Every business leader has unique strategies and leadership styles with the common goal of advancing their organization to new horizons. In line with their leadership styles, they devise frameworks of ideas for up scaling employee engagement, employee retention and performance management. The ultimate objective is of course to guide an organization to higher profitability that is a realistic measure of the success of a business.
Speaking of leadership styles, some leaders and managers are inclined to a micromanagement style of leadership. On the other hand, some managers have a knack for managing their teams from the purview of macro-management. By all means, the latter approach helps a business become more profitable and efficient than the former one. To elaborate, this blog sheds light on the key advantages of having a management style inspired by macro-management.
However, before we move to the merits of macro-management, it is essential to understand the demerits of micromanagement for a better comparative analysis. So, let’s get started!
Why is micromanagement a problematic leadership style?
John Rosemond, an acclaimed American columnist once said, “Invariably, micromanagement results in four problems: deceit, disloyalty, conflict, and communication problems.” This very well sums up the spectrum of problems micromanagement comes with. You would never hear an employee say that they like the idea of being micromanaged.
In fact, if they can be honest with their answers, they will tell you that they hate the notion of micromanagement. This is for the simple reason that micromanagement is a big de motivator for them. Micromanagement kills both motivation and momentum.
When business leaders micromanage their teams, they exhibit a great sense of mistrust in their team members. They tend to give the impression that they do not have faith in the abilities of their team members. Hence, they try to supervise and interfere at every step of the workflow management. This uncalled supervision impacts the diligence of employees and also impacts their engagement.
Of course, a leader’s intent behind micromanaging employees is not something that can be doubted. They may have their own reasons for micromanaging and they may be of the opinion that micromanagement is in the best interest of their organization. Despite the good intent, micromanagement can sabotage a business and leave its hopes of advancement in tatters. Having said that, micromanagement tantamounts to an ineffective and narcissistic style of leadership.
To substantiate, as per the American Society for Public Administration, almost 70 percent of employees report that they have thought of changing their jobs because of micromanagement. In fact, a large proportion of these employees have actually gone about changing their jobs. To add, 85 percent of employees opine that micromanagement interferes with their work efficiency and motivation.
Having said that, micromanagement can attract the following downsides for a business.
- Increased employee turnover rates
- Augmented costs of employee replacement
- High disengagement among employees
- Downfall in employee productivity
- Higher stress and absenteeism in employees
- Disloyalty issues among employees
- Amplification in workplace conflicts
- Lack of innovation in the workplace
- Ineffective communication and collaboration
As you already know, all of these above demerits of micromanaging can potentially wreck a business. From high employee attrition rates to ineffective communication in the workplace, all of the above problem areas can attract heavy losses for a business. Do you still believe that micromanagement can help a business advance to new horizons?
Empowering employees is the smarter way to lead
Probing further, in the context of the contemporary corporate world, micromanagement is a redundant idea. The business world has come a long way to have witnessed some overwhelming overhauls in the dimensions of the work environment. The corporate world has become quite dynamic and the best practices for business success are constantly changing.
The virtues that work well in modern times are autonomy and flexibility in the workplace. Stellar technological innovations like artificial intelligence and IoT are reinventing the corporate space. Given that, remote work, gravitating freelancing jobs, hybrid work cultures, and telecommuting are becoming popular ideas. In fact, as per a Gartner CFO survey, 74 percent of employees are planning to shift their workforce to permanent remote work in the near future.
As the expanse of telecommuting increases, employees seek more flexibility and autonomy from their employers. In case employers fail to do so, employees are happy to put in their resignations and look for a new employer. Otherwise, they always have the option to freelance in this modern epoch.
To validate, as concluded by CompareCamp, 76 percent of employees are of the view that they will be happy to stick to an organization that offers flexible work arrangements. Employees feel that autonomy and flexibility enable them to have a more improvised work-life balance. Besides,
73 percent of employees are of the opinion that flexibility and autonomy bring greater work satisfaction to them.
Employees feel empowered when employers back them and show trust in them. While micromanagement erodes their motivational mix, liberating employees by showing faith in them helps them to drive greater motivation and productivity. When you set your employees free to do things in their own way, they respond with greater efficiency, uninterrupted commitment, and exceptional outcomes.
Trust in the workplace comes with some exclusive benefits
Did you know that employees’ productivity gets optimized by 50 percent when their employers, managers, and colleagues show trust in them? Harvard Business Review further states that the energy of employees gets hiked by 106 percent and they become 76 percent more engaged in a workplace that exhibits great mutual trust.
