How to Handle the Proverbial Office Control Freak
There are innumerable reasons why document management beats micromanagement, but we’ll cover the most relevant reasons in this post.
If there’s a word that captures the pain of the modern office life, it’s “micromanagement.” The term harnesses so many prevalent frustrations in contemporary work life: Resentment, unduly subordination, and insistence on paying attention to or devoting one’s time to unimportant tasks that neither advance individuals’ careers nor the future of the companies for which they work.
Everybody dislikes micromanagement. The worst part of all? Most micromanagers are not even aware of their tendencies to micromanage. This means, despite reading this blog in hopes of finding a micromanagement solution for your organization, that you could be a micro manager without even knowing it!
It’s not all for naught, though.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) recently published a study on micromanagement, noting it’s only beneficial in short-term situations, as is the case with training new employees, increasing the productivity of underperforming employees, and controlling myriad high-risk issues.
Despite the suggested balancing act modern research suggests, how can we eradicate micromanagement for the long-term betterment of our organizations? Keep reading and see why document management beats micromanagement as a solution for small, mid-sized, and even large organizations.
Why Document Management Beats Micromanagement: Stress Reduction
A study conducted by the Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, mentioned in the Chicago Tribune, even found that people in very demanding roles with little control over their workflow were almost 20% more likely to die during the trial period in comparison to other workers in less demanding jobs.
Micromanagement-induced stress is native to some of the most document-intensive industries and workflows. For instance, industries with high turnover and frequent new hires will experience greater levels of micromanagement due to the prevalent training demands these scenarios cause.
For instance, the services sector retains employees for less frequent duration of time, and the document-intensive aspects of these services make information management difficult.
However, micromanagement needn’t be the go-to technique with services sector technology that prevents these issues, and this pertains mostly to training and on-boarding new employees.
If we want to prevent micromanagement over the long haul, we’ll need to properly train employees at the beginning of their tenures with their given companies.
Given that most training processes are documentation intensive and require accurate record keeping, it’s in the best interest of any company in high stress industries like finance, accounting, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing, and law to manage documentation before it manages them, and this is just one of the reasons why document management beats micromanagement.
Until these suggestions are reified, stress will further embed micromanagement into the business practices of any organization, regardless of its size or purpose.
Streamlined Communication Strategy and Sentiment
If you find your employees speak their minds too often, micromanagement is probably the cause. The frustration that inevitably stems from trying to manage others’ work too intensely boils over in to body language, and in later stages, tacit verbal expression of these feelings.
And when employees do speak their minds about issues affecting their performance, the negativity breeds hostility and discontent, even among some of the most positive employees.
This is yet another reason why document management beats micromanagement: The document management technology itself handles a considerable portion of the organizing efforts once only overseen by management personnel, simply tracking, tracing, and identifying project workflows within a given system.
In result of using document management solutions, most executives, leaders, and managers will be able to tend to more important aspects of management; for instance, curating talent, providing accurate feedback on performance, and giving employees the motivation they need to succeed in their jobs without a micromanager breathing down their necks.
Document Management Simplifies Delegation
If there’s one thing that all micromanagers have in common, it’s that they have trouble delegating tasks and trusting employees with responsibilities.
But in employees’ defense, it’s nearly impossible to complete unclear tasks. And although tasks and projects can be made very clear in detail, finding the documents and information needed to complete tasks thoroughly and accurately is a challenge with outdated information management mediums, like filing cabinets, shared drives, flash drives, or simple Windows folder structures.
One of the reasons all these mediums make completing delegated tasks difficult is the fact that they elicit minimal collaboration from internal and external teams alike.
Document Management Eliminates Task Silos
At its essence, micromanagement stems from a belief that one can control everything. Although control is an important aspect of task completion, it should never be the sole responsibility of a human being.
This is yet another reason why document management beats micromanagement: It alleviates the human burden of control in an age dominated by information chaos.
After all, over 90 percent of the world’s data and content has been created within the past 5 years. Any organization or small business trying to harness this data through human intelligence alone is going to fail, even if one has the IQ of an Einstein.
Not only does document management eliminate task siloes, it frees up room for collaboration that reduces the effort that each individual on a team must make to reach a goal—increasing the synergy of the group as a whole instead of demanding more from each siloed employee.
Document Management Identifies Real Barriers to Great Performance
The final reason why document management beats micromanagement is fear of underperforming and micromanagement, which almost always coincide. Although usually well-intentioned, most micromanagers fail to realize the import of their habit’s effects on their employees.
What managers oftentimes forget is that to overcome micromanagement, one must zero in on the ways to improve a team’s performance without having to oversee everything the team does, and this will always entail working smarter, not harder.
When paper is removed from the office and put into a traceable system where workflow and activity are identifiable and measurable, managers can spend less time micromanaging employees, because they will be able to more easily identify actual issues in productivity and allocate resources toward solving those issues as they arise, drastically increasing efficiency and pinpointing the hang-ups in their workflows.
Otherwise, management and executives will have to merely postulate or guess what the issues surrounding productivity are, and they’d likely achieve better results playing darts in the dark. And, to the chagrin of the organization, micromanagement will only continue to grow and harm productivity.