Hiring decisions are a critical component of any organisation’s success, but the topic of employee micromanagement has always fascinated me. It seems counter-intuitive that companies would invest so much time and money into finding the right candidate, only to closely monitor and control every aspect of their work.
Fortunately, I have encountered such situations only a few times, but it's challenging to pinpoint the reason behind them. Was it because the manager lacked confidence and felt insecure, or was there something about me that made them think I needed constant guidance?
Whilst I'm not advocating for less-qualified candidates to be hired, it does raise the question of whether it's more practical to do the reverse and hire the less favourable candidate for the job and then micromanage them anyway.
Well, if you find yourself in a situation where you are being micromanaged, there are steps you can take to improve the situation.
1. The first step is to communicate proactively with your manager. Keeping them informed about your progress on tasks and projects can demonstrate that you're working independently and effectively. Regular check-ins can also help build trust and provide an opportunity to discuss any issues that may arise.
2. Being proactive is another critical factor in reducing micromanagement. Taking the initiative to complete tasks and solve problems independently can show that you're capable of handling your responsibilities without constant supervision. Additionally, being organised by keeping your work area and files organised and maintaining a to-do list can demonstrate that you're focused and reliable.
3. Confidence is another essential trait to showcase when trying to reduce micromanagement. Taking the lead on projects or offering to help colleagues can show your manager that you're capable and confident in your abilities. It also shows that you're willing to take on more responsibility and contribute to the success of the organisation.
4. Requesting feedback from your manager on your work and asking for guidance on areas where you can improve is also a critical step. It demonstrates your willingness to learn and improve and helps your manager feel more comfortable giving you autonomy in your work.
5. Finally, respecting your manager's time is critical. Try to avoid interrupting them with minor issues or questions. Instead, gather your questions or concerns and schedule a dedicated time to discuss them.
I have tried all of these tips and they do work, but you do have to be patient and focus on doing one at a time; unless it’s a bullying situation but that’s a whole different issue.
The decision to do something about it and then to take action is vital because only you have the power to change the situation.
Ignoring problems in the hope that they will resolve themselves only leads to greater frustration and potential explosions from you to others at work or at home, so taking time out to do something about it is key. You only need to try one thing at a time, but you do need to be patient and try to work on developing a better working relationship in the first instance.
However, building trust does take time and effort, but the benefits of a more collaborative and positive work environment are worth it. If you're feeling micromanaged, implementing these tips can help you take control of your work and improve your relationship with your manager and reduce your frustration.
In some cases, micromanaging may be deeply ingrained in the culture of the organisation or company you work for. If this is the case, you have two options: you can either tolerate it or choose to leave.
Attempting to change the ethos of the company or organisation may backfire and cause further harm to your emotional and mental health. It's important to prioritise your well-being and find a work environment that aligns with your values and allows you to thrive.
Here are 3 questions prompts for you to consider when writing in your journal.
- Have you ever seen micromanagement in your work? How did it make you feel and how did people cope with it?
- What steps can you take to build trust and autonomy with your manager or colleagues?
- How can you communicate your needs and concerns about micromanagement in a constructive and productive way?
The decisions I make, make me love life, if you need help with a decision or just need to talk, I'm always available to chat on WhatsApp