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Micro-Management: Does it Work for Your Team?

January 12th, 2015

Micro-management gets a bad reputation, but it’s only partly deserved. The simple fact is that micro-management, like all management styles/strategies/philosophies, works in some scenarios, and doesn’t work in others. Before you commit to it, or reject it, it’s important for you to consider the effect it will have on your team. Ask yourself these questions to determine if this is a strategy to embrace or avoid.

How Long Has Your Team Been Together?

If you team has had the same makeup for years and demonstrated a long track record of success, there is probably no reason for you to get more hands on. Conversely, if you have just assembled a new team, added a crop of new members, or otherwise made a consequential change, it might be helpful to get more involved.

How Large is Your Team?

Keep in mind that on some teams micro-management is simply logistically impossible. If you oversee a lot of people, or have multiple projects running simultaneously, there is no way to be a part of every process. You simply waste your efforts, and the people/projects you do focus on could feel like they are under unfair scrutiny. Micro-management works much better on smaller teams where your efforts can have a real impact.

What Timeline is Your Team Working on?

Some timelines are diffuse and open-ended, while others require strict adherence to deadlines and a careful commitment to a schedule. In the case of the latter scenario, a micro-management approach can be beneficial. Since your team members are occupied with their responsibilities, it’s up to you to make sure they are meeting daily/weekly/monthly benchmarks. If the schedule demands less precision, take a step back and let your team work at their own pace.

How is Morale on Your Team?

If morale on your team is low, you might try to rectify the problem by getting more closely involved. This is almost always a mistake. Your employees will likely feel patronized, and you probably won’t address the underlying cause of the issue. Make motivation your priority instead, and take a hard look at the culture that exists on your team and throughout your office.

How Will Micro-Management Affect You?

Micro-management takes a lot of time, focus, and attention to detail. Be aware of the effect this has on your performance as manager. You might get wrapped up in the specifics and comprise your ability to lead, forecast, strategize, and inspire. If your team thrives under the leadership of a bold, visionary, big-picture type of manager, switching to a micro-management style will only sacrifice what made you successful.

Find more resources designed to help you manage more efficently, effectively, and strategically by contacting The Concorde Group.

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