Because of the pandemic, many employees have been sent home to do their jobs remotely. That is to ensure that the spread of the COVID-19 virus is stalled. For managers, this work arrangement poses certain challenges. For example, they can no longer visit cubicles to, for instance, ask for updates from subordinates tasked to send out essential parcels via courier service. Handling remote teams might pressure managers to micromanage, lest jobs don’t get done right and on time.
However, such an approach does not yield its intended results. It is a waste of time for managers with more pressing matters to look into. The hours spent on micromanagement can go to building a new product that’ll buff up a business’s competitive advantage. Meanwhile, for employees, micromanagement robs them of their self-respect and sense of autonomy.
With those things in mind, it’s best to explore viable alternatives. Here are some of them.
Companies train new hires. That’s a given. However, ideally, training is constant. Even employees that have been with the organization for years need them. So make sure training sessions follow a regular schedule.
No business or organization remains static. They evolve. And that calls for employees to evolve with the organization, too. That can only be done through training facilitated by experts. That’s the way to keep employees up-to-date with whatever changes have transpired within the organization process and policy-wise. Those things cannot be properly addressed via company-wide emails. Remember that properly and consistently-trained employees perform at their best.
There are a variety of task management tools at managers’ disposal. These are investments worth making. Consider Trello. This software allows team members to be on the same page. Tasks are clearly outlined. Everyone knows who is in charge of which job. No one can claim that they have not been informed about a specific deliverable because everything’s there, including deadlines.
Instead of constantly emailing or instant messaging team members to check on their works’ progress, managers can rest assured everyone knows what’s expected of them. More time can then go to critical aspects of running a business, such as writing quarterly reports.
Conduct regular meetings for transparency. Here, regular does not mean daily. Regular could mean halfway through a goal cycle and upon its completion. With ample training supplemented with task management technology, there’s no need to touch base with team members three times a day.
A transparency meeting’s goal is to encourage a sense of accountability from everyone. If all team members know each other’s specific job descriptions, everyone will have expectations from one another. No one will be complacent. Also, they’ll know who to go to if collaboration is needed.
Instead of micromanaging, collaborate. Make an employee feel like they are not being treated like a kid on a bike with wheels. Make them feel like the playing field’s leveled. Be the kind of manager who communicates with an employee in a way that the latter gets the impression that their insights are valued and that they are not being taught. Instead, they are being honed for greatness.
Some managers fear their subordinates would overtake them career-wise if they taught them everything they know. Such a manager will have a hard time. Instead of delegating, which will require passing knowledge onto a subordinate, they would assume more tasks than they could handle.
The result is they neglect the parts of their job that truly matter. And that’ll get them in trouble to whoever they answer to in the organizational hierarchy.
Refuse to be that kind of manager. Think of a subordinate’s progress up the corporate ladder as an accomplishment. After all, it reflects positively on a manager’s resume. That said, do not be stingy with knowledge. Share with as many people as possible.
A team that requires micromanagement is a team not working to its fullest potential. The manager has to address such a shortcoming. Employing the cited alternatives above, teams have better chances of achieving goals without feeling like spoon-fed children.
As for managers, the art of delegation should be competently honed. They must have ample trust that their team is well-equipped to handle the tasks passed onto them without constant reminders and what-not. Make sure employees have reliable technology and up-to-date knowledge to carry out their jobs efficiently. Meanwhile, focus on aspects of management that matter the most. That way a more significant contribution will be made to the organization.
Meta title: Viable Alternatives to Micromanagement
meta desc: Micromanaging employees is counterproductive. There are better alternatives to this approach. Here are some of them.