Micromanagement is defined as attention to small details in management. Thusly, if you constantly ask for a detailed report or always put your surveillance eyes around your employees, chances are, you are a micromanager. But why is being micromanager a bad thing? The obvious reason is that no individual wants to be monitored too closely about things they do, let alone being controlled all the time. No wonder, micromanagement tends to disempower employee’s motivation, stifle good opportunity, and give rise to employees perform poorly in their job.
Harry Chambers, the president of the Atlanta-based training and consulting company Trinity Solution, Inc., discussed in his book titled “The Micromanagement Survival Guide” that the negative impact of micromanagement permeates to at least four areas, namely the organisation, micromanager,
Within an organisation, micromanagement could result in retention problems, increased levels of unresolved conflict, excessive tardiness, absenteeism, higher resistance to change initiatives, etc. As a result, the company could suffer from a greater loss of profit as well as time and cost to hire new talents due to retention problems.
For the micromanagers, they might suffer from career stagnation and diminished responsiveness, become a bottleneck, as well as increase turnaround and lower productivity from others. Consequently, they will lack support from colleagues and lack personal exposure. Micromanager could also become an impediment to change.
For employees aka the micromanagees, there are chances of increasing absence of risk-taking, lower job satisfaction, boredom, decreased commitment, increased resentment, and diminished creativity as well as initiative. Thusly, it will shape low morale amongst employees.
While customers, in this case, might no longer want to collaborate with an organisation as a whole or want to change manager to collaborate with.
Despite the negative impact can be seen clearly, oftentimes, micromanagers do not feel that they do micromanage their employees. Chambers showed that majority (91 percent) managers were unaware of employees changing their job due to their micromanagement’s behaviours. Managers often stumble when they find themselves in a higher-level position that requires leadership, but they respond with management, resulting in unawareness of micromanagement behaviours.
Therefore, understanding and letting yourself informed with the signs of micromanaging leaders is important. If you know that you are a micromanager, you will likely be able to mitigate and fix your management skill better. Here are things a micromanager does: resist delegating work, look at the details instead of the big picture, discourage others from making decisions, monitor what’s least important and expect regular reports on miscellany, push aside experience and knowledge of others, loose loyalty, have a demotivated team, possess control-obsessed, dictate everything, constantly ask for detailed report, have trust in co-workers/employees, detail-orientedness, and discourage independent decision making.
If you find yourself nodding to the listed signs of micromanagement above, you should change how to manage your employees from now on. Self-reflection is the most effective way to avoid being micromanager as it makes you aware of your own behaviour. Therefore, try to ask yourself why you micromanage your staff and reflect on your need for control.
Besides, you can also apply these key tips to stop micromanaging your employees and create a better culture within your organisation.