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Dear Workforce We Have Conflict Between A Micromanager And A Highly Motivated Subordinate. How Do We Make Them Function In Un

A Dear Loggerheads:


Highly motivated workers tend to be workers who possess a high achievementdrive — a need for personal mastery and a drive for self-improvement. Peoplewith this high achievement drive (first defined by psychologist DavidMcClelland) function best when the following conditions are met:


  • They are given a mission (or assignment) where they have clarity concerningthe underlying rationale — how this mission/task connects to the “bigpicture.”


  • They are given a definition of expected outcomes (standards ofperformance).


  • They are given room to act or responsibility so that they feel a sense ofownership over the task and the outcome.


  • They receive feedback or rewards based on how well they do.


Task-focused micromanagers often lack the patience to provide the requiredparameters and often are reluctant to provide subordinates room to act to takeownership of the activity. When this happens, the subordinate ends up feelingunder-managed (he feels like just another set of hands rather than as a truecontributor) and, unless he becomes engaged, he will tend to become lessmotivated and stop developing his capability.


The lesson for this manager is to take the time to scope out the projectedmission/task for the employee. Give the person some room to act. This does notmean abdication of responsibility, but does mean letting the employee make areal contribution, and not tweaking all of the employee’s work so that itbecomes the boss’s work. The manager also must provide feedback. Ultimatelythis all goes back to that old metaphor: “Give a person a fish and he eats.Teach him to fish and he learns to feed himself’.”


SOURCE: Bill Tredwell, managing director, Hay Resources Direct and seniorconsultant, The HayGroup, Boston, Massachusetts, June 14, 2002.


LEARN MORE: See “WhatWorks: Refreshing Lessons in Empowerment


The information contained in this article is intended to provide usefulinformation on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice ora legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.


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