Don’t do it!
This was a short article.
Ok, let me explain in more detail what it is, why some people are drawn to do it, and why you should not do it. You probably already have a sense of what micromanaging is, but let me define it so we are on the same page.
Micromanaging is controlling or managing all possible aspects of a subordinate’s work. This means controlling and making changes as you see fit to the Who, What, When, Where, How, and How Much. You may or may not tell them the Why. As you can see, that leaves little to nothing for the person actually doing the work to consider. It is important to note that the actual direction of those six parameters is not the negative thing. When you write SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) you will absolutely need to address each of those parameters to ensure the job is executed properly each time. The issue that creates the negative connotation of micromanaging is the managing part.
Hovering over an employee and constantly giving them feedback on what they are doing wrong leads to low employee morale, which in turn will reduce the quality of work and possibly make the employee leave the company, requiring a new employee search, vetting, and hiring effort. Even the lowest level employee who is expected to execute repetitive identical tasks on an assembly line will benefit from not being micromanaged. I don’t want to get too deep into psychology, but it’s sufficient to say that when you start micromanaging a person, you are essentially giving them a second job. That job is a performer for their boss. While they signed up to do the job they were hired for, they did not sign up to also be a performer for an audience of one. This is why giving someone a detailed SOP helps them make fewer mistakes, but being micromanaged actually increases the number of mistakes.
Aside from making an employee perform, many micromanagers are also indecisive. This leads to them constantly directing an employee to change the where, when, how, and the rest. This constant redirection is very frustrating to employees and results in them not caring about what they are doing since it’s bound to be changed anyway.
So why do people micromanage others? It comes from a fear of failure. You know you can do something, then you hire someone else to do it, and if you are too afraid to let go, you may end up micromanaging them. Of course, micromanaging is not training the new person and having them observe what you are doing, since that is needed to get them up to speed.
Micromanaging is not trusting yourself and being afraid that you failed as a manager, therefore needing to jump in and take over making any decisions your employee may need to make. Managers who micromanage and can’t get out of that mindset are really not qualified to manage. In effect, they are proving themselves correct in their own failure. Of course, they are also typically blind to this and so will blame everyone other than themselves for the results of their micromanagement. Ideally, micromanagers should be demoted to non-managers or just let go for the sake of the company.
When people discuss company metrics, they are generally thinking of bar graphs and pie charts showing company sales activities, costs, profit, and on-time performance. That, of course, is not a full list of typical company metrics, but it is a common example. In general, metrics are simply measurements of data within the company which may help leadership and the CEO determine the best course of action forward. Metrics represent a snapshot in time of various measurable parameters. They should not be limited to financial data, although financial metrics are probably the most common. If it can be measured in a business, it is a business metric.
So what should you measure and why? Most small businesses are horrible at measuring business metrics. The general excuse is that everyone is too busy trying to make money to bother with doing non-money-producing activities like setting up metrics.
Of course, this is exactly the wrong way to look at it. For a company that only looks at sales and profit numbers, adding a variety of metrics enables it to start determining the Why behind the bottom line numbers.
Metrics are also going to be a necessity for any company looking to be acquired or to have new equity put in. Anyone coming in with money to invest will be looking at the key performance indicators (KPI) of a business, which are themselves derived from and supported by metrics. In general, a company that cannot provide examples of metrics they monitor will not be perceived as a serious company.
While the process itself may not generate sales, the establishment of mechanisms within an organization to be able to monitor and measure metrics, and KPIs, is an important step in the growth and maturity of the organization. To make things easier, there are actually vendors now which will provide a dashboard for metrics and KPIs which are driven by data that the company already has.
These vendors may require your IT department to provide some APIs to internal applications. Once that’s done, the CEO, along with the entire senior management staff, will have a way to know hour-by-hour results of company operations without having to have endless meetings with their subordinates to get access to the same information. Metrics automation allows for the data to be accessible and useful without additional workload on the staff.
Even if you are not currently considering selling the business or getting new outside investment, spending the time and money to get vital company metrics collected and reviewed is an important step in getting the company to be ready for growth to $20mm and beyond.
Excerpted From The Original
It’s not always the sales side that is the problem, quite often it is the operations that are keeping a company from growing, but majority of books only address the sales side. This book looks at the most common problems in company operations and how to fix them. The book is written primarily to address companies of $3-5mil with 8-20 employees who seem to have slowed down the growth, and it illustrates how others have grown past that size by changing back end operation.
View on Amazon