Are you a mining industry micromanager? (And how to stop)

There are many reasons mining industry leaders become micromanagers. Are you one? Here’s how to work out if you are, and how to stop.

Are you a micromanager?

Do you constantly check in on your team? Perhaps you don’t trust them to do their job well, or right, or think they need constant supervision to actually be productive? Perhaps you feel like they’re getting in the way of you reaching your KPIs?

No team leader wants to be thought of as a micromanager. Yet, so many managers in the mining industry are just that. We see it all the time. It’s a common cause of high staff turnover, as team members feel so demoralised and demotivated that they leave, in search of an employer who they feel values them.

How do you know if YOU are a micromanager?

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I apply a high level of scrutiny to every task my team undertakes?
  • Do I insist on the intricate details of tasks?
  • Do I follow up daily?
  • Do I ask to be cc’d into emails so I can “keep up to date”?
  • Do I want to know what everyone is doing every day?
  • Is my staff turnover rate higher than industry averages for our particular business?
  • Do I routinely say, “I’m better off doing it myself”?
  • Do I find myself monitoring data, rather than waiting for the report?

Your team and employer need you to be leading and setting the strategy. When you’re micromanaging, you’re actually diluting your productivity and your contribution to the business. In the longer term there is also the potential that, in your absence, your team shuts down, as they have adapted to your involvement in the day-to-day tasks.

Simply put, a micromanager is bad for business — and it’s also potentially bad for your career because, ultimately, micromanagement has a business cost.

How to stop being a micromanager

  • Learn to trust your team. Put your ego aside and let them get on with their jobs on a day-to-day basis. Wean yourself off checking in on the minute details and focus on the bigger picture
  • Delegate responsibility. Talk to your immediate reports about taking more ownership of aspects of the team and delegate tasks that you would ordinarily not
  • Communicate KPIs. Provide your team with the required or desired outcomes and then give them time to achieve those. Ask them, rather than tell them, how they will achieve something and let them get on with it
  • Get help. Ask for guidance from your manager, a mentor or a coach
  • Listen. If someone in your team comes to you and says you are a micromanager, listen to them. It takes courage to approach your manager with a perceived fault, and their perception is the reality they are working in. As their manager, you owe it to them to hear them out.

Micromanaging is frustrating for the employee, the team, the micromanager and the business. Being receptive, proactive, positive and open to change is a must for all parties.

MPI has nearly 30 years’ specialist experience helping mining companies with their HR services. Find out more about our HR consulting services here or get in touch today.

Dan Hatch
Mining People International