Is Micromanagement Losing Your Top Talent?

Katherine Scrowther

26th January 2016

We have all heard of the term micromanagement, some employees shudder at the thought and avoid companies entirely if they even have the word associated with it. We know what micromanagement means, but should we really do it consistently to our employees? It can be done well with new starters or at the start of a new project to get momentum and clarity, but it can be done badly based on a manager’s need for perceived control. He are some top reasons as to why you shouldn’t. 

It shows lack of trust 

Micromanagement tends to have a negative connation. It can make employees feel like they are being observed too closely and are not trusted enough to take responsibility over their own work. We all like to ensure tasks are being completed to keep the business running smoothly, but the way management would like something to be done, might not always be the only or best way. Employees who are subject matter experts may not contribute under this style.

Loss of control 

Once you start micromanaging your staff, it becomes hard to stop. It’s hard to keep closely observing employees to find out what they are actually doing, and as much as this seems like a good management style, it’s actually becoming a distraction to the management tasks you should be taking control over. Worrying too much about what other people are doing takes away the focus on what you are doing.

Dependent employees 

After being micromanaged for so long, staff will soon start to depend on you, rather than having the confidence to do tasks on their own. Your team can start to feel like they can no longer handle their work load without your guidance. It’s important to remember that your employees were hired for the skills they hold, and without allowing them to have the chance to express them, they will never learn from their own mistakes.

Burning yourself out

There is a difference between managing your team and controlling them. It’s an exhausting style for managers, after the constant looking over employees shoulders, you could eventually burn yourself out. Without a manager who will be in control, your employees will not feel comfortable enough to take the lead on their work after so much micromanagement.

High staff turnover 

When we employ someone, our plans are to keep them for the long run and to provide them with a very bright future. We liked their skills and we would like them to become assets to the company, but it’s when employees feel that they lack the autonomy in their tasks that they start to become unhappy. Staff will feel more enthusiastic in the workplace if they know they can make their tasks their own projects and be able to control them. It allows them to demonstrate creativity and improve problem solving skills. If your employees aren’t getting any of these opportunities, they will look elsewhere.

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