Have you ever worked for a helicopter manager? As Charles Barkley would say, “that’s turrible,” isn’t it?
You know the type. They’re constantly hovering over every step you take, every move you make. Swimming in the sea of minutia is their drug of choice.
What’s the payoff for them to continue to act this way? Let me know in the comments section below.
This week’s guest post is by John Hersey, president of the domestic division of TTI Success Insights. He discusses micromanagement, disengaged employees, and how to better select talent based on the job benchmarking process to increase the level of engagement.
End Game Business is a distributor of TTI’s assessment tools.

Workplace Mismanagement Stymies Employee Engagement, Growth

Studies show that 70 percent of employees are either slightly or actively disengaged in their work. Unfortunately, this number has remained at the same level for some time now.

It may very well be that the leveling off of employee engagement coincides with a rise in micro-management, a problem that has grown to epidemic proportions.

This Randy Glasbergen cartoon portrays the micro-manager beautifully.

Micromanage employee

The micro-manager essentially tells the employee what to do, how to do it, and when to have it done, thereby effectively removing any and all possible creativity from the assignment.

The employee feels undervalued and under appreciated, and begins to settle into a role of just doing what they are told.

Perhaps the micro-manager fails to realize their actions have also minimized the employee’s opportunities for learning and growth as well. This leaves the employee with compensation as the only remaining incentive to actually go to work each day.

And we wonder why employee engagement is so low and so difficult to increase.

Meanwhile, the micro-manager impresses “the bosses” by producing some short-term results, which hide the long-term consequences.

The micro-manager receives a promotion, a big office and a raise, which in effect, puts management’s “stamp of approval on micro-management.”

The employee feels even more undervalued. This cycle continues until a year goes by and Gallup reports employee disengagement has remained at 70 percent.

Micro-management is not the only cause for employee disengagement — just a very big one.

Until company leaders stop rewarding the very system that causes the problem in the first place, the cycle will continue and employees will continue to feel disengaged.

Leaders and micro-managers alike must understand employee behavior and the motivators that drive that behavior.

And, they need to consider incorporating these strategies into the company’s selection, on-boarding and development programs.

It’s the only way to break the cycle and positively impact engagement.

Photo by DVIDSHUB.

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