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Micro-Manage or Not to Mirco-Manage

Manager Yelling in the Phone

What is the definition of micro-management?  It means a management style of a manager who closely observes or controls the work of subordinates and/or manages with excessive control and/or attention to details.  The manager has a lack of trust, is never quite satisfied, enjoys finding errors in others work, wants to be in control of all the decision making. Micromanagement usually has a negative effect in the workplace.

This topic has a lot of different opinions and viewpoints.  This is my personal viewpoint, there may be times as a Leader you will have to utilize some aspects of micro-managing with a staff member.

Possible reasons of when to use some aspects of micro-management in a positive way:  

There are times when you need to review employees work flow, time management, work performances and when an employee is experiencing lack of motivation and focus with tasks or is just plain struggling with work performance.   When this is occurring assist the employee through coaching, give additional training and feedback which may include an action plan to assist them with how to succeed.

The choice is up to the employee if they want to succeed by accepting the coaching, training, and action plan.  The leader can provide the guidance and tools however it is truly up to the employee if they want to be open to success through listening, asking additional questions and be accountable for their career.  The employee needs to take responsibility for their mistakes and correct them. By learning from those mistakes and doing it right the next time.

Possible situations for constructive feedback, review of performance, coaching tips and additional training:

  • A new employee
  • A new project or implementation of procedures
  • A high profile case
  • Highly confidential material or circumstance
  • An employee is making continual mistakes
  • An employee not understanding how to accomplish the task

When to prepare a corrective action plan including scheduled dates and times to meet with employee to review their work performance:

  • An employee is not meeting the minimum standards
  • An employee is not following policies and procedures
  • An employee is not following security and safety guidelines

A good leader knows when to use some elements of micro-managing and when not to micro-manage their employees.  Employees who are knowledgeable, understand what is expected, accomplish their goals, have a good work ethic and do a good job should not be micro-managed.  A good leader is part of the solution through open honest dialog with good suggestions on how the employee can improve their work performance and meet their goals.


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6 thoughts on “Micro-Manage or Not to Mirco-Manage

  1. This is a great article. This subject could get a lot of discussion, mainly from the ones who have had bad experiences with micro-mangers as bosses. When they hold their employees back. I do love the points that you make, if they are kept in the training mode.

  2. Hi Patti – in addition to the scenarios you mention above, micro management as your describe may be appropriate in a highly-regulated industry 🙂 Sian

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