Micromanagement: Why It is Killing Your Business (and What to Do About It)

Micromanagement is a managerial approach that involves close supervision of employees. This style of management can have negative effects on employee morale and productivity, as well as the overall success of the company.

In this article, we will detail some of those unfavorable effects, examine how to spot them, and offer some tips on dealing with them in your workplace.

Negative Effects of Micromanagement on Employees

It’s no secret that micromanagement can be detrimental to employee morale and motivation. But what are some of the specific ways in which micromanagement can negatively impact employees?

  • Stifle creativity and innovation: Employees who feel like they are constantly being watched and monitored are less likely to take risks or think outside the box. This can lead to a loss of creativity and innovation within the workplace.
  • Increase stress and anxiety: Constantly feeling like you have to watch your every move can be incredibly stressful. This type of stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, lowering employee wellbeing.
  • Lead to a loss of productivity: When employees are constantly being monitored, they may start to feel like their work is never good enough. This can lead to them second-guessing themselves and their decisions, which can ultimately lead to a loss of productivity.
  • Create a hostile work environment: Feeling like you’re constantly being watched can make the work environment feel hostile and uncomfortable. This type of environment is not conducive to open communication and collaboration, which are two key elements of a successful workplace.
  • Damage employee morale: When employees feel like they are not trusted or valued, it can damage their morale and motivation. This can lead to a decrease in productivity and an overall negative attitude towards the company.

Micromanagement can have a serious impact on employees, both mentally and emotionally. If you’re a manager, it’s important to be aware of the potential consequences and reflect on how you can improve.

If you’re feeling micromanaged at work, you should communicate with your manager about your concerns. Micromanagement is often the result of a lack of trust, so addressing this issue head-on can help to improve the situation.

employees talking to each other about micromanagement

How to Spot Signs of Micromanagement

Micromanagement is the act of closely monitoring or controlling someone’s work. It can be used as a management style but is often considered to be negative and intrusive.

Leaders may call it accountability, but if it gets out of hand, it may suffocate your employees. If you’re being micromanaged, it may not be immediately obvious. There are a few warning indicators to watch out for.

Being constantly checked up on

If your boss is constantly asking you for reports or updates on your work, it’s a sign that they don’t trust you to do your job without their supervision.

Giving very specific instructions at every step

Explaining exactly how to do your job, every step of the way, is a sign that they don’t trust you to use your judgment. They hired you to do a job because of your expertise, they should let you a least have some control over how it is done.

Own judgment is discouraged

If you feel like you’re always having to check with your boss before making even small decisions, it’s a sign that they don’t trust you to make decisions on your own.

Need for constant approval from the manager

Getting positive feedback from a manager is a good thing, but if you can’t move on from a task until you’ve received approval, you’re not being given the autonomy to do your job the way you see fit.

Your work is being heavily scrutinized and critiqued

If your boss is constantly asking for updates on your progress, checking in to see how you are doing every five minutes or looking over your shoulder while you work, they are likely micromanaging you.

employee being a puppet of a manager

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s possible that you are being micromanaged. If you feel like it, talk to your boss as soon as possible. They might not be conscious of the impact their actions are having on you, and may just be trying to help. If your boss is unwilling to change their behavior, it could be time to look for a new job.

Tips for Dealing with Micromanagement

Micromanagement generally results in the employees feeling stifled, resentful and unmotivated.

When a boss doesn’t believe in their staff or isn’t secure in their talents, micromanagement frequently results. Here are some tips for overcoming it:

1. Recognize the signs of micromanagement

Do you feel like you’re being constantly monitored or checked up on? Are you being given specific instructions on how to complete tasks, even though you’re an expert in your field? Do you feel like you have no autonomy or freedom in your work? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then it’s likely that you’re being micromanaged.

2. Talk to your boss

If you feel like you’re being micromanaged, the first step is to talk to your boss about it. It’s possible that they’re unaware of their behavior and how it’s impacting your work. Be honest and direct in your conversation, and try to come up with a solution that works for both of you.

3. Set boundaries

It’s important to set boundaries with your boss if you feel like you’re being micromanaged. Make sure they understand your comfort level and your limitations. For example, you might tell them that you’re happy to provide regular updates on your progress, but you don’t want to be cc’d on every email they send.

4. Take initiative

One way to combat micromanagement is to take initiative in your work. Show your boss that you’re capable and competent and that you don’t need to be constantly monitored. This will help build their trust in you, and it might lead to them giving you more autonomy in your work.

5. Find a mentor

If you’re struggling to deal with micromanagement, it can be helpful to find a mentor who can offer guidance and support. They can provide advice on how to handle the situation, and they can be a source of moral support when things get tough.

6. Seek out feedback

Another way to combat micromanagement is to seek out feedback from your boss. This will show them that you’re open to constructive criticism and that you value their input. It’s also a good way to get an idea of what they expect from you, so you can adjust your work accordingly.

employees being controlled by manager through strings as a sign of micromanagement

7. Keep your cool

It’s important to keep your cool when dealing with micromanagement. If you get angry or defensive, it’ll only make the situation worse. Instead, try to stay calm and constructive in your interactions with your boss.

8. Take initiative and be proactive in your work

One way to combat micromanagement is to be proactive in your work. Show your boss that you’re capable and competent and that you don’t need to be constantly monitored. This will help build their trust in you, and it might lead to them giving you more autonomy in your work.

9. Understand why your manager may be micromanaging you

There could be a variety of reasons why your boss is micromanaging you. Maybe they’re new to the role and they’re still trying to find their footing. It could be that they don’t trust you to do the job properly. It’s important to try to understand their motivations before you can address the issue.

10. Find a new job

If all else fails, it might be time to find a new job. It’s not always easy to do, but it might be necessary if the micromanagement is impacting your work too much. Sometimes, the best solution is to start fresh in a new environment.

Benefits of Having a More Relaxed Management Style

It’s no secret that the traditional, top-down management style is on the decline. In today’s work environment, employees are often more engaged and productive when they feel like they have a say in how things are done.

There are many benefits to having a more relaxed management style. For one, it can help to foster a more creative and innovative environment. When employees feel like their ideas are valued, they’re more likely to come up with new and better ways to do things.

Additionally, a more relaxed management style can also lead to improved communication and collaboration. When everyone feels like they’re on the same team, it’s easier to work together towards common goals.

Finally, it can help to reduce stress and promote a healthy work-life balance. When employees feel like they’re able to take breaks when they need them, or that their work isn’t always the top priority, they’re more likely to be happier and less stressed overall.

If you’re considering making the switch to a more relaxed management style, Day.io offers the ability to manage your team from anywhere, set goals and deadlines, and track progress all in one place. If you’re looking for a way to simplify team management, then Day.io is worth considering.