Alex worked for a large safety company, providing administrative support to more than 600 staff members. She was an enthusiastic worker and especially eager to support the employees that depended on her every day. Many employees knew she was good at her job and could handle most anything they asked of her. Alex was well organized and if she did not have an answer to something, she consulted with other colleagues until a solution was established.
A new boss, John, was hired and Alex’s everyday duties drastically changed. She was suddenly feeling overwhelmed with the work being given to her. This was because John came in and evoked an environment Alex was not accustomed to, micromanagement. John was constantly in front of Alex’s desk pressing for status updates on assignments, calling in from meetings to get additional updates and questioning the approach used for any correspondence.
These things took additional time away from actual work that was completed. Keep in mind that Alex was also getting work from many other employees, but since this was her boss, she felt the need to keep him content. John soon requested a daily meeting with Alex so they could discuss the tasks expected for the day. Keeping John at bay was seldom easy but Alex was determined to prove to him that she did not need to be micromanaged.
A new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology showed that people who believe they are being watched perform at a lower level (Lucas, 2011). Alex definitely felt the pressure of a hovering micromanager. She slowly began to change the way she was responding to John, trying to get ahead of his status checks and hourly calls for additional input. Alex would come to John with status updates before he had a chance to ask for them. After several weeks, she was prepared ahead of time for questions she knew he would be looking for.
After just a few months at his new position, John hired a deputy to assist with the overload he was experiencing. To Alex’s delight, this was the missing piece of the organization. After the deputy was hired, John began to ease up on Alex. Perhaps, he realized that she was capable of producing exceptional work, or maybe with the help of his new deputy, he was feeling a little more at ease with the everyday tasks that his office was responsible for.
Recommendation and Result
In any case, Alex found that having two executive supervisors was helping the...