Furthermore, in a company where there is a great deal of trust between employees and employers, employees report 40 percent fewer instances of burnout while the levels of stress remain lower by 74 percent.
This is where macro-management comes into the picture. When you work around a leadership style cohesive to the idea of macro-management, you define clear goals and expectations. Further, you inform your employees of the various key performance indicators (KPIs) that will be used to measure their performance, and then you simply trust them with the process. You show trust in them to approach a task in their own way and generate the desired results.
Macro-management comes with a host of business benefits. These amazing benefits make a strong case why micromanagement in an organization needs to be replaced with macro-management. Let us delve deeper into the advantages of macro-management to know more.
Seven Incredible Business Benefits of a Macro-Management Approach
It can foster greater employee engagement
“Engaging the hearts, minds, and hands of talent is the most sustainable source of competitive advantage” – Greg Harris
We have already talked about how paramount employee engagement is to the advancement of any business. This is the reason why companies are happy to spend exorbitant amounts in engaging their employees. In fact, employee engagement has a direct correlation with the profitability of a business.
As revealed by Gallup, high disengagement among employees can bring down a company’s profitability by 15 percent and can cause a decline in overall productivity by 18 percent. As an ambitious business owner with a well-defined vision for advancing your business, you surely do not want that to happen to your business. Having said that, you would be keen to find new approaches to up scaling engagement levels in your organization.
Well, the answer lies in macro-management! When you macro-manage your teams and your employees, you keep their motivation going. Employees will have the privilege of brainstorming their own ideas and their share of flexibility to manage their workload. Being aware of the KPIs, they will act in accordance with them and not rush into things for the sake of completing them.
This is where they will always find their minds relaxed and well poised to assess things well. They will be able to work in a way where they can put attention to every detail and align their style of work with the organizational goals. To add, the sense of belonging they feel from the virtue of your faith in them will drive even greater efficiency and engagement.
A work environment that functions on macro-management will be best suited to the employees’ expectations of learning, professional development, independent functioning, and scope for career advancement. All these as we know are critical driving factors for high employee engagement and productivity in the workplace.
Macro-Management can help a great deal in improving retention
As more and more employees stay actively engaged in a workplace where leaders macro-manage, by default the retention rates will go up. The average retention rate in the US is 90 percent and anything below that will be considered problematic. Moreover, of course, you are already aware of the heavy financial losses that high attrition rates come with.
While there can be different approaches and tactics for boosting retention, macro-management can work as an excellent idea. When you macro-manage, employees will not feel that there is any disruption in their work performance, engagement, and motivation. They will be more than happy to continue working for an organization that offers them their fair share of autonomy. That is what millennials and Gen Y employees need the most after all!
Having said that, a workplace that has the culture of macro-management will any day have a better chance of retaining employees than an organization that embraces micro-management. Macro-management by leaders gives employees the space to evolve their skills, believe in their individuality, learn from their managers and co-workers, and feel comfortable in the workplace.
As long as the above benefits and privileges are extended to employees, they will have all the possible reasons for sticking to an organization. In fact, such a conducive workplace is what they will happily refer to their near and dear ones. Having said that, in addition to retaining your existing employees, you will also be able to attract a larger pool of fresh talents.
Macro-management can cultivate creativity and innovation in the workplace
“Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” – Edward de Bono
Do you think that employees can express their creativity or come up with innovative ideas in an environment of micromanagement? Micromanagement and creative liberty cannot go hand in hand. The moment employees begin to get creative and innovative in their approach, claws of micromanagement will denounce it.
Having said that, if you want your employees to endorse exemplary problem-solving skills, you need to liberate them. You need to back their potential and give them the freedom and time to come up with radiating ideas based on prolific creativity. Until the employees get a conducive workplace to think on extraordinary lines, it will be unfair to expect them to have an outside-the-box thought process. This can be accomplished in a comprehensive way with a leadership style inspired by macro-management.
For creativity and innovation, it is imperative that you foster independent thinking in the workplace rather than micromanaging your employees at all levels. Macro-managing your employees can hence be a great idea for inspiring the best capabilities in them. In a free and relaxed work environment, they will be able to express themselves better and collaborate with others effectively. Creative liberty and the freedom to express their thoughts will enable them to perform to the best of their abilities.
