MACRO Management vs. MICRO Management

March 3, 2024
3 mins read

Macromanagement is a management style that gives employees control and autonomy over their work. Instead of telling team members what to do, macro managers provide the context team members need to prioritize and execute their high-impact work. This management style can increase your team’s trust, engagement, and ownership.”
Asana Project Management, 2022

“Micromanaging or micromanagement is a negative term that refers to management style. Gartner very well defines it: Micromanagement is a pattern of manager behavior marked by excessive supervision and control of employees’ work and processes, as well as a limited delegation of tasks or decisions to staff. Micromanagers avoid giving decision-making power to their employees and are typically overly obsessed with information-gathering.
Slingshot Project Management, 2022

A micromanager is a person who is actively involved in controlling or dominating an employee’s work by closely reviewing their work processes, decisions, and activities to exert control or dominance over them. The action is usually taken to improve performance or productivity, but often, it has the opposite effect and results in a decline in performance. 

In today’s work life, a lot of women find themselves dealing with bosses who like to control every little thing they do. This bossing around is called micromanagement. It’s when bosses pay too much attention to small details and try to control everything you do at work. They think this will make things better and help the company do better. But, this often backfires and makes things worse, making people feel less motivated and unhappy with their jobs. This article talks about why some bosses do this, how it can make things challenging at work, and how changing to a more relaxed way of managing, called macromanagement, is better for everyone. It’s a reminder for women at work to know their value, use their strengths, and not let a controlling boss make them feel down.

If your manager, boss, or the person you are responsible for is doing micromanagement instead of macromanagement, that is, if they take care of every detail one by one and make an attempt to control the work you do one by one, if they go behind you and question the team you manage, or if their continuous planning is done by the core teams and including themself. If he/she keeps doing it, you must understand it’s not about you.

In companies with units within themselves, if a boss is micromanaging, it is usually due to lacking management skills. Such a situation can’t occur in large corporate companies, global brands, human resources, and business management disciplines. The dynamic of the structure does not allow this anyway. Unfortunately, the negative aspects of micromanagement are generally a situation that can occur in family companies, new ventures, or small-medium companies.

With the growth of business volume, it is a must for a manager to convert his micromanaging habit to macromanaging. Otherwise, they will stand still, ask where I am doing wrong daily, and demotivate their employees without realizing it.

Because micromanagement often raises a question: “doesn’t my manager or boss trust me?”

This is the last question a leader wants to hear because leadership is built on trust.

In short, if your boss continues to micromanagement, the problem is with him; he probably has deficiencies he is unaware of; he should work on personal development, improve his skills, and maybe get help or coaching.

On the other hand, you should stop seeing yourself as the cause of everything around you. It would be wise not to let someone else’s lack of incompetence be your reason for feeling unwell. So stop doing that now! It’s imperative to remember that you can’t control everything around you. Other people’s mistakes can affect you, but they don’t need to define you. Instead, focus on the things you can control and give yourself the credit you deserve for your successes.

As we navigate through our professional lives, it’s crucial to remember that our worth is not tied to the whims of a micromanaging boss. Studies have shown that employees thrive in environments where they are trusted and have the autonomy to make decisions—environments that foster creativity, engagement, and job satisfaction (Deci, Ryan, & Williams, 1996; Gagné & Deci, 2005). Therefore, rather than getting bogged down by a micromanagement style, focus on what you can control: your reaction, your growth, and your path forward. Embrace opportunities for personal development, seek environments that value and trust your expertise, and remember that your professional journey is uniquely yours. Let’s not allow the shadow of micromanagement to dim our light; instead, let’s shine brighter by focusing on our strengths, achievements, and the positive impact we can make. Together, we can redefine success on our own terms, proving that trust and autonomy are not just nice to have, but essential for thriving in the modern workplace.