- 48% of employees worldwide aren’t happy in their jobs
- Micromanagement is a key factor in this, stifling innovation
- Macromanagers boost productivity by focusing on vision rather than production.
Why is almost 50% of the world’s workforce unhappy in their jobs? According to Harvard Business Review’s Christina Bielaszka-DuVernay, micromanagement plays a key role in those statistics. “A consistent pattern of micromanagement tells an employee you don’t trust his work or his judgment,” she says.
If you think you’re not part of the problem, you may not even realise you’re micromanaging. Consider this: Wanting to be kept in the loop about all the nuts and bolts and prying on how someone works makes you a micromanager. And it’s demotivating. “It stifles innovation and keeps people from using their own judgment,” notes Janet Britcher, president of Transformation Management and executive coach at Harvard Business School.
The big idea: Focus on vision over production
Demotivated employees equal slow production, which could end up costing you more than you think. Mona Patel, founder and CEO of Motivate Design suggests micromanaging instead. “Macromanagement is a management style that’s focused more on the ‘big picture’ and less on the minute details of day-to-day operations,” says Patel. “Macromanagers give general instructions on smaller tasks while putting in more effort to supervise larger concerns and instruct other leaders how to work effectively with their teams.”
If you’re worried about not being hands-on enough, remember that macromanagement puts the focus on vision rather than production. Essentially, when you macromanage, you set clear expectations and define how performance will be measured. “You welcome input and are willing to tweak the process,” says Patel.
What’s in it for you: Cultivate creative thinking to work smarter and faster
Your ultimate goal as a macromanager is to develop creative thinking and problem-solving in your teams, rather than managing every minute task you assign to be carried out.
Once you become intentional with macromanaging, you’ll know when you need to step up and give a hand, and when to step back and let employees get on with it. “Macromanagers don’t give people the answers but rather ideate with them and point out alternate ways of thinking that could lead to better outcomes,” says Britcher.
Make it happen
The transition from micro- to macromanager can be challenging, but keep these 3 tips from Mona Patel, founder and CEO of Motivate Design, in mind to eventually master the shift:
- Start with the ‘why’.Macromanagers start each task with the end in mind, always focusing on final outcomes instead of how to get there
- Give people space to solve challenges. Hiring for skills and creativity makes it easier to trust your team to develop the right solution and processes
- Empower your employees by encouraging them to be proud of their achievements. Where possible, enrich their skillset so that they can produce better results.