Does a hands-off management style really work out in terms of productivity and efficiency? Is micromanagement really the bane of your leadership goals? In the modern workplace, managers head teams that consist of individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience. The era of the homogenized workplace is over. This means that business leaders need to walk the fine line between giving your team too much freedom and giving them too little. This blog explores how a balanced management approach (also known as workplace leadership) compares to a micro-managing approach.
Bosses often closely monitor and manage every team member’s activity to encourage better performance. However, when monitoring turns into meddling, you may have a problem on your hands. Many professionals believe micromanagement is a sign that the manager does not trust the competence or ability of their team. Even if that’s not the case, that’s still the impression you give to your subordinates, for example, when you’re constantly micromanaging recruiters in a staffing agency.
Micromanagers tend to never be satisfied with the output that they receive from their team. Of course, in their defense, they’re usually perfectionists trying to get the job done absolutely right. This may get them the results they want from time to time. Unfortunately, this narrow focus on the end result tends to ignore the hard work and effort the team put in to generate the output. The result is that employees feel underappreciated, controlled, or even restricted. They feel their efforts aren’t valued and may begin to look for other employment options. All-in-all, a micromanager may have some successes, but always at the expense of team morale.
The Impact of Micromanagement on Teams
The biggest impact micromanagement has on an employee is undermining the trust between a manager and the employee. This usually translates into employees feeling untrusted or even closely monitored. Both of these negative emotions in the workplace lead to an even more dangerous problem. Low morale.
Teams with high morale tend to perform better in the workplace. They also have better cohesion as a unit and often become top performers in their divisions or departments. Low morale will have an effect on employee performance, team spirit, and overall employee motivation. Constant micromanagement is a surefire way to lower team spirit and morale within the workplace.
Of course, when employees find themselves in what they perceive as a hostile environment, it saps their motivation. That means employees are less inclined to bring value to their roles. Over time, this will cause the innovative ability of the team to stagnate. Micromanagement doesn’t just stifle innovation, it also reduces employee engagement. After some time, stress and negativity will inevitably become too much, and you will lose valuable workers.
Looking at a Balanced Management Style
There is a marked difference between a leader and a boss. It is most obvious in how both approach power and control differently from the other. Bosses tend to be authoritarian. They will take the power to make decisions out of their team’s hands. It doesn’t end with that. They also tend to force their decisions on the teams they manage. A unilateral relationship is rarely healthy, whether personal or professional. The boss approach usually hurts employee engagement, as well as innovation in the workplace. In extreme cases, you may even see a hike in employee turnover as they turn to employers who may be more open to giving them professional freedom.
A balanced management style, also known as leadership, is very different. It isn’t about forcing others to do what you want but inspiring them to do so. Leaders work in a separate direction altogether when compared with bosses. When they have input, they communicate it as a suggestion rather than an explicit command. Leaders also tend to focus on developing their team’s potential and nurturing talent for growth. You don’t force your teams to follow you when you’re a leader. You share your vision, offer guidance, and let your team do their work to the best of their abilities.
Business managers should always aspire to be leaders instead of bosses. Leaders encourage growth and innovation in the workplace. They pay significant attention to maintaining team morale and cohesion. More importantly, they don’t force their goals down your throat. Instead, they share their vision and inspire their teams to become part of it. The biggest advantage of having a leadership-oriented manager overseeing teams is that they do not appropriate all the power and control. Instead, they create leaders in their teams, encouraging them to exercise their own abilities and realize their potential.
What does this mean for a business? The bottom line: improved team morale and reduced employee turnover. MFG staffing is full of applicants who are sick of their jobs and looking for options to escape a micromanager. Do your team a favor, and get rid of your micromanaging tendencies.