February 20, 2009

Micromanagement up the YinYang!

One thing that I've observed a lot of in the office I'm in is micro-management. Micro-management is defined by Wikipedia as: a management style where a manager closely observes or controls the work of his or her subordinates or employees.

Now, I'm a firm believer in management and supervision, but needing to be in on every small detail of a person's job just to be in there is not only annoying, but it is disempowering!

Here we are as social workers, trying to empower our clients, but we're not even empowered ourselves! Well, that's not totally true. There is a bit of freedom for everyone, but some of the things that ARE micromanaged don't make much sense.

It's difficult to work when you not only have someone standing over your shoulder, but have to report back to them later with what the results were from when they were standing over their shoulder!

Let me just say that this isn't necessarily about me. I've had a fair amount of freedom in my work so far in this practicum, and I think my freedom will be expanded later on, but this also goes back to the "assessing supervisees" thing that I'd talked about previously. One would think that a supervisor would assess how skilled and experienced someone is before explaining the simplest things to them that they've said they already know...

On a more random note, I have many more things to say about practicum, and may do a Random Practicum Notes post later on. I don't want this to be all about the whining and crying...I am having some very positive experiences, as well!



oregonamy1972 said...

Micro-managers are one of the most difficult types of managers to work with, in my opinion. I've had at least one job that I've left simply to get out from under the thumb of a micro-manager.

cb said...

I used to work in exactly that kind of setting. 'Used to' being the operative words. I didn't quite how much I hated it until I left..

Reas Kroicowl said...

Yup. Been there, done that. Sucks.

Zarathustra said...

My current consultant is a micro-manager par excellence. Directives come from on high as to how the consultant wants the day-to-day running of the ward, and the nurses are expected to obey. It's like being back in the old "doctor is God" way of working. Unfortunately the ward manager seems to accept this, so we can't challenge it. To make things worse, I've made all kinds of recommendations to the ward round on how to deal with this or that patient, and I've yet to see one that was actually adopted.

Naturally this leads to a lot of bad decisions, because they're being made by someone who only sees the patients for 20 minutes once a week rather than the people who see them every day. Why can't this bloody man let the nurses get on with their jobs of being nurses?

antiSWer said...

It's frustrating when the ones with the knowledge of the clients are not the decision makers...or even contributors to decisions. It's shocking how many people in the MH Center I'm at do not even consult the nurses, or better yet, the daily support staff!

allanmcdougall said...

Micro-management is just ineffective. Managers shouldn't have to worry about the fine details if they train their staff correctly. But at the same time it depends on the environment. For example, restaurant managers must micro-manage in order to ensure all standards are met by over-worked, stressed out serving and kitchen staff. But in an office it can be VERY frustrating.

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