Working in a micromanaging or “hands-on” environment could be rather daunting. Some may find this style of leadership so challenging that they decide to jump ship. According to a Forbes article, there is a strong connection between job satisfaction and “freedom to make decisions about how to do their jobs”. Employees who work in this type of environment are 28% more likely to explore new opportunities.
Now, before casting judgment on the big-bad-bosses, I would recommend trying to understand them a little better to put your scenario in better perspective. Perhaps there are some underlying issues that are causing a leader to be overbearing. Maybe there are insecurities, inexperience, or trust issues hovering over this individual. Maybe they’ve never had proper leadership training.
There are a host of reasons to explain the why. Maybe understanding the “Why?” will alleviate some of the frustrations. However, no matter the reason, if you’re on the receiving end of this style then it could definitely push you away.
Keep in mind, there may be work situations where micromanagement is a necessity. Perhaps the employee is on a performance plan and this management style is needed to get the employee back on track. Maybe the employee is new and needs extra support to get them up to speed.
4 things I did while working for a micromanaging boss
I realized I was in a controlling environment when the new boss came to town and quickly had to decipher if I was going to jump ship or stay and continue to grow in my role. I chose the latter and decided to do four things in the process.
1. Stopped complaining
After realizing what type of leader was overseeing my office, I realized I had a choice to make, stay in the role and seek to succeed or find a new job. I knew there was more I needed to learn, so I didn’t want to leave prematurely.
I decided I needed to figure out how to be content in my situation. In making that decision, that meant to stop complaining about the boss! There was so much negative water cooler talk about the manager that it became unfruitful and quite frankly, very negative.
The employees knew that things were not going to change, even after several employee complaints, so I decided to accept where I was and learn to work with him. I even had my husband keep me accountable.
2. Realized I wasn’t the problem
Initially, when I was asked to include my boss on all of my internal system notes and bcc him on all client emails, I thought he was singling me out. I became insecure about my performance. I quickly realized after several similar comments from co-workers that he was doing this across the board.
In my scenario, I realized quickly that this style was not targeted at me but it was the boss’ style throughout the office. When I understood the boss clearly had some issues that affected his management style it alleviated some of my internal frustrations.
I even tried to give him more information whenever I could because I knew he needed that. Maybe I was enabling a weakness but it made the scenario more bearable.
3. Learned as much as I could
Having been in sales most of my career, I was used to freedom, flexibility, and trust from my employers. Of course, this trust had to be earned but I found myself in a situation that I was just not used to.
I was measured on everything under the sun:
- How many phone calls I made in a week and even a day
- How many people I spoke to
Trust me, the list goes on. I decided that while I was there, I’d be a sponge and soak up all the information I could get. Although my boss was very “hands-on” he had a lot of good insight and vision into the company and the role I was tasked to do, so I tried to take advantage of his knowledge.
4. Reestablished my priorities
After I felt that professionally and personally I was ready to transition into a new job I had no regrets. I had gained invaluable experience that I was able to take to another company. The turning point for realizing my transition was needed. My manager denied my request to work from home ONE day per week.
Many progressive companies realize that statistically there are so many benefits to allowing an employee to work remotely, occasionally. It’s a growing trend in workplaces, so, given my job duties (that could be performed anywhere) I was astonished when this request was denied. Statistics even say that remote workers are 50 percent less likely to quit and are typically more satisfied with their jobs.
Not having to sit in traffic, reduced stress, more sleep, more productivity are just a few benefits. There are so many more but I’ll save that for another post. The micromanagement and regressive atmosphere were reasons for me to transition into a more broad-minded, flexible environment.
The decision to leave didn’t happen overnight as I felt I still needed to grow in certain areas. When I was ready to leave my job, I had no reservations whatsoever and I was happy with the time that I put in.
Because of my decision to stick it out, I was able to take an even better opportunity and more appealing than I ever imagined.