makes the calls on what the company does, as if there’s no one to decide this, there will be no mutual goals and direction to which the company is going to. But what should be left for each employee to decide personally, is how they do the thing they are asked to.
What is not micromanagement?
Giving direct instructions on what should be done and checking that it’s done correctly
For example if the company is designing its website or a product, the boss has the right, and needs to make decisions on how the final product will look like. This also means going into small details as the color or the font. The boss usually is the one paying for all this, so by right the product of the company is his, so he should decide how it looks.
Also in some cases there might be a need to check if everything is done correctly, as there are people who do lot of mistakes. The boss is usually responsible for the mistake the company makes, even if it’s not him who made the mistake, so it’s his responsibility to to make sure that everything is done correctly.
Sadly it’s a common disbelieve that actions mentioned above are micromanaging, when in fact they are not.
What is micromanaging?
Forcing the “company culture”
The biggest expression of micromanagement is forcing people to obey so called “company culture”. There’s no fixed rules on “company culture” as everyone has one, but here are some of the examples of it:
- Dress code. Wearing a suit in office has really no impact on productivity. Another thing of course is if you are meeting with the clients or have to wear protective gear.
- Fixed work hours. There’s absolutely no reason why everyone should work at the same time from 8 to 16. Sliding working hours from 8 to 22 would be much better for everyone. In case of meetings, it could be required for everyone to be at work from 14 to 16.
- Mandatory communication methods such as email or phone. People also use Skype, Telegram, Viber and WhatsApp, which are often faster and more effective.
- Mandatory socializing with other employees. If person does his job well, there’s no need to force him to make friends with his colleagues. Maybe he’s not a social type.
- Mandatory work place. In current era, there’s no need for people to work at the office. The same work can be done from home. It would be much more effective to only ask employees to come at office couple times a week and the rest of the time they could work from what ever place they want.
- Counting work hours. The whole idea of counting work hours of an employee is just stupid. You should be paying people for the work they do, not for the amount of hours they waste. So in case a person does his daily work in 4 hours, he should be able to go home once done, and not sit another 4 hours doing nothing.
- Ideology at work. Politics, religion and ideology do not belong to the work place. Things like these should not be discussed by the company at all, as they are private matters, and most definitely not propagandized at the work place. People should never be fired over what they say, as it’s none of the company’s business.