What is Micromanagement and How Does it Affect the Workplace?

What is Micromanagement and How Does it Affect the Workplace?

Workplaces can be stressful environments. When you add micromanaging to this, it turns the workplace into a place where employees are overworking and morale is low. Micromanagement is the practice whereby someone in a management position is doing things that are considered overwhelming and overbearing.

Table of Contents

Micromanaging signs

No delegation 

Managers and employers usually delegate tasks according to an individual’s level of expertise and training. If a manager is not delegating tasks to the rest of their team then this creates a number of issues. Firstly, this tells the employees that the manager does not trust them to do the task successfully. Secondly, the manager is overburdening themselves with their teams tasks as well as their own. Not being able to delegate an issue also leads to other problems such as trust issues and loss of morale. 

Overly Involved Manager

Most workplaces enjoy a manager that is actively involved in their day to day activities. However, having an active boss is different to a boss who is overly involving themselves. A boss who takes interest in their employees’ work is different to a boss who tells them how to do their job. This creates a problem in the workplace as it discourages independent thinking and stops creative freedom.  

Expecting detailed reports/updates regularly 

When a manager is asking for updates and detailed reports regularly, then this presents itself as a characteristic of micromanaging. This aligns itself with having a manager who is obsessing over control in the workplace. This is overwhelming and demonstrates that the management doesn’t trust that employees are doing their work to the best of their ability. 

Communicating outside of business hours 

Sometimes it can feel like your employer is micromanaging you. For example, getting emails from your manager outside of work hours can be frustrating especially during your free time. Your employer may be working and wants to send you something before they forget it. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are micromanaging. It is fine to be in contact with your colleagues after work hours. However, if it is a constant occurrence, then this is when the situation may escalate into micromanagement. 

What does micromanaging lead to?

Decreased productivity  

Decreased productivity is one of the many disadvantages of micromanagement. Micromanaging presents itself as overwhelming to employees and they will usually start to become less motivated thereby decreasing productivity. 

If a manager is constantly observing how employees do their day to day tasks, those employees will begin to feel that they are not capable of working to the standards expected by the employer. Micromanagement then creates a loss of morale which is due to employees feeling that management does not trust them. 

For more information on how to boost productivity in the workplace, click here.

No creativity 

Micromanagement more often than not makes employees feel like they can’t do tasks in a manner that suits them best. This means that micromanagement both limits and even rejects an employee’s creativity and instead promotes whatever the manager says. Allowing employees to be able to think outside the box is something that goes a long way, especially in a time where the help of technology can bring fresh innovative ideas right to your fingertips. 

Increase in employee turnover 

Employees are more likely to look for a change in occupation if they feel they are stressing and overworking. Would an employee be wanting to stay in an occupation like this? Would they rather be their ideas be valued and the ability to express themselves how they like? The answer is pretty simple: the latter. Micromanagement has a severe impact on employee turnover as many would opt to seek out other jobs with a more effective management style. 

For more information on how to reduce high rates of employee turnover, click here.

Micromanaging – What can you do? 

If you are an employee, looking into any opportunities for to pass your feedback on to your management team. This could be at end of year performance reviews or regular catch up one-on-one meetings. 

If you are an employer, create a safe space for employees to make a complaint or leave constructive feedback on your management. Handling employee complaints and feedback can be difficult especially if it is about yourself. Appreciating and valuing employees is another way to reward employees.

For more information on how to work with employees click here.

Concluding Thoughts

Micromanagement is a practice of managing employees in the most ineffective and unproductive way. It leads to a loss of morale, loss of productivity and an increase in employee turnover. Also, it affects the management staff themselves. Receiving employee feedback about this is a highly effective way to make sure that micromanagement does not occur.

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