Accountability is Not Micromanaging

Accountability is Not Micromanaging


Nobody likes a micromanager, someone who hovers wanting to know every detail of what you do. But don’t confuse micromanaging with holding people accountable. The two are miles apart in how they affect the employees and culture.


Holding people accountable is essential to achieving goals and getting the desired results.


A leader holds the team and individuals accountable by setting clear expectations and goals and offering regular feedback without hovering.

I feel compelled to distinction explain micromanaging and accountability after a recent conversation I had while coaching. The manager I spoke to was experiencing several behavior issues among his team members. When I asked him how held them accountable, he said, “I don’t want to be a micro-manager.”[i] As we spoke, he realized he had been ignoring issues that needed to be dealt with. He was confusing accountability with micro-management. Once he recognized the difference, he was able to make huge strides with his team.

We use the word accountability frequently in healthcare and understandably so. Without accountability, patients die, infections spread like wildfire, and safety issues explode. No one argues with the need for accountability in clinical practices. But it gets fuzzy for some leaders when it comes to holding others accountable for service behavior. They shy away from confronting staff on things like tone of voice or attitude. “It’s just too subjective,” one manager told me. And there it is. The word subjective.

The culprit that makes us shrink away from a crucial conversation.

It’s important for every leader to know the difference between accountability and micro-management. Not sure if you are a micro-manger? This article from Forbes[ii] gives great insight into the signs of micromanaging. It also spotlights the impact micromanaging has on business. “Micromanagers are detrimental to the success of a business and the mental health of everyone involved.”

You don’t have to micromanage to hold others accountable, but you do need to be clear about expectations, goals, and responsibilities. If you’re still not sure you’re holding your employees accountable or if you keep hearing about bad behavior in your organization, schedule a consultation!





Tags: , , , , , ,

Subscribe to our Articles and stay up to date on leadership practices, employee engagement, retention, and service excellence.

Submit your information below to start receiving our Baird Group articles.