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Is There a Good Balance Between Micromanagement and a Hands-Off Approach to Motivate Employees?

Taken to the extreme, hands-off management is an abdication of your responsibility and accountability to get the work done. On the other hand, micromanagement, the process of controlling every detail and decision associated with getting a job done, can take away an employee’s pride of ownership in his or her work and can rob the employee of job satisfaction. The worker becomes dependent on the micromanager to ensure the quality of the final job, so carelessness can creep in. Likewise, employees stop thinking creatively.

Micromanagers haven’t learned how to trust others to do their work well. Instead of devoting time and attention to training employees, providing them with the information they need, they hover over everything they do, demonstrating a lack of confidence in their ability and making them, unintentionally, dependent. Are you a micro-manager or a hands-off type? Or do you practice situational management, providing the right level of supervision depending on the circumstances?

Ask yourself these questions:

Do experienced employees get the same level of direction as brand-new employees?

Do you ask to review every step in a job and often visit employees at work to check on them, whether problems have existed in the past or not?

Do you insist on reading and reviewing every piece of writing that goes out of the department on the assumption that you—and only you—know what to say and how to say it?

Are your ideas the only ones implemented and does your voice dominate meetings?

"Yes" replies suggest you need to learn how to better balance your management, offering direction when the need exists, but otherwise allowing your employees the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities.