HBR Insights: Good Managers Do Not Micromanage

Managers who want to drive team performance often use the wrong approach. Instead of using ongoing performance management tactics like OKRs and check-ins to track progress with a light touch, they examine performance too closely. According to HBR’s article “Micromanage at Your Peril”, micromanaging hinders performance instead of improving it. Here are some of our insights on the topic.

Micromanaging Causes Disengagement

Managers who scrutinize their team members’ performance might find areas for improvement. However, being micromanaged makes team members feel that there is a lack of trust in their work and judgment. This is a major trigger for disengagement, says HBR.

Disengagement Is Costly

Disengagement affects more than just your company culture. HBR cites Gallup research showing that engaged teams are 18% more productive and yield 12% higher profits than their disengaged peers. Gallup also found that the average 10,000-person organization can lose up to $600,000 a year as a result of disengagement.

Engage Employees Without Micromanaging

Managers have the greatest influence on employee engagement. Yet, engaging teams to drive performance without micromanaging can be challenging. Here are some ways to keep teams engaged and focused on objectives while driving autonomy:

  • Develop their strengths: Identify the areas in which team members excel and give them more opportunities to build on them.
  • Clarify expectations: Use OKR goal setting and weekly check-ins to consistently provide and follow up on clear expectations, so teams know exactly what they need to do, thereby allowing you to lessen your supervision.
  • Develop an ongoing feedback loop: HBR warns of creating an environment in which managers are always right. Avoid this by giving employees the opportunity to share their feedback regularly.

What else? What are some ways you avoid micromanaging your teams?

Do you manage a company or teams (either as a CEO, a senior executive, a middle manager or even a front-line manager)? Do you set and track objectives? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!

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