15 Negative Effects of Micromanagement – How to Fix It!

  • June 15, 2022
  • by Lorea Lastiri
  • No comments
micromanagement

Nothing is more demotivating than having a boss who micromanages every step of your day. Micromanagers are supervisors who excessively control their employees’ work to the point where it hinders performance. 

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Micromanagement is considered a dirty word in modern workplaces. It has many adverse effects on the workplace. Fortunately, it can be dealt with to create a much healthier work environment. 

Do you think you’re currently being micromanaged by your boss and don’t know what to do about it? Or do you think you’re micromanaging your employees, and you’re unsure how to fix it? Well, whatever it is, you’ve come to the right place. 

Keep reading, and we’ll tell you exactly how employees are negatively affected by micromanagement, what they can do about it, and how it can be fixed! 

Damaging effects of micromanagement 

No one likes being told what to do all the time. If employees are constantly being supervised, it will bring them down. People want some degree of freedom in their work, and micromanagement does not leave any room for that.

Here is a list of 15 adverse effects of micromanagement:

1. Employee morale takes a hit 

Micromanaging means that you don’t trust your team enough to work the right way.

If employees begin to think that their boss has no faith in them, they will lose confidence in themselves and their workplace.

Micromanagement takes a toll on their engagement within the office and highly affects their morale. This is counter-productive because this damaged self-esteem actually leads to lessened efficiency. 

2. Employees lose motivation

If employees are being monitored at every step, they will lose interest and become complacent.

While this management style may have good intentions, it can suffocate employees. It decreases the chances of their success as they will be less likely to work to their full potential.

It would go unnoticed if only one employee were affected by the lack of motivation. However, when multiple employees’ tasks are not completed to their full potential, the unproductivity starts compounding and is reflected in decreased profits for the company.

👉 Check how to stay motivated for a long period of time!

3. Employees feel powerless 

Employees will only get discouraged if there are strict rules that they are not allowed to adjust according to their own needs. 

Everybody has their own work process. Workers appreciate guidance and support. But managers paying extreme attention to every single detail of their tasks leaves them feeling helpless.

4. Employees develop self-doubt

Due to constant feedback from their supervisors, employees can develop feelings of doubt about their own abilities.

A micromanaging style makes their team feel like they are being scrutinized at every point. They might start feeling like they’re not capable, and that’s why they are in extreme need of management. 

5. Employees think they’re doing something wrong

Micromanagement can be stressful for employees as they begin to think that they can’t do their job well. 

stress management

If every little mistake in an employee’s work is pointed out, it is entirely understandable that they feel like they’re doing something wrong all the time. Because of this management technique, workers’ productivity takes a hit.

6. No teamwork is encouraged

People do not feel like they have the option to work with colleagues on tasks.

Micromanagers are so involved in each project or task that the person doing them has nowhere else to go to discuss it. It’s all directly with the manager. This is neither good for individual performance nor the company’s. 

Also, it leads to nonexistent relationships among colleagues and creates a less friendly workspace. 

7. This management style stifles creativity

Most micromanagers create an environment that stifles creativity in their team: employees no longer want to think outside the box because they are not allowed to do so.

Workers are expected to follow close instructions, and their own thinking is not encouraged at all. People need space to flourish and excel at their jobs. And if managers don’t give them that, they can’t reach their full potential. 

8. Employees get burnt out 

burn out employee

Micromanagement creates a monotonous environment for workers, which burns them out.

Can you imagine doing the same thing day after day? You’re bound to get tired at some point. Such managers give no control or decision-making responsibility to employees.

9. Micromanagers are never satisfied

Micromanagers will complain even if there’s nothing to complain about.

Because micromanagers are always overly involved in employee workload, they will always find flaws in everything. Oftentimes, these flaws can be over minute things that have no impact on the result whatsoever!

10. Paying extreme attention creates mistrust between supervisors and employees

If employees are constantly micromanaged, it creates mistrust, and people don’t want to work for somebody who doesn’t believe in them.  

Most employees want to feel like their supervisors trust them to do the right thing. However, they only want managers to provide input and not control their work completely.

