Micromanager! If you work in a corporate space, chances are you've heard this term more times than you can probably recall. It's a word that most of us wouldn't want to be associated with at all. Commonly referred to as control freaks and perfectionists, micromanagers tend to closely observe or try to control the work of their team members. Due to this aspect, micromanagers are usually given a negative connotation and are secretly loathed by their colleagues and juniors. While their excessive meddling can be frustrating, most micromanagers don't often realize their habits are counterproductive. That said, here's how to know whether you've been micromanaging and why it's essential you break the habit.
Signs You're a Micromanager
Nobody wants to be tagged the control freak. But if you exhibit the following signs, then you might be one.
You Don't Delegate
Micromanagers usually don't delegate duties. For instance, when a problem appears, instead of allowing the qualified employee to handle it, a micromanager will insist on managing it. Even when they do delegate the duty, they'll want to take over the minute they spot a small mistake. While on the one hand, this is an excellent leadership trait as it proves that they're proactive, success in a workspace is usually as a result of teamwork.
You Direct More Focus on Details
Instead of focusing more on the final product, you tend to focus more on its details. For instance, instead of waiting for a completed project, you keep on checking in instead of giving your team a chance to prove to you that they got it handled through the final product. Even though having keen attention to details is excellent, overdoing it quickly becomes an annoyance and slows down productivity.
You Want to Be Involved or In Control of Everything
Micromanagers usually want to be on the loop of everything and hate it when decisions are made without them. That said, they'll want to be CC-ed even on things that they don't need to know. For instance, if their subordinate is handling a project, a micromanager will wish to be kept on close tabs even when it shouldn't matter to them.
Effects of Micromanagement
Even though the position of a manager usually calls for scrutiny, too much of it is counterproductive. For instance, micromanaging results in:
Lowers Staff Morale
An employee's inability to manage their work or lack of control on their duties tends to lower their morale. In other words, if employees feel as if they're hanging on a string, they'll quickly feel suffocated. This, in turn, affects their morale, and as you know, this tends to impact productivity resulting in slow business growth. Employee's want that sense of recognition so they can be productive.
After a long-time of being micromanaged, even the most qualified employee will start depending on you. This is because continuous control tends to affect their confidence in performing tasks that they were previously skilled.
Micromanagement makes them feel as if by doing it their way, they'll not meet your expectations. Hence, they start relying on you even for the smallest of duties. This, in turn, affects productivity as no one will be willing to go the extra mile or think outside the proverbial box.
High Turnover Rates
No one likes being micromanaged. This is especially the case in talented or highly qualified employees. When a staff member feels as if they're continuously being controlled and reminded of what is expected of them, yet they're fully aware of their duties, they're likely to quit. This results in increased turnover rates and as a result, smudges the business's reputation hence discouraging other qualified job-seekers from applying.
At the end of it all, micromanaging is exhausting. Trying to control every little thing that happens in the company and trying to do everything will quickly take a toll on your mental and physical health. As a result, you end up hating your job so much you'll want to resign. This applies even to those you constantly micromanage. This is why micromanagers are the reason why 36% of 3000 professionals in a LinkedIn Learning survey resigned.
How to Break Your Micromanaging Habits
If you fit the earlier mentioned signs of a micromanager, here are some tips to help you break the habit.
Hire the Right People
When you hire qualified employees, you won't feel the need to control every aspect of their job or continuously follow up on their projects. You'll be confident in their skills and experience. As a result, you'll be more willing to delegate tasks to them instead of handling them yourself.
Focus on the Bigger Picture
While keen attention to detail is a good trait in a leader, being overly obsessive on every aspect is what causes micromanagement. Therefore, instead of looking at the mistakes that the employees make, focus on the bigger picture. For instance, instead of continuously asking for updates on each step of a project, wait for the results. While at it, keep in mind every staff member was hired because they have unique talents and skills that they bring to the table. Hence, allow them the freedom to think and act on their own instead of trying to turn them into puppets.
Talk to Your Team
As noted earlier, you may not realize that you're micromanaging. That said, talk to your team and ask them what areas they'd like you to improve on and at the same time, inform them about things that matter to you. Explain how you usually want things to be executed. With such information, they'll come up with their creative ways to meet and exceed your expectations. This is more effective instead of trying to follow the same, monotonous pattern that you previously set for them.
Not everything about micromanagement is terrible. For instance, moderate micromanagement helps keep employees up to speed and results in accurate and perfect results. In some industries, micromanagement is vital as it safeguards the well-being of the company and its employees. However, overdoing it negatively impacts every individual, including you. That said, commit to hiring the right people and always try to focus on the bigger picture. Also, check us out for more management tips.