Micromanagement: what are the causes, negative impacts, and how to solve it?

Don’t be fooled by the word “micromanagement”: it may sound like another innovative management technique, but it is just the opposite. Excessive control over teams, especially on smaller tasks, can be extremely damaging to the business.

Team management has made great strides in the modern corporate environment. And this is not only due to more humane management models: this is because even the most routine tasks of employees are more complex than they were 30 years ago.

Micromanagement is a legacy of old management models and can be a stumbling block for any business that wants to take off in the market. Therefore, in today’s post, we will explain what it is, its causes and how to end this problem for good.

What is micromanagement?

Micromanagement is when leaders try to impose themselves in a way that their subordinates have to somehow keep them up-to-date with all the minimal operational details of their work.

The problem is that this is highly discouraging for team members, who feel that their manager does not trust their work, in addition to being humanly impossible due to the work volume and the size of the teams.

Some signs of micromanagement, which is when the manager stops leading and starts to audit the team’s work, can be observed in some attitudes:

  • requires being cc’ed in all team/company email exchanges;
  • everything needs to be authorized by them, even trivial tasks such as making a photocopy;
  • teams may not participate in projects with other company fronts unless their leader is involved.

Main causes and problems of micromanagement

The causes for micromanagement can be diverse, but they tend to have at least two common roots: personal causes and organizational causes.

Personal causes may