Micromanaging is a Good Thing

We are not talking about the neurotic, power-tripping,
nit-picky, control freak variety of micromanager who often
gets charged with claims of “hostile work environment.”
For a successful hostile work environment claim, the
victim would have to prove some sort of bias based on age,
religion, gender, race, etc. As such, a micromanager who
is just being a jerk to everyone is not in violation of
any laws.

We are talking about a precise manager who provides
autonomy to his/her employees but yet is actively involved
in their work to constructively provide support and
guidance that allows them to be the best that they can be.

Micromanagers ensure that employees contribute to business
success and receive tangible and intangible recognition
for their work. Such managers have a level of attention
to detail that is focused on the success of their direct
reports without their employees ever feeling pressured or

Employees of positive micromanagers know that the managers
have the employees’ best interest at heart, which just
happens to be the definition of trust.

Positive micromanagement is all about increasing employee
achievement with just the right amount of manager
interaction, rather than a manager controlling all aspects
of the work product because he/she is “in charge.”


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The Stimulus-Response Trap

Can studies on animals predict human behavior?

An article about the behavioral scientist, B.F. Skinner,
stated that he spent his entire life conducting
experiments on birds and rodents, but applied all his
findings and wrote all his books about people.

Many management consultants have fallen “under the spell”
of Skinner’s theories as they propose solutions to people
problems in the workplace.

Many bonus and incentive programs are veiled attempts to
stimulate a specific behavior by offering a reward.

HR POINTER: When trying to think up ways to engage and
motivate employees, do not fall into the stimulus-response
trap that obviously works well with animals.

People are a lot more complex than birds, dogs, and

If you want to find out how to motivate employees, ask
them. Then tailor your program accordingly.


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