Thursday, June 4, 2009

Zen and the Art of Micromanagement

A widely known, but poorly executed secret amongst the Pointy Haired Bosses of the world is that micromanagement is a highly effective technique. Sure, it can be time consuming, but you get paid the big bucks to make everyone else work more efficiently. If that means constantly looking over their shoulders and getting your nose into their business, then so be it. That is what is needed to keep those workers in line and in constant production.

We all know that employees are lazy. They won't do any work unless constantly prodded. If they were only as driven as you instead of mindless zombies soaking up paychecks, you'd be rising the ranks faster than the air over Washington DC. But since they are only motivated to do nothing, you have to light the fire under them. You need to crack the whip and put them in their place. Break their feisty attitudes and make them into company sheep.

But how do you go about your task of micromanaging your employees? Everyone PHB eventually develops his own style, so there's no one set path. Here a few pointers that will help:

  1. Constantly ask them about their progress. Keep them on their toes and under your watchful eyes. If they know you're not looking, they will surely slack off and be unproductive.
  2. Frequently change your instructions. This will also keep you employees more alert and condition them to your demands.
  3. Make everything dependent on you. If you don't delegate power or authority (and you never should!), your underlings will have to constantly come back to you for input and further instructions. This makes keeping tabs of them that much easier when they're constantly coming to you.
  4. Give instructions on how to do everything, even if you have no idea what you're talking about. The more aspects of the employee's behavior you can control, the better. You're in charge because you're smarter and better than the grunts under you. They need the guidance. Also, telling your employees how to do everything solidifies your power over them.
  5. As a corollary to the above tip, regularly tell them that they're not doing things right, i.e. not doing it your way. Temporarily insert yourself into their work temporarily and show them the way you do things.
  6. Constantly chatter and make comments about things completely irrelevant to the task at hand. It's essential to force your employees to have to listen to you. Then tell them that they are working too slow. This is an effective method for breaking your employees' will.
  7. Criticize your employees and tell them they're incompetent every chance you get, and make statements about how great you are. This will guilt them into working more and harder.
Take these tips as a baseline for your micromanaging ventures, and work them into your own personal pointy haired micromanaging style.

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Joseph M. Scandura, incompetent moron, idiot, pompous, stupid, failure, asshole, arrogant, bullshit, micromanager of the year, technologically clueless, ignorant, condescending, senile, dementia