Micromanagement: Just another Tool for Demotivating Your Employees?


Finally transforming into adults and entering professional life, there is one thing that a majority of us definitely enjoy; that feeling we get when the sweet taste of freedom intensifies as we finally get rid of overbearing college teachers.

For someone who has been working from more than five years, I can definitely relate to that sensation of having your own cubicle and the freedom that comes with it.

But what happens when your manager or senior starts poking their nose into your work status every 5 minutes?

Micromanagement is now largely taken in a pretty negative manner, but guess what? A whole population of bosses is still unaware of it!

Summary: In this blog, I will discuss all about Micromanagement and the impact that it eventually has on organizational culture and of course; the performance of employees!

Micromanagement-Definitely Not a Fancy Management Word

What is Micromanagement, your mind may be swirling around. You do not need to be a Business or Management major, to understand some simple terms like Micromanagement. In layman language, I can define micromanagement for your ease.

Micromanagement is defined as the close monitoring of an employee by a supervisor in the workplace to ensure completion of tasks according to their requirements.

Does not sound so fancy I guess now? Micromanagement is not perceived in a positive light especially in the recent era where a focus on mental health is prevalent.

Micromanagement, More Like a Suffocation Bag!

Picture this, you are a Creative Graphic Designer and you need to design a poster for a client’s upcoming event.

You have a deadline for two hours. You are researching, playing with multiple designs, juxtaposing numerous shapes, combining several colors.

You feel at peace, you are bent on making a masterpiece.

Then you notice your client standing right by you, closely observing every step as you cut through one shape and emboss the font and apply some gradient on to your poster.

Your client instead tells you to modify the layout, and gets the design changed. You forget all that you had planned.

BAM, your masterpiece washes down the drain.

This close monitoring, and interference in work not only irritates the employee but instead gives them a feeling of insecurity, and does not let them grow.

This scenario accurately describes how micromanagement stifles creativity and growth. If you are not given room to think, how can you expect your mind to punch out a masterpiece?

High Employee Turn Over? One of the Negative Effects of Micromanagement?

The times have changed, and so have workplaces. Given the recent rise in awareness movements, people are now much more conscious about their rights and their boundaries; which is a good thing of course.

Want to know some of the negative effects of micromanagement on employees?

An employee especially one who has been present in the organization from some time, would definitely like to exercise some autonomy and have the freedom of making some decisions by themselves.

However, if a manager continues to belittle that employee and keeps interfering with their work, that employee would doubt their own skills and their abilities. This will prop up their deep seated insecurities, leading them to perform badly.

Take my example; I worked as a Communications Officer at an organization. After working there for almost a year, I realized that my boss was giving preference to a newbie with no experience or even connection to my work. My boss began to question my work, began demanding updates every other day. I began losing heart.

The end result: I resigned due to severe mental stress which was causing me stomachache.

You Could Be Micromanaging Too! You Know The Micromanagement Definition; Check Out The Micromanagement Signs Too!

No matter how GREAT of a boss you become, being at a senior post would automatically trigger your blood to become rather cruel in some instances. Might sound like an exaggeration, but a senior position kind of WANTS to make you micromanage.

Now that I have told you the Micromanagement definition and explained you all about it, it would be best if you checked out the Micromanagement signs as well. You could be Micromanaging and murdering somebody too!

What are the Micromanagement signs you should know of?

If you are acting out on any of the signs I have listed, BAD NEWS for you; you are also a Micromanager!

So before your employees start working on their CVs by secretly hiring a CV writing service in order to run away, you need to start ensuring that you are not acting as a Micromanager either.

Avoid Being A Micromanager, Try Being A Leader Instead!

There is a lot of difference between being a Manager that too a MICROMANAGER and being a Leader.

Yes, there is a lot of difference between both of them. If you have trouble believing me, I can explain you in the form of a table as well!

Qualities of a Micromanager Qualities of a Leader
1. Demands respect by persuasion 1. Earns respect through their actions
2. Plays the blame game 2. Takes responsibility for their actions
3. Feels insecure from time to time 3. Knows their place and remains confident
4. Is never satisfied with the deliverables 4. Usually pleased with the efforts of juniors
5. Feels threatened from a junior’s success 5. Feels excited upon a junior’s success
6. Keep secrets and matters confidential 6. Share issues and matters with the team

Read through the table? I remember reading these differences on LinkedIn and it immediately struck me, “Whoa! There really IS a difference. No wonder some companies fail due to bad managers. More like; Micromanagers!”

How You Can Act More Like A Leader & Less Like A Micromanager?

In the end, we all need to practice humanity and humility in the workplace. I understand it can be tough to supervise your juniors in a way that nobody is hurt.

But there are a few practices that you as someone in a senior position could adopt, and well, try NOT to murder your employee.

You do not have to go around and sing “You’re the one I want, you’re the one I need”, that would sum up to be quite awkward.

Just follow my advice, and try adopting these practices:

  • Include your juniors in the decision-making process
  • Take feedback from your juniors while creating strategies
  • Appreciate your juniors on their achievements and performance
  • Avoid pointing out mistakes of one employee in public
  • Try not to feel insecure on the achievements of another

Read through the practices? Do not just stop at reading! Start implementing the practices right away and also encourage others around you to implement them.

Your change in management style could help boost the confidence of an employee, and in the end, contribute positively to the organizational culture!

Rafael Watson
Rafael Watson is highly passionate about health including mental health in general, and likes to research and write informative health related blogs working at Content Majestic.

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