Micromanaging Is A Good Thing

If your boss has ever micromanaged you, did you assume it was because they didn’t trust you, or maybe you’re just crappy at your job?

You’re not the only one who feels that way about micromanaging.

The idea that all micromanagement is bad or that being micromanaged means you’re doing a bad job is one of the biggest management myths out there.

In fact, most supervisors don’t even realize they’re doing it. They honestly believe they’re doing a good job.

To be sure, there are times when micromanaging is overdone, unnecessary, or even destructive. But not always.

(Click here to read about the four drivers behind destructive micromanagement)

To frame this conversation, we need to be clear that a boss has one primary responsibility: to meet the organization’s objectives. 
While micromanagement has a bad rap, it’s sometimes a necessary part of managing people and ensuring objectives are met.

The idea that all micromanagement is bad is a myth. In this post, I’m going to share how micromanagement can be a useful tool. 

When is micromanaging a good thing?

Here are two situations where micromanagement is required:

1) Implementing new projects or systems.

With familiar projects and systems, giving employees space to work is efficient and effective.

But when implementing something new, micromanagement is necessary to make sure everyone is on the same page.

New projects or systems do not have established workflows. As a manager, it’s your job to fill the gap by checking in on a consistent basis to make sure the project and systems are implemented properly and are monitored for risk and effectiveness.

Is this micromanagement?

Arguably yes—but when done well, most employees appreciate this as leadership, support, and guidance.

Implementing new systems and projects at work can be hard on everyone. Here are 9 questions to ask to help you determine your organization’s readiness for change. 

2) Poor performance.

If you have people who are not performing, you had better start micromanaging.

In polite parlance, this is called performance-management but make no mistake—it is micromanagement.

Want to learn more about performance management fails and how to fix them? Click here. 

Have honest conversations about why someone may not be performing, followed by close up and personal supervision to ensure they will improve.

When is micromanaging a bad thing?

Micromanaging because you are a bully, afraid, or not willing to deal honestly with performance issues is a huge mistake on the part of a manager.

But micromanaging because you and your organization’s success depends on it? Fair game.

Just be honest about why you are doing it.

If you’re interested in going deeper or moving your career to the next level, you’ll also want to have a look at my 1-on-1 coaching services.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check these out, too:

Six Tips to Partner With Your Boss
9 Stupid Management Practices (and what to do instead)
The 6T’s To Know What To Delegate

One thought on “Micromanaging Is A Good Thing

  1. So true! I think we buy into far too many general beliefs that simply don’t work all the time – like management by walking around and motivating the “unmotivated”

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