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Answers For The Workplace E-Memo

A Cure for Micro-Management

This is an abbreviated version of one of Dan Bobinski's weekly columns. You can read the full column here

The other day I was talking with a man named Tim (last name withheld) who is a middle manager in a large company. Tim was complaining how his supervisor makes Tim responsible for a whole lot of things, but is tying his hands in way that gives him very little authority to get those things done. In Timís words, itís so bad it goes way beyond micro-management.  We're calling it "Sub-atomic Management."

The result of micro-managing is ineffective use of personnel and tremendously lower productivity and profits.

Micro and sub-atomic managers operate from a belief that the people under their charge are incapable of following through on the tasks assigned them. They spend time telling people exactly what to do and how to do it, disregarding peopleís abilities to solve problems on their own.

This is a morale-killer for seasoned employees.

If youíre a boss, set goals. Get feedback from your direct-reports on what is needed to meet those goals, and then let them move ahead with their assignments. Youíll want to check status from time to time, continuing to ask where help might be needed, and then supply that help.

If people under your charge need training, provide training. It requires time and resources in the short term, but it creates knowledgeable employees, equipped to make decisions.

Let your people do their jobs. Thatís what theyíre paid to do.
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