Micromanagement in the Workplace Actually Works!?

June 17, 2015

Micromanagement in the Workplace Actually Works!?

I was sipping my coffee this morning, when I nearly choked – I’d noticed an article on UpstartHR’s blog, titled “Newsflash: Micromanagement Really Works”.

At first, I was shocked – the author, Ben, usually has sage words of advice to offer the ambitious HR professional… but condoning micromanagement? It didn’t sit right with me. But I still had half of my coffee left to drink, and so I cautiously opened the article, hoping that it was all some kind of joke. I was not disappointed.

If you don’t get around to reading it yourself, the article is a hugely entertaining parody of your standard breaking news story. It’s dripping with sarcasm and rhetoric, and it rips micromanagement to shreds by pretending to support it. My favourite part was probably when their subject matter expert (his name is “Ima Dum’he” – I’m a dummy) explains that he’s always been a closet micromanager afraid to step out into the light, but after this breakthrough discovery, is labelling it a banner day for micromanagers everywhere.

Anyway, here are a few highlights that really helped me start my day with a smile – please feel free to share your favourite parts in the comments below:

“Employees are very excited about this revelation”

Yes, the article boldly states that employees are excited by the news that micromanagement actually works – something that I seriously doubt could ever be true. How could anybody enjoy the thought of somebody breathing down their neck and trying to control every single action they made?

“We have always hired people that needed some extra ‘direction’ at work, and now we have the proof to back up our actions”

I think this quote is incredible. It essentially says that the only reason you would ever need to use micromanagement is if you were purposefully hiring people who had no idea what they were doing – and I think most people would agree that that’s just bad business practice.

“All decisions are flowed up the management chain before we take action in any department”

Imagine if the only way anything could ever get done within your company, was if a huge string of people had to authorize and sign it off? You’d have employees waiting for Director Approval to use the bathroom; parcels would never be delivered because nobody would be sure whether they were allowed to sign for them; it would be chaos. But this is pretty much what micromanagement actually does – it slows progress, chokes innovation and brings everybody around it down.

Let Your People Think for Themselves

We don’t get anywhere by telling everybody what to do at every decision point all the time. We get places by hiring the smart, talented people who can make their own judgements and have their own ideas – and then we let them do it.

What do you think?

Stay ahead with HR

Get free HR insights, expert tips and exclusive interviews, and start making more impact at work

Please enter a valid email address

See People HR in action

View our short video demo

Get started absolutely free

No credit card required

Talk with an expert to learn how People HR could help your organisation