Micromanagement is often cited as one of the worst, most harmful and morale-draining methods of managing people.

A style of management where managers closely observe or control the work of their employees, micromanagement can negatively impact the culture of a business. That’s because it can create an environment where employees develop feelings of insecurity in their role, or lack of confidence in their work. Worse still, the style of management can also wipe out any notion of trust – a key component of successful and positive workplace environments.

manager micro management staff multi task

Micromanagers will also tend to be overly involved in every aspect of their employees’ work. As a result, very little room is left for autonomy and decision-making by the employees themselves. That desire to be in complete control means micromanagers can be extremely bad for a business – stifling creativity, trust and any sense of job satisfaction.

Those statements can be backed up by the findings from academic studies. For example, the Journal of Experimental Psychology reported that employees who feel that they’re being micromanaged perform at a much lower level – both in terms of productivity and creativity. In addition, a study by FranklinCovey Solutions, indicated that global employees believed micromanagement was the biggest obstacle to their success, growth and career development.

Of course, there may be situations when micromanagement is required, or even necessary. But, for the most part, it’s considered a highly negative part of working life. So, what can be done to prevent it?

Preventing cultures of micromanagement: where HR software comes in

As custodians of workplace cultures and healthy work environments, HR is perfectly placed to prevent cultures of micromanagement developing. The software used by HR teams also has a critical part to play. This is because it provides the tools and features that promote transparency, accountability, and employee empowerment – key components of healthy, positive and productive workplaces. Here’s how…

HR software helps support clear expectations and goal setting

HR software that includes integrated performance management functionality ensures managers and employees both have clear, well-defined goals and expectations. This clarity will help employees understand what they need to accomplish, what’s expected of them, and allow managers to focus on the outcome – rather than the minute details of the process.

For example, the customisable forms within the Cezanne HR Performance Management Module makes it easy to setup, manage and record performance goals or targets. That way, everyone is on the same page as to what they need to do, and the goals they’re aiming for.

Employees can update progress at any time and upload evidence to support their progress. Managers are then automatically notified of any changes – removing the need for them to be constantly ‘checking up’ on employees. Plus, with the option to associate goals to different reviewers, you can assign the right people to provide support and feedback when required.

HR software supports more meaningful discussions about performance

HR software with integrated performance management capability – such as Cezanne HR – enables regular feedback and more meaningful performance discussions between employees and managers. They facilitate ongoing communication between them both, allowing for constructive feedback, recognition of achievements, and identification of areas for improvement.

Cezanne HR’s Performance Management module, for instance, makes it easy to quickly capture one-to-one conversations, and provide feedback virtually instantaneously. When performance feedback is timely and consistent, it reduces the need for excessive supervision and can prevent a culture of micromanagement developing.

HR software with self-service functionality empowers employees

A culture of micromanagement takes away autonomy and control from employees. However, if your HR software solution includes self-service functionality, you can hand a large degree of control and independence back to your employees.

HR software with self-service portals allow employees to access and update their own information, view their performance metrics, request time off, and access relevant policies and procedures – all without needing to go through their managers. By empowering employees to manage their own data and tasks, HR software reduces the need for constant oversight by managers, and enables vital self-sufficiency.

HR software automates time and attendance tracking

HR software that includes time tracking functionality is another way to prevent a culture of micromanagement. Automated time and attendance tracking features, such as the ones featured within Cezanne HR’s Time Tracking module, can provide accurate records of employee work hours. It can even automatically flag when employees don’t work the expected hours -removing the need for managers to chase up individual employees.

When you’re able to automate and simplify this type of administration, the potential for micromanagement related to timekeeping is vastly reduced – if not removed entirely. It also allows managers to focus on results, rather than having to personally scrutinise or question the individual work hours of employees.

HR software facilitates training and career development

As mentioned earlier, a culture of micromanagement can be one of the biggest barriers to personal career development. Luckily, HR software can remove this barrier, and support employees with their desire to advance their own career development. When employees can develop their own skills and knowledge, they gain confidence and autonomy, reducing the likelihood of micromanagement

HR software that includes integrated training management will provide you crucial skills-based information about your employees all in one place. As a result, you’ll find it easier to identify potential development needs, track training investments and make decisions about where to focus your company’s resources and budgets.

HR software supports better decision making

Last – but by no means least – HR software that includes powerful integrated data analytics can make the business of reporting on key HR metrics much, much easier. When it comes to preventing a culture of micromanagement, this is really important. That’s because data-driven insights enable unbiased decision making that avoid potential bias from micromanaging managers, and offer objective assessments of employee performance.

When you’re able to identify and analyse your data accurately and objectively, you reduce the reliance on subjective judgments and micromanagement – ensuring everyone’s performances can be reviewed fairly.

Paul Bauer author image

Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. Based in the Utopia of Milton Keynes (his words, not ours!) he’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years. He's also earned multiple industry awards for his work - including a coveted Roses Creative Award.

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