Micromanagement, where an employer manages with extreme control is a problem that plagues many workforces. In the book My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide, it’s revealed that nearly four out of five employees had experienced or were currently experiencing micromanagement in their workplace. When left unchecked, it can really take a toll on your company. Here are some common signs of micromanaging and its negative effects.
Common Signs of Micromanaging
Control is usually the most common symptom. Career development coach, Trish Pratt explains that micromanagers have difficulty delegating tasks and always want to be sure things are done “their way.” Therefore, they have difficulty giving the reins to other employees. They may check in excessively during a project, want frequent updates and generally “hover.”
Micromanagers also have difficulty letting others make decisions. They may fear that employees are incapable of calling the shots, and giving up control will lead to problems. So they always want to be involved in the details, even when it’s not really necessary.
As you might imagine, this can create some issues. One of the biggest is employee turnover. “Micromanagement is routinely the top complaint people have about their bosses, and in today’s good job market where workers have more options, that’s a bigger problem for employers,” writes Yuki Noguchi in NPR. Employees are much more likely to be dissatisfied and leave their job prematurely in this type of situation.
It can hurt productivity because micromanagers can be distracting to the workplace. Constantly interjecting and getting in the way of employee decision-making puts a strain on day-to-day tasks. Projects slow down, progress is delayed and employees end up doing and redoing their work to meet a micromanager’s requirements.
It also reduces morale. Staff members can’t help but feel defeated when their decision-making is constantly questioned, and they’re made to believe they can’t do anything right. Therefore, overall job satisfaction takes a hit.
Correcting the Micromanaging Problem
If this is something you’re guilty of, it’s important to address and correct the problem before it gets out of control. Simply becoming aware of it is the first step. Next, you’ll want to work on developing more trust in your team members. As long as they’re equipped with the right tools and knowledge, they can make their own decisions and do what’s right for your company.
Finally, it’s wise to ask employees what their ideal management style is. Knowing this should ensure that you take the right approach with each individual. Do these things, and you can establish a healthier culture and avoid falling into the micromanaging trap.
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