How Micromanaging Does More Harm Than Good For Your Team
If you’ve worked under the leadership of a micromanaging supervisor before, the word “micromanage” could be enough to send shivers down your spine.
Micromanagement allows supervisors and team leaders to closely observe and control the work that is done in a business. There are some people on a team that need this level of support, and when that’s the case, high-level control can be necessary.
However, more often than not, micromanagement is just the result of a leader unable to show trust in their employees and let go of the need for control.
If your team is suffocating in the grip of your micromanagement work style, now could be an essential time to rethink how you lead your business.
The Collateral Damage of Micromanagement
On the surface, micromanagement looks like a way for supervisors and team leaders to ensure that tasks are performed in a very precise way.
However, when you control everything that your team members do at a very granular level, you’ll start to see problems in other areas, like low engagement and a lack of creativity.
Micromanaging business leaders often spend their time focusing too closely on what their employees are doing, rather than concentrating on their own tasks. This means that crucial work is left uncompleted, while team members feel stifled and unable to perform under pressure.
Some of the most significant downsides of micromanagement include:
Problems with Work Relationships
Supervisors should inspire their employees, not frighten them. Employees need to look towards leaders as mentors – the people who can help them achieve their professional goals.
However, if you’re a micromanager, then you won’t be seen as a wise tutor as much as a drill sergeant that’s there to pinpoint every weakness in everything they do. This makes it hard for your employees to trust you.
At the same time, micromanagement shows that you don’t trust your team members, which can lead to them resenting you.
Higher Levels of Turnover
If the relationship between employees and their managers is bad enough, then your talent may begin to feel stressed and nervous about coming to work.
When this happens, skilled individuals start looking for alternative opportunities where their creativity and intuition will be appreciated. This means you spend a lot more time and resources training new employees, just to have to keep replacing them.
Successful leaders are there to inspire their followers to accomplish great things. Your people won’t be inspired if you’re telling them everything that they have to do each day.
The people who stick around in your team will become docile, working according to a strict schedule, with no room for innovation.
Eventually, you may find that your employees are incapable of taking the initiative and completing tasks on their own. They’ll turn to you for confirmation on everything that they need to do, so you spend even more time micromanaging.
Problems for Manager Productivity
You have a team for a reason. They’re there to help you accomplish goals that are beneficial to the entire business. If your company felt that you could do all of the work required on your own, then you wouldn’t even have a team.
While you can delegate tasks to your team members to take some of the weight off your shoulders, you won’t end up with more time on your plate if you’re spending your days watching everything that your employees do.
The amount of work that you need to do and the stress of doing it will begin to weigh on your productivity.
Your team should bring a diverse array of background knowledge and talents into your company, which means that you can tap into a wide selection of fantastic ideas and out-of-the-box thinking.
However, if you’re micromanaging, then you’re suffocating that creativity. This could mean that you miss out on insights and opportunities that would help your business to accomplish incredible things.
Replacing Micromanagement with Leadership
Ultimately, you can’t be a micromanager and an incredible leader at the same time. The best leaders are the people who have found the perfect balance between managing and guiding employees and giving those team members the freedom to get creative and walk their own path.
Leaders know when to step in and offer extra help and when to step back.
Micromanagement can signal both personal insecurities about your ability to deliver results your company is looking for, and a lack of trust in your employees.
Overcoming these issues could help you become a better leader while ensuring that you have engaged employees who want to contribute to the success of your company.
If you’re correctly delegating tasks to employees and providing them with the right guidance in the first place, then you should feel comfortable giving those team members the freedom to continue working in their own way and at their own pace.
Learning to let go and give team members the freedom to grow and thrive on their own isn’t always easy as a business leader. When you believe that you know the best way to get work done, it’s tempting to push your team members to follow your lead.
Most of the time, micromanagement is poison to your employees’ creativity, performance, and even their job satisfaction.
If you want to be the leader that produces incredible results for your business, then you need to learn how to leave micromanagement behind.
Michelle Laurey works as a VA for small businesses. She loves talking business and productivity, and share her experience with others. Outside her keyboard, she spends time with her Kindle library or binge-watching Billions. Her superpower? Vinyasa flow! Talk to her on Twitter @michelle_laurey.