Assembling your own management style may take time and much experience. In this article, we’ll detail micromanagement pitfalls, and why you should instead consider macromanaging more.

Some managers might supervise every detail of their team. Others might do the opposite. A more relaxed approach might be more efficient and will let your employees grow better by making more decisions.

What we’ll detail about in this article:

What is micromanagement?

Micromanagement is a management style focused on extreme monitoring and controlling employees’ work and procedures. Micromanagers usually tend to restrict the decision-making of their subordinates and are preoccupied with gathering information.

It may also be understood as the total opposite of giving team members freedom and believing in their potential.

Micromanaging employees might seem like a good idea to ensure they perform their tasks as the manager would want, and such a thing might be achievable in the short term.

Is micromanaging bullying? We can’t say that, but employees might consider it a sign of bullying because it affects their morale and motivation. Of course, in some cases, it is necessary and promotes higher efficiency. A micromanager has little faith in their team members and does not trust them to do things their way.

Micromanagers might end up controlling rather than empowering their people to get the task done and demonstrate results, typically leading to high-stress work situations. Of course, this leaves little place for your employees to be innovative, solve problems, or be confident in their job.

Why do individuals micromanage?

People may micromanage for various reasons, including fear of losing control, inexperience or uncertainty as a manager, and a deficiency of experienced people on their team.

Here are some reasons behind micromanagement:

  • Management inexperience
  • Excessive desire for control
  • Fear that authority and control over projects are being lost.
  • Lack of trust in the capabilities of subordinates.
  • Fear that the team can’t achieve the ‘right results’ by making their own decisions.

Micromanagement pitfalls, what to consider:

When you micromanage, you tell the employee that you do not trust them to work independently and generate outstanding outcomes. That is often appropriate, for example, in the event of an unskilled person or for more sensitive procedures. There are, however, other methods to teach people the skills they need to accomplish their jobs; toxic micromanagement is what causes employees to get disillusioned with managing, creating workplace anxiety and undermining their faith in leadership.

Let’s detail a bit about the pitfalls of micromanagement:

It limits creativity and motivation.

Having creative employees will bring additional value and insights to the workplace. Businesses are usually looking for creative people who can think outside the box.

Rather than micromanaging, employees want their supervisors to have more faith in them and allow them to handle things their way. They want to work in an environment that encourages them to be creative and values unconventional thinking. However, micromanaging your team might permanently kill its originality.

Employee motivation may suffer as a result of a lack of empowerment. Greater autonomy leads to improved role clarity, dedication, alignment, and flexibility.

It increases employee turnover.

Micromanagement has a direct influence on workforce turnover rate. Employees are demotivated and must be extra cautious with their behavior throughout the day, which leads to frustration. Frustration pushes employees to look for new opportunities and will make them quit the company when they discover one that suits them.

In this survey, about 69% of employees would consider a job change because of micromanagement.

Micromanagement can lead to poorer employee engagement. One of the most critical characteristics of high-engagement teams is their autonomy. As a result, excessive micromanagement might reduce retention and engagement.

You miss the big picture.

One of the most typical mistakes managers makes is focusing too much on particular tasks, which causes them to lose sight of the big picture. This can be problematic for a company because managers’ responsibility is to ensure that each project adds to the broader plan. No one above them will notice if they fail to fulfill their responsibilities.

Managers feel obligated to monitor every procedure, yet they frequently overlook critical strategic choices. In the long run, this tendency might lead to severe workplace imbalances.

It impacts work performance.

Employees that are micromanaged will feel like they are being over-examined. This will result in them doubting every choice they make and making them insecure about their capabilities. A lack of autonomy will undoubtedly impact work performance in the long run.

Lowers employee morale.

One of the most detrimental impacts of micromanagement is its influence on morale. Micromanagement communicates that you do not trust your subordinates to handle the job, which reduces engagement and frequently diminishes confidence. It increases stress – which is one of the psychological effects of micromanagement.

How to spot a micromanager?

Here are a few micromanaging examples:

  • Employees expect instructions on how to perform specific tasks;
  • Not enough delegation of work;
  • When choices are made autonomously without their input, they become irritated;
  • Insist on the documentation of all work procedures;
  • Every employee must submit weekly and monthly activity reports;
  • Everything is measured and monitored;
  • Discourage autonomous decision-making;
  • Frequently ask for updates;
  • Rarely satisfied with outputs;

How to stop micromanaging?

Micromanagement Pitfalls, what to consider
Micromanaging demotivates employees and creates a stressful work environment. It also makes the manager’s job a lot harder. It might be stressful even for the manager to keep up with all the information and updates of everybody in the team, which can affect its own performance.

Ask for feedback

Have a meeting with your team and discuss how they would like it to be managed. Ask for feedback – are you too focused on little details? Are there any tasks that you monitor too much and cause stress? Be open and listen to your team.

Trust your team

Start delegating more tasks to your team, and let them solve them independently. If they ask for help, guide them, but learn how to trust their decision-making, even if sometimes the results won’t meet your expectations.

Don’t be afraid of failure.

Micromanagement is frequently motivated by perfectionism. If you want your team to develop and flourish, you must give them some liberty. Allow your team to fail and freely share the lessons acquired. Your team will achieve achievement much faster if you adopt a fail-forward mindset. Your role is to serve as a coach.

Hire the right individuals.

If you feel that some of your employees can’t perform as you want, revise your hiring procedure. Make sure you hire the right individual for the right job. Here are some tips on how to improve your hiring procedure.

Give more responsibility to your subordinates.

Giving your employees more responsibility than you are comfortable with leads to innovative, cohesive teams. It includes addressing the assignment, tactics, and concerns from the start and being ready to answer inquiries and provide feedback.

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