Saturday, August 22, 2015

Micro-Management Kills

Micro-Management is the signal saying 'you are incapable of holding the responsibilities so we kept you held accountable for what you do'. It kills innovation. Innovation, which is the key to creep-out from competition. Control-obsessed managers ruin their colleagues' confidence, hurt their performance, and frustrate them to the point where they quit. Respecting individual’s thoughts are pre-requisite of inclusion and independence.

When companies proudly says their professional are extremely talented, it’s better to believe in their talent. Professionals need to know what to do, NOT how to do. Under micro management, often professional become diffident, mechanical, unmotivated and possibly ever paralysed. Let the people do what they are hired for. Effective managers don’t hire people who are cloned to themselves. They hire people who are supplement to their skills to enhance the quality of deliverables.

Varied numbers of situations where micro management is preferred ranges from managers’ controlling mindset to employer’s inefficiency. The gap need to be filled between the managers of high experience and resources with relatively low experience. Trust your employees and provide them resources required to do their jobs quickly and efficiently.

A new manager received a challenging task from the top management where deliverables needed to be sent to leadership. This task was once failed from one of the professional who worked independently on this project. So providing freedom to another professional was a matter of great risk. This manager analysed the causes of failure. Though, the professional was skilful and motivated there were lack of clear goals, improper communication with management and ineffective interaction with the other stakeholders of the deliverable. Had it been micro managed the project would be successful? No! If it had been controlled by the delivery manager, who is incapable of understanding the technicalities of the project, the professional won’t be able to stretch his skills. So controlled environment was not the answer however focus was required.

With a handful of key notes and few results, the manager decided run the project through a professional who is capable of delivering the project with required quality. The goals were set clearly with the feasible timelines after open discussion with the professional. The project was started and it was the time to encourage the employee. How this can be done? Open talk? Visiting his/her desk often? NO. Listen and encourage opinions. Opinions may not be correct but direct rejection may obstruct the flow of creativity of the employee. Employees are closest to a lot of the work being done, so carefully consider their suggestions about how to run things. Ask question positively. This will ensure the feeling of trust which is the best way to build healthier relationship.

Second step the manager applied was to provide the necessary Resources required for the completion of the project. Third and last tool was Transparency and Inclusion, NOT just communication. Transparency is required to understand the big picture of the department or organization at large. Help the employee to understand this big picture. The idea is, there should not be more than one versions of requirements from the stakeholders and what is shared with employee. It’s only inspire inclusion but also it will induce the sense of responsibility in the employees. Pushing employees to the activities in which they are not good at, is not a good strategy of inclusion. But empower them in something they are good at, is true inclusion.

Motivated employee and visionary manager can deliver any project on time with superior quality, so did the above duo. When micro-management is the answer to any question better rephrase the question.