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Employees around the world work in a constantly changing and evolving work environment. While leaders and managers should focus on ways to improve their team’s overall work experience, they should also not forget to upgrade their leadership strategies.
Micromanagement is widely used in terms of business organization and workflow monitoring. However, in recent years we have all witnessed a small change in the way leaders and companies observe the management of a company, especially in the ever evolving enterprises.
Related: The 3-Step Cure for Micromanagement
Micromanagement takes a step back in the business environment
The business atmosphere is constantly changing with its constant upgrades, further development of leadership styles and new work approaches. In such a dynamic work environment, it is only natural that employees tend to be more adaptable to change and proactive.
I witness this exact trend in my field – in the IT industry, for example, developers need to be constantly aware of what’s new in the programming world by reading, following trends and mastering the next new software. In a nutshell, the professionals in each field are just used to research, trial and error and work at their own pace as there are assignments that are sometimes far too overwhelming to be completed in a day or two.
If a leader expects an increase in revenue and overall workflow for their company, they may need to consider managing their teams in a way that doesn’t interfere with employees’ work approach and proactivity. After all, it is the employees who lay the foundation for the growth and success of any company with its customers.
But let’s approach the matter a little more directly. Of course, many employees prefer to keep their workflow. I see that my team of developers likes to feel the freedom that being proactive gives them. So the question is, if a leader or manager chooses to micromanage a forward-thinking company, what obstacles should they expect? What could actually go wrong? Let’s try to figure things out.
My work as the CEO of a web development company has taught me that sometimes letting go of control can be a great asset. While my observations are based on the developer community, I believe the following can be easily attributed to another business niche.
Here are four reasons why you should stop micromanaging.
Related: How to Step Back and Still Hold Your Team Accountable
1. The leaders are moving away from the transformational leadership approach
The transformational leadership approach grew among people, especially those working in startups, IT companies, and fast-developing modern enterprises. Its core has to do with implementing inspiration, satisfaction and a common belief that the work you do is worthwhile, both for you and for the company itself. It is the epitome of counting on proactivity and self-management. Micromanagement, on the other hand, has more in common with the transactional management style. So if a leader wants to encourage his employees to show a willingness to take tasks and matters into their own hands, avoiding micromanagement is a good starting point.
However, let’s make a short disclaimer: Every leader should know his employees well so that they can choose the best management style for each of them individually. Of course, most employees would appreciate more freedom in workflow and division of labor, but certain individuals would prefer to be micro-managed. In most cases, these are young employees who do not yet have confidence and experience. They could easily feel a lack of guidance and support if their leader doesn’t micromanage them at all. A mentor must maintain a good balance between their management styles among all members of the team. Managers should choose wisely accordingly.
2. Leaders stop employee proactivity to improve
Imagine an employee who needs to be able to have a certain vision and idea in order to perform a task or a project in the best possible way. I see this approach constantly in the office among my fellow developers – thinking outside the box and regularly seeking inspiration are the main features of a programmer’s day-to-day work.
With excessive micromanagement, the leader runs the risk of not improving employee proactivity. If mentors master every step toward project execution, the employee probably wouldn’t see the point of showing proactivity. They could come to see tasks as these tedious tasks that would essentially evaluate their entire approach to work. No leader would want that – showing employees the work, as this nine-to-five chorus is the easiest and fastest way to kill proactivity and satisfaction.
Related: 7 Habits to Work Proactively, Not Reactively
3. Mentors risk turning the workplace into a toxic environment
Excessive micromanagement – especially coupled with a bossy attitude – can make employees fear the next workday. A toxic environment can make everyone leave their job for good. The thing with the current market is that it is an incredibly competitive field these days. Any company would like to hire exceptional professionals. Would a leader want to abandon theirs for refusing to let go of control?
Related: 15 Ways to Spot a Toxic Work Environment Before You Take the Job
4. Leaders can make their employees doubt their professional skills
Speaking of professionals, is it a good idea for a leader to micromanage the team in such a way that they become insecure about their skills? Sometimes the best way to show recognition and appreciation is to let someone do things on their terms. Of course, this does not mean that leaders should relinquish their responsibilities. It just means you have to treat the team with confidence.
But leaders should not be mistaken – all the above working tips do not prohibit them from controlling the entire workflow. Mentors should consider the difference between control and sharing support and guidance when needed. The latter will certainly help them evolve as leaders, just as it will help their employees evolve as professionals.