When it comes to managing a team of people, it helps to tap into your inner-Goldilocks. Some managers are so concerned that they will be perceived as micro-managers that they adopt a very hands-off approach. Others worry that their team won’t get the job done without constant supervision. Finding the right balance between under and over-managing is essential for the health and continued growth of a company.
What is Under-Management?
As the name suggests, under-management occurs when a manager doesn’t offer employees enough supervision or instruction. There are several reasons why a manager might under-manage their team. A manager might worry about being perceived as too hands-on if they offer any input or advice at all. That concern can cause them to step back too far, failing to provide their team with the necessary support.
Another reason for under-management can be a fear of conflict. In some cases, a manager might assume that it is better to let the team work without offering corrections or instructions as needed. Instead of informing a team or team members of any issues, the under-manager might decide that it is easier and faster to correct problems on their own.
What is Micro-Management?
The micro-manager is nearly the opposite of the under-manager. While the under-manager takes too many steps back, the micro-manager isn’t afraid to get in the faces of their team members on a regular basis. A micro-manager constantly “checks in” with employees, asks to be included on any and all communications, and constantly sends out reminders about the project due dates or deadlines.
While employees might flounder under an under-manager because they are unsure what they are meant to be doing or if they are doing a good enough job, micro-managed employees can struggle because they feel suffocated by the efforts of a micro-manager. Employees might worry that if they dare to break from the norm or try a new way of doing things, that the micro-manager might disapprove or otherwise make it even more challenging for them to do their jobs.
How Management Styles Can Affect a Business
Both under and micro-managing can be bad news for businesses, as both management styles can make it challenging for employees to do their work and can lead to a drop in morale. Employees that are over-supervised might soon drop any semblance of initiative, as they figure that whatever they do will be over-analyzed by their boss or they assume that no matter what they do, their manager will step in to remind them of what needs to be done. Employees that are under-managed might take advantage of their boss’ desire to avoid conflict and might stop doing their work to the best of their abilities.
When employee morale and performance suffers, it’s likely that the entire business will suffer.
How to Overcome Under or Micro-Management Tendencies
Fortunately, it is possible to find a balance between under and micro-management tactics and tendencies and to develop a management style that is “just right” for your team and your business. If you regularly avoid checking in with your team because you are worried about creating conflict, one option is to schedule the occasional meeting with your employees. During those meetings, put the ball in their court and ask them to assess their performance. You can then discuss any issues that they bring up and work together to find ways to overcome them. Since you are asking your team for self-assessment, you don’t have to feel as if you yourself are stirring up conflict.
If you tend to lean towards micro-managing, it can be challenging to take a step back and to let your team work for themselves. One way to work past the tendency to micro-manage is to give your team a list of expectations, rather than a list of tasks. Let them know that they can complete the work as they see fit, as long as it lives up to expectations in the end. Depending on your tendency to hover or micro-manage, you might need to remove yourself from the area or room while your team works.
Find the most effective way to manage your team is essential for your business’ continued growth. To learn about more ways you can achieve business growth, contact the team at New Direction Capital today.