Sweat the small stuff - why managers should worry about the little things

The act of micromanaging is often seen as a negative in the workplace. Nobody wants an overbearing manager always hanging over their shoulder and most educated managers are taught never to do this. Even parents are guided not to mollycoddle their children in this day and age. There’s really no need to explain why constant micromanagement is a bad idea – I’m sure you get the point.

When micromanagement is a must

So, when is it ok to use micromanagement - Here are a few circumstances that apply:

Organizational operations are changing

If your company is taking on a new strategy or operational circumstances, it’s important to keep on top of things until things are running smoothly again. This may take days or months, but there is going to be chaos and you’ll definitely need to micromanage all of your staff to ensure they are adapting accordingly.

A new project has been received

Whether this is a new client portfolio that differs from the usual, a new product line or a new service that is being implemented, you’ll need to supervise the transition a little more closely than usual.

New staff are arriving

Obviously, you’ll want to micromanage any new member of staff for a little while, until they begin to learn the ropes, but it’s also important to keep a closer eye on established staff too, as their own roles may be effected by the newcomer – particularly when the new staff is management or a group of new employees. Similarly, when the structure of peoples work roles change within the workplace – such as promotions, changing the structure of regular groups and similar – you’ll want to work closer with these individuals or groups until you are sure they are once again functioning at their full potential.

You notice something is not advancing as expected

Some managers will overlook the odd delay in a project based on previous good performance, but if something is significantly delayed or it happens more than once, it’s time to stick your nose in and find out why. The reasons could range from an employee simply not pulling their weight to a misunderstanding or perhaps even an employee struggling but feeling too ashamed to tell you what’s going on. Regardless, these issues are usually easily resolved, but you have to be aware of any issues to be able to solve them!

When there is client or customer dissatisfaction

This is definitely an occasion when micromanagement is needed. If there is a breakdown in customer relations or service, it is up to you to investigate why and resolve the issue – after all, it’s your businesses reputation that’s at stake! Your investigations may find a small problem, or you may end up implementing permanent positive changes as a result. Regardless, this is something you should never ignore.

In all of these cases, your ability to remain diplomatic is paramount to successfully micromanaging without causing resentment or upsetting any of your staff. In most cases, your micromanagement should be quick and efficient. If for some reason, you find you need to delve into the work of an employee regularly or for a long time; it might be time to consider whether they are the right choice for your organization.

Most importantly though, don’t neglect your duties just because you don’t want to be one of ‘those’ managers – find and resolve issues quickly and you’ll find that everybody will come away from the experience with a smile on their face.

Micromanagement Versus Trusting Your Employees

There are a number of circumstances where micromanagement is needed though, and it also isn’t difficult to imagine what these circumstances entail. Ideally, we’d all like a set of employees who we can consistently rely upon to deliver perfect work, day-in day-out, with just the smallest amount of guidance.

The CFS Team
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