It may also be the case that all employers may not feel the need to promote creative liberty in the workplace. Are you one of them? In that case, you must know that as per the World Economic Forum, creativity is paramount to nine of the top ten employability skills. Further, IBM concludes that creativity is the most imperative skill for future success.
Do you still feel that it is not that important to endorse creativity in the workplace and granting creative liberty to your employees? You may want to rethink that!
It can bring down the burnout and absenteeism rates
When managers and leaders micromanage, employees start to feel frustrated and perennially stressed. Besides getting disengaged in their work, they also begin to face burnout issues as they struggle to manage their productivity amid consistent interference in their workflow and the humiliation caused because of micromanagement. Needless to say, the greater the magnitude of employee burnout in an organization the higher will be the rate of absenteeism.
Let us pay heed to some important statistics on absenteeism in the workplace. As per the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, enterprises in the US endure productivity losses up to USD 225.8 billion per year because of high absenteeism. There is no reason why you would want to incur these unnecessary costs that can create a major setback.
Moving ahead, it is important for you to know that as per Forbes, 52 percent of employees have reported burnout of some form or the other in 2021. Therefore, you need to ensure that there are minimum burnout experiences in your staff to avoid high absenteeism and related losses.
For that, macro-management can be an ideal style of business leadership and employee management. In such an environment, employees will not feel undue stress and overwhelming pressure which they certainly feel in cultures revolving around micromanagement.
Employees will be able to manage their stress better, empathize with and support each other and maintain a better work-life balance. Consequently, there will be lesser vulnerability to burnout and mental health issues resulting in high absenteeism. In fact, keeping your employees happy can be one of the keys to optimizing client relationships.
It facilitates better goal setting and execution
In a workplace where micromanagement is the driving force, employees do not get much time to realize their goals, set their goals, and make conclusive plans for the execution of these objectives. Knowing that their manager will take follow-ups probably every hour, they will rather perform their tasks as mere obligations.
In fact, they are not even at fault here because that is the best they can do to meet harsh deadlines and work with consistent interference from supervisors. This obligatory approach to work commitments will neither be good for their productivity nor the overall efficiency of the organization.
However, that will not be the case with employees who have leaders and managers with a macro-management perspective on leadership. In such a work environment, employees will be able to find the mental space needed for identifying goals and setting goals in alignment with organizational objectives. Besides, they will be able to create comprehensive plans to execute the objectives well as per a well-defined approach.
Hence, the autonomy and flexibility coming to them in an environment sans micromanagement will enable better goal setting and thoughtful actions. As employees set their own goals and take their own approach to discharge their duties, their accountability will get enhanced as well.
It promotes greater trust-building in the workplace
Trust-building and team building are salient virtues for the success of any business. This is the reason why most employee engagement activities are based on the idea of team building. The objective is to endorse positive relationships in the workplace that can facilitate better collaboration. For any business, effective collaboration among its employees is a competitive advantage.
To substantiate, as per SalesForce, 86 percent of corporate workers feel that lack of workplace collaboration is the key reason for failure in project management. This explains why workplace collaboration needs to be sought after.
Even here, a management style centered around the virtues of macro-management can prove to be quintessential. The core notion of macro-management is based on great trust between managers and employees. Hence, trust-building and team building are intrinsic to macro-management.
It enables the development of leadership traits in employees
As mentioned above, macro-management promotes independent thinking and emancipation in employees. In other words, a work environment that exhibits the dimensions of macro-management is ideal for cultivating leadership skills in employees.
Needless to say, every organization seeks leadership prospects among its employees. Every organization wants its top performers with leadership qualities should take leadership roles in the organization in the near future.
Having said that, another fabulous benefit of macro-management is that it gives you the opportunity to create and groom leaders in the organization. What is it that is usually expected of leaders? Leaders are expected to be creative, innovative, resilient, independent thinkers, and empathetic.
With all these qualities they can develop exemplary problem-solving skills. The bottom line is that the virtues of macro-management give them the chance to learn and inculcate all these traits in a worthwhile manner.
To recapitulate, people management, performance management, and managing the momentum of workflow depend a great deal on a leader’s effectiveness. For that, different business leaders undertake different leadership styles. While some believe in micromanagement, others believe in a more democratic style of leadership based on macro-management. We have already seen how disastrous micromanagement can be for any business organization. On the other hand, a leadership style centered around macro-management can make a business far more productive and profitable. So, to attain business success in modern times and in the future, macro-management is the way forward!