Stop Micromanaging and Start Empowering

This is what it can feel like to employees when they are micromanaged. Image: Getty (Boot stepping on eggs)

Some interpret the term “micromanagement” to be a style of management, and others define it as being “hands-on.” In truth, micromanagement depletes morale, creates an air of mistrust, and wastes time. What is needed instead is an arena of empowerment, an environment where employees thrive by feeling like a part of the process and that they have been given the chance to succeed. Through their succeeding (without intrusive management of minutiae) the company succeeds, and along the way all involved develop and grow.

Micromanagers are characterized by the following traits:
All blame is outward;

  • They feel they can do the job better themselves;
  • They feel delegation is a waste of time because they will have to correct it anyway;
  • They tell people how to do things;
  • They control all aspects of a project and do not ask for input.

Let’s look at the pitfalls of micromanagement:

The cons of micromanagement - Stop Micromanaging and Start Empowering

Conversely, the benefits of empowerment:

The steps to empower others - Stop Micromanaging and Start Empowering

Micromanagement wastes time and energy because it does not involve delegating, but rather directing every detail and aspect of a project and then incessantly requesting status updates and project reports. Additionally, employees tend to resent the implication that management does not trust their talents and judgment. They begin to question why they were hired if they can’t even be trusted to perform their basic job function without intrusive direction. This resentment breeds contempt and apathy which is directly transmitted to the guest in the form of bad service, low-quality product, and the like.

Empowerment, on the other hand, gives the employees a sense of belonging. They buy into the vision and culture because they are now personally vested. Since their own actions and decisions now directly affect the outcome, they care more about the results and the actions they take to get there. They now have a sense of ownership and engagement and no longer feel talked down. Rather, the employees now feel as though they are an actual part of the conversation, which in turn gives them purpose, a purpose other than a paycheck. They want to succeed so they want the company to succeed, and they want to be proud of what they do because it now has personal meaning. Employees still need to be held accountable, however, so they need to know that with empowerment comes responsibility.

Sure, they can share in the success and credit, but now the “blame” and failure relate to them as well. This personal stake has both positive and negative aspects; empowerment and accountability are inexorably linked.

More than 54% of managers say they are not micromanagers, yet they meet the criteria. What about you? Over 59% of employees say they work for a micromanager, and 50% of those say their work product suffers. Have any of your employees felt that way? It’s time to stop the cycle and take action. Give your employees the power, then get out of their way!

Attend Kenneth Knief’s 2017 Nightclub & Bar Show presentation, “Stop Micromanaging & Start Empowering.” Knief of Pelican Restaurants will explain why interfering with staff on the micro-level and not empowering employees to do their jobs can be detrimental to an effective operation. Other areas addressed will be the pitfalls of micromanagement, why “leading by example really isn’t leadership, how hands-on management can be harmful to operations, and much more. If you haven’t done so yet, register now!