Different managers use different techniques and strategies, depending on the workforce composition and organizational culture, when it comes to managing the employees and their work. However, in an attempt to drive the team towards the desired result, many managers make the blunder of embracing micromanagement. Micromanagement is closely observing or controlling the work of subordinates, and is one of the most detrimental habits that can cripple the organization from the inside. When a manager or the boss constantly lurks over your shoulder or holds up a microscope to every single thing that you do, you lose the drive, morale and creativity. It creates stress, distrust, and over-dependence, making the employees feel that they aren’t good enough to work on their own. Micromanaging is the management’s way of ensuring that every task is performed exactly the way the authorities want it but the employees eventually lose confidence and motivation to take initiatives. Micromanagement usually begins when a manager is unable to trust the employees and that’s when they believe that it’s the only way the organization can succeed. However, in the process they ignore the negative impacts that can lead to some irreversible damages.
Let’s have a look at how micromanagement negatively impacts the organization and why it’s best to avoid it:
- Discourages Creativity and Innovation
When people are given the freedom to find solutions to the problems in their own way, they become creative and innovative. In the absence of this freedom, employees feel undervalued and lose the motivation and energy for innovative thinking. They stop bothering about ‘out of the box thinking’ when they realize that eventually they’ll have to do everything as per the management’s instructions. Micromanagement impacts the performance of even the most skilled employees. Attention to detail is necessary but it shouldn’t be hindering innovation and creativity.
- Hinders Leadership Development
Every organization needs to grow their talent pool to help employees move their careers forward so that some of them can also occupy leadership positions. Good credentials and knowledge is of course important but so is leadership experience. Leaders need to take up the responsibility of their entire team and find strategies to make things work. However, micromanagement kills the opportunities and exposure one requires to acquire the skillset of an effective leader. Employees become obsessed with completing tasks the way they have been told to which causes leadership incompetence.
- Kills Learning Opportunities
Micromanagers intend to help their team members thrive in a supportive environment. They handle the challenges themselves and let the employees carry on the usual activities. However, the manager that doesn’t challenge the teams with new problems and situations isn’t really helping them grow and learn new skills. This is basically creating a limbo environment where employees gradually become dependent on the approval of their managers to proceed. Managers need to allow them the freedom to figure out new and improved ways of completing tasks and solving problems.
- Lowers Self Esteem and Morale
When the management constantly tells the employees what to do and what not, the later feels that the organization doesn’t trust them, they do not have the ability to make decisions on their own or they aren’t valuable. This also results in low morale in the workplace which directly impacts the productivity. Organization culture is crucial for the success of any business and micromanagement severely damages it.
- Increases Employee Turnover
In an organization where employees do not feel valued and the morale is low, people start looking for new job opportunities. Micromanagement destroys the employee-manager relationship as well. It hampers professional growth which is way too important for the majority of employees. Increased turnover not only damages the productivity but also causes financial losses, attributed to the cost of finding and recruiting a replacement. Also, the momentum of the department reduces owing to the constant training of the new staff.
- Destroys Teamwork
Teamwork is extremely important for the success of projects and business. When there is micromanagement, the employees work less with the team and more the micromanager. Teamwork leads to better communication and faster achievement of goals. Micromanagement destroys every opportunity of building a strong team that can collaborate well and solve problems creatively.
- Wastes Time
Micromanagers waste a lot of time monitoring every task of employees, giving them input and adjusting workflows, which can significantly slow down the goal achievement. Letting the employees handle things on their own can free up some time for managers to focus on other crucial tasks which they need to complete. As a manager, you need to ensure that your team is capable of completing tasks effectively without continuous interference from you.
There are managers that indulge in micromanagement without even being aware of it. It’s important for managers to examine and analyze their management style and, also, how it impacts the teams to streamline it in a way that benefits the entire organization.