How should HR manage a micromanager?

Lately I’ve been working and volunteering with a number of different organizations.  It has been interesting to see how different companies manage their leaders.  Some organizations use a laid-back approach while others reserve significant portions of their budgets to support employee development throughout the year.

Recently I have been spending time observing an organization where employee morale within a particular team is falling because of the way that supervisors micromanage its staff.  Although the employees are competent with more than five years of experience working in their current roles, some (but not all) supervisors take the approach of double-checking the work of their employees, being strict with observing their attendance and ensuring that company time is used for doing company-related work only.

This topic came to mind when I found out that employee satisfaction surveys confirmed that employees within that particular team were unhappy with the way that particular supervisors led them.  When does it become the role of HR to ensure that supervisors and managers are not affecting the morale of its workers in a negative way?  How could employee morale be boosted without micromanaging the micromanagers?

Geraldine Sangalang is an HR pro working at the Robson Square Courthouse.  She volunteers as a BC HRMA GV CAN Networking Co-Chair, as well as a recruiter for Meaningful Volunteer.  On her private time, Geraldine loves scrapbooking, hiking, kayaking, and dining out with friends.


Inspiration & business. Oxymoron?

I have recently acquired the knowledge of something important.  I will share this shortly, but look back to your favourite boss, manager, trainer, and team captain and ask yourself “why were they great?”.  I am sure we can list many attributes that make or made them great. I believe that Richard’s 500 interviews is due for a concise list.

In my opinion, INSPIRATION is something that has made our great leaders epic. Inspiration can come in different sizes and shapes –  Gandhi versus Martin Luther King, for example.


One day I will be a manager and be a part of change, big game-changing change, even though right now I feel that I am not inspirational (that I know of).  I went to a beloved pick me up website  and looked for some videos tagged inspiration to inspire me.  This one by Richard St. John on 8 secrets of success just blows my mind every time.

Once you watch the video and see the 8 secrets of success, you think “yes, yes, you’re right, Richard.”  But I know there are people in the world that have been following the 8 secrets of success, but aren’t.


I won’t get into name calling but just think politicians, actors, athletes, executives that buried their businesses and someone will come to mind.  But the ones that are successful I think have that extra quality of INSPIRATION.

Inspirations moves people, your focus (one of the secrets) won’t move others, your passion may, but inspiration is what gets your troops moving and makes things happen.

“It takes a village to raise a child.” – African proverb. It also takes more than one person to make an idea, company, initiative, organization, school or association successful. Inspiration forms the bond and ability to make change happen.

Today, ask yourself, who do you inspire?

Agata Zasada is an HR generalist in a fast-paced company no one in Vancouver ever has heard of, lululemon athletica.  She has three years of experience in HR supplemented by a BBA in HR. Outside of her love for her career, Agata has been learning to run as well as practicing yoga (mainly Savasana), and is known for her witty humour.


When I sat down to write this inaugural blog post for Fireside HR, I wanted it to be a blockbuster.  Sadly, I put so much pressure on myself to deliver, I found myself struggling to come up with that perfect topic.  So, I looked to Dan Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind” for inspiration.   In this book, he talks of six senses that we should develop to succeed in today’s economy.  Design.  Story.  Symphony.  Empathy.  Play.  Meaning.  These are all “right brain” territory – the creative components of our gray matter.  Take “symphony” for example.  Pink describes it as the:

 “…capacity to synthesize rather than analyze; to see relationships between seemingly unrelated fields; to detect broad patterns rather than to deliver specific answer; and to invent something new by combining elements nobody else thought to pair.” 

If you read that thinking “yes, I would love to increase my symphonic skills”, Dan suggests a good way to start, and ironically (or perhaps not ironically at all) it’s all about serendipity.

Google a word/topic that you find interesting and then follow a link in that search and randomly select a link in each new site (or google something in there that you think is interesting if there are no outgoing links), repeating it 7 or 8 times.  When you are done, sit back and reflect on the themes or connections that you found.  Any surprises?  Did you have an “aha” moment on a problem that you are facing?  Did you learn anything?   Many of us are so busy that we don’t give ourselves anytime to just let serendipity occur.  It can be a fabulous (and fabulously cheap) way to learn, foster innovation, to problem-solve and maybe just to change mental gears.   

No time?  Share mine:

Topic – Serendipity – Link 1Link 2 Link 3Link 4Link 5Link 6Link 7

Put your observations in the comments section about my links or tell me about your own serendipity trail.   If you’ve joined along, you can rationalize it this way: 

 “just one cognitive ability distinguished star performers from average: pattern recognition, the ‘big picture’ thinking that allows leaders to pick out the meaningful trends from a welter of information around them and to think strategically far into the future.”(Daniel Goleman). 

If that doesn’t work, point them to this report by IBM which identified creativity as the top leadership characteristic.

Holly MacDonald is an independent consultant with well over 15 years of experience in the learning & development field.  Holly is a bit of a techno-geek and can often be found playing online.  When she steps away from her computer, she spends time outside: hiking, kayaking, gardening and of course walking the dog.  She lives on Saltspring Island and is a leader in the live/work revolution.