Micromanagers spend an inordinate amount of time not doing their own jobs, but instead controlling the functions of people they should be coaching, developing and leading. In best-case scenarios, micromanagement is an impediment to maximum progress. In extreme cases, it can cause an entire organization to stagnate and top talent to leave.
The Collateral Damage of Micromanagement
Micromanagers become irritated whenever their subordinates make decisions or take actions without first consulting them. This can essentially kill employees’ initiative, skills development, morale and drive. Micromanagement:
- Stifles innovation. Employees can’t come up with new ideas or procedures on their own. They become drones who wait to be told what to do, rather than taking even the smallest risks that come with progress. Unless things change, the best workers find new jobs and the company is left with those who are content to constantly sit back and wait for direction.
- Slows work flow. Delegation is an essential element in any healthy organization. Inefficiency results when all approvals and forward steps, no matter how minor, must go through a manager. Communication and teamwork are hindered, as managers fail to respect the self-directed work of their team members.
- Leads to feelings of resentment. It creates an environment where instead of being motivated, people are simply anxious to get the boss off their backs. This constant pressure becomes their main focus, rather than being attuned to accomplishing a task or project.
- Can cause insecurity. If employees are micromanaged, they may sense that their supervisors are disregarding other mission critical areas and hence, the company may be in trouble. This misperception not only threatens retention, but it also can cause irrevocable damage to your reputation and employment brand.
Micromanagement vs. Project Management
Managing a project requires juggling various tasks and keeping your entire team on schedule. While there may be some advantages to micromanaging on occasion – such as a higher likelihood of meeting time deadlines – it becomes a negative when taken to extremes.
- Managers should be accessible without being stifling. It’s beneficial to have an open-door policy whereby team members can approach management to have questions answered and details clarified. But if leaders ask for updates too frequently or direct every task for every employees, it causes distractions and even work stoppages. Employees may be unable to brainstorm ideas. Ultimately, your company risks losing repeat business by not delivering exceptional customer outcomes.
- Delegation leads to success. It allows managers to pass on some portion of their own workload to capable subordinates so they can concentrate on other important issues. They should meet with team members to discuss project goals and timelines, respond to questions, facilitate progress, and obtain periodic updates. If changes need to be made, they should guide the new direction and then step back and allow employees to proceed. Their role is to be available as a resource, but not to demand input for every single step.
Do the harmful effects of micromanagement look all too familiar? If you need assistance and resources in addressing this and/or other HR challenges, consider partnering with a workforce development expert from PrideStaff Fresno. We can help you shape your successful workforce and leadership team for today, tomorrow and the future. Read our related posts or contact us today.