7 Tips to Make Micromanaging Work for U.S. Manufacturers

Marlin Steel on December 30, 2014

taking a close look at operations can pay off big for upper management, assuming it's done the right way.Micromanagement of a workforce can often prove to be tricky. While many managers are able to use micromanagement techniques to great effect, others end up actually limiting the productivity of their workers. So, what separates successful micromanagers from ones that aren’t successful?

In a recent Inc.com article, columnist Drew Greenblatt related a story where he got to see a successful micromanager in action, and came up with seven tips to help managers who like to micromanage be more effective.

Who was the micromanager? Donald Trump. So, without further ado, here is the list of seven nuggets of wisdom that micromanagers can benefit from based on Trump’s example from his inspection of the Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter, Florida:

Micromanagement Tip #1: Know Your Business

In today’s world, many managers are trained specifically to manage. These people are brought in as management, never having to actually perform the work of the employees that they manage. If a manager with no knowledge of the actual processes involved with the operation of the business tries to micromanage employees, results can be disastrous.

When you are familiar with all aspects of the business, however, you can easily establish authority and command respect. In the Inc.com article, Trump knows his business, and he owns over a dozen golf clubs spanning several continents. He can manage these facilities because he knows the ins and outs of operating a club for golfers, and as such can quickly find flaws and opportunities for improvement in a golfing club.

If you aren’t familiar with the day-to-day operations of your business, take the time to read up on the subject and watch both the most and least productive employees in action and see what separates them.

Micromanagement Tip #2: Work Hard

Odds are, if you’re a dedicated micromanager, you have an excellent work ethic already. To be a great micromanager means putting in extra time and effort on days where others are taking it easy. In the article, Mr. Trump was touring his Jupiter, Florida location on a Sunday, a day that most people take for granted as a day of rest.

Where others were napping, this successful micromanager was taking control of his business.

Micromanagement Tip #3: Be Local/Present

It is difficult to put your operations under the microscope when you’re at telescope range. All too often, managers will call out orders from afar without ever actually seeing the conditions onsite. This completely removes any sense of context from the decision-making process, limiting the ability of managers to intuit the source of a problem.

To get a real idea of what’s going on and make more informed decisions, it is important to get a close look at what is going on. By visiting the site in person, you have a much better chance of coming to a complete understanding of the situation, which brings us to our next point…

Micromanagement Tip #4: Do a Complete Check

Do a complete check to make sure everything is rightPart of being a great micromanager is attention to detail. When inspecting a facility, it is important to check every area of the facility, not just the ones the General Manager or other staff members want to share. Odds are, if they’re trying to lead you away from a given area, there’s some sort of problem that needs to be addressed.

By checking every nook and cranny, you can often find many surprises, both good and bad. During his inspection of the Trump National Golf Course in Jupiter, Florida, Mr. Trump checked all of the course’s facilities in detail to make sure that nothing was hidden from him.

Micromanagement Tip #5: Engage Employees

One thing that can separate great micromanagers from ones who get in the way of productivity is whether or not the manager engages employees while onsite. When you greet employees by name, you give them a sense that they matter to you, that their efforts are recognized.

Remote management breeds disengagement among employees, as there is a sense that effort won’t be recognized or appreciated. Sometimes, a simple “hello” is all that it takes to make a difference to your employees.

Micromanagement Tip #6: Engage with Clients (when possible)

During his inspection of the golf club, Trump actively sought out patrons and engaged with them, saying hello and engaging in a little small talk with each. By doing this, Trump was engaging in excellent hospitality and creating a memorable experience for his club’s clients.

Even for U.S. manufacturers, this strategy can be a rewarding one. When clients come to the facility, or when they are meeting with sales team members, you can take such opportunities to personally meet and greet with them, giving these clients a sense that you are personally involved with their accounts, boosting confidence and engagement.

Micromanagement Tip #7: Speak and Act Respectfully

One of the amazing things from Donald Trump’s interactions with his employees was the respectful, open nature of the conversations he had with his employees. Although Trump owns over a dozen golf club facilities and has an almost unsurpassed knowledge of the business, he was able to calmly engage with his employees in a straightforward dialogue.

Rather than shoving a specific vision down employee’s throats and treating them as if their opinions and ideas don’t matter, showing respect and taking the time to have a meaningful conversation can help you gain the trust of employees. When employees know that you respect them, they are much more likely to feel comfortable bringing problems to your attention so that you can help them find a solution.

For more information about many different manufacturing issues, check out the full Inc.com article here, or contact Marlin Steel today.

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Author: Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel
Marlin Steel is a leading manufacturer of custom‐engineered products from steel wire and sheet metal. Its industrial material handling containers serve many industries including aerospace, defense, medical and automotive.

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