11. Staff turnover increases

Trinity Solutions found that almost 70% of employees consider changing jobs if they experience micromanaging behavior.

resignation letter

When employees are being closely looked at all the time, they will eventually get frustrated. Nobody wants to stay in a place where they don’t feel valued and do work that feels repetitive day after day. And they might start looking for other job opportunities and leave the workplace. 

12. Employee well-being is affected

As micromanagement is very stressful for people, it can often affect their physical and mental well-being.

Work is a huge part of every person’s life. If it becomes too stressful to manage, people fall sick with increased anxiety or sleep interruptions. 

There is strong evidence that confirms autonomy and longevity are directly linked. So working in a micromanaged environment will negatively impact people’s health in it. 

13. It affects things outside of work

Often, the stress that comes with being micromanaged at work spills into other parts of people’s lives.

We know micromanagement has a drastic effect on work efficiency, but it can also cause damage to life outside of work. People’s jobs are an integral part of their life. 

If that is causing them harm, it is only a matter of time before it starts to ruin other things as well. Toxicity has a ripple effect, and it doesn’t just stay confined to the workplace. 

14. There is no bigger picture 

Micromanagers emphasize too much on the day-to-day.

There’s no focus on the big picture. Instead, micromanagers are hyper-fixated on every little detail. As a result, everybody is busy getting things just right every day. And there are no long-term business plans in place. 

15. It hurts the company in the long-term

If even a single employee is not working to their maximum potential, the business is not doing as well as it can.

bankruptcy petition

Most micromanagers give out preemptive advice and ignore their employees’ needs. This causes them to be demotivated and burnt out. 

It’s not like excessive supervision helps the company because employees can’t perform to the best of their abilities. They make up the workplace, and this style of management ends up harming the company.

Why do people micromanage?

Reasons people micromanage include fear of failure, extreme need for authority and control, and inexperienced leadership skills management.

Micromanagers have different motives, but the main one is usually to get work done. Oftentimes, managers don’t even realize that they are micromanaging, and it’s not something they actively choose to do. However, due to some mistakes and common characteristics amongst leaders, even smart people sometimes become the cause of micromanagement.

They discourage teams from independent decision-making and resist delegating work to people without realizing it. Their management style creates unstable relationships with other team members, and the workplace becomes toxic.

How to deal with micromanagers

Nobody goes to work wanting to be micromanaged. If you’re stressed at work all day and are constantly criticized by your team leader, here’s what you can do:

Start a dialogue

Start talking to your team and then your boss!

If you’re being micromanaged, it is very likely that your colleagues are too. Approach your peers and tell them what you’re thinking about.

Once your team is on board, go ahead and talk to your boss. While it’s a daunting task and sounds frightening at first, it is possibly the best way of fixing it. Explain to your manager how their micromanagement affects your performance and overall work processes.

Be polite, honest, and calm!

teamwork

Set realistic boundaries

As you talk to your manager, set some healthy boundaries and expectations.

Set some ground rules. Establish what your role and responsibilities are. Ask them to be transparent in their expectations from you and let them know if they’re crossing any boundaries.

Again, this can seem intimidating at first, but it is entirely reasonable to ask for more clarity and confidence in your work. This avoids any misunderstandings in the work process. Once these things are communicated, there will likely be a positive change in the workplace.

Keep the communication going

It’s not enough to just talk about it once – keep it going.

Healthy workplaces are not created overnight. It’s a learning process for both sides, and the most important element is constant and honest communication.

It is very easy to fall into old patterns so keep the two-way feedback going long-term. Ask your managers for guidance and to tell you what they think when it’s appropriate. And if something’s on your mind that you want them to know, just tell them. Realistically manage expectations, and you’re good!

Ways to stop micromanaging in the workplace

The first step in fixing micromanagement is understanding its impact on the workplace.

Now that we know how it negatively affects the workplace and why it happens, we can work on ways to limit it.

Here are some ways to stop micromanagement in the workplace:

1. Know your team

As a business leader, it is vital that you know your team.

You should work on building trust with your team and creating strong workplace relationships. This is a great way of getting to know new employees and encouraging them to feel confident.

Working can be exhausting and tedious. And a micromanager who is continually expecting too much from the team is not helpful. Managers need to keep their teams motivated and inspired by being flexible and sharing responsibility.

It is a leader’s job to stir enthusiasm in employees. If you’re interested in finding out how your employees deal with a challenge, try this employee and time tracking software and integrate TimeCamp into your business!

team

2. Trust every team member

As a manager, you should have faith in your team and your ability to hire the right people for the job.

Once the team is assembled, trust your judgment! There’s a reason you hired them for the job, and they should be allowed to do it without discussing it constantly. Small details shouldn’t matter, and everybody in the team should be encouraged to come up with new ideas.

The secret to all successful businesses is effective team collaboration. One of the best ways of managing people is by creating smooth communication channels within teams. Regular and effective talk with team members will provide fruitful results for the business.

3. Monitor performance, not employees

TimeCamp is a time tracking app that joins project management with productivity monitoring. It is the perfect solution to your micromanagement problems!

TimeCamp allows you to track productivity, set goals, track idle time, and more!

It offers a clear user interface with infographics. As a manager, you can see the most relevant data about your business efficiently, and you can quickly see what’s going on in your company. It really makes project management that simple.

4. Routinely delegate tasks 

Often, micromanagement puts too much work on your plate. Distribute it!

Harvard Business Review found that people micromanage because they have trouble letting go of responsibility. Luckily, the beauty of having a team is that you can divide work. As a manager, assign each team member a task and leave them to it. You don’t need to look over their shoulder while they work!

If you’re unsure about your need to delegate tasks, click below to see how many boxes you check. If it’s too many, cut yourself some slack and let other people do their jobs.

How to delegate tasks as a Project Manager?

computers on the desk

5. Completely centralize your workspace

In a centralized workspace, you will not need to ask each person for status updates or frequent reports regularly. 

Everything will become much easier to manage. Not only will this improve performance, but this will also keep the manager away from micromanaging the workplace. It will allow managers to oversee all work processes remotely while ensuring no one is disturbed.

Managers can use dashboards and reporting tools to track what’s happening in their teams. Also, they can create timesheets with auto-reminders, comments, and feedback.

6. Prioritize key results

If managers set clear expectations and let employees do their job without being overly involved, it would positively impact the workplace. 

As a manager, you should ask for frequent updates and status reports, but team members should not feel like they are being watched while they work. One way of doing this is through productivity tracking. This allows you to set clear deadlines and expectations as well as provide employees with your valuable feedback.

7.  Give up some control

If you’re a micromanager, you are likely having trouble letting go. It’s okay. 

It can be hard to give up control, but ultimately, it is for the betterment of your employees and your own sanity. 

No one does it all alone. Let people help. Create an organizational structure that enhances collaboration and gives rise to proper and healthy work relationships. 

Make your team work with you, not for you. You’ll thank yourself later! 

8. Replace micromanagement with reporting

Micromanagement involves obsessively going over your team’s work and constantly nagging your team to tell you what they are doing. TimeCamp provides an in-depth analysis of all activities. This can allow managers to keep track of their teams on the app instead of micromanagement in the office.

TimeCamp time tracking software

 

Along with productive activities, it also keeps records of attendance, time off, overtime, and more with productive activities! If managers incorporate these in the workplace, they will keep control while allowing employees room for creativity and space to focus on their work.

Start tracking time with TimeCamp

Conclusion

It is not surprising that micromanagement usually has a negative connotation. Its effects are harsh on every person that is working under a micromanager. It’s not easy to deal with or be around. 

In fact, it can be very stressful. It has an unfortunate effect on individual productivity as well as team performance. In extreme cases, it can even damage people’s health.

However, not every manager with micromanaging tendencies has bad intentions. Sometimes they’re just struggling with control and need some help to organize work processes.

The good news is that TimeCamp allows you to do just that and so much more! If you stick to the solutions we have provided here, you can get started on your journey to decreased micromanagement. 

So click here to register and get started!

This will allow your employees to thrive and improve your company’s overall performance. What are you waiting for? 

Lorea Lastiri

Lorea is a freelance SEO writer and has spent the last five years researching and writing about time management, productivity, and SaaS. She's an avid traveler, skier, and surfer; when not in the office, you can find her riding waves or exploring the alps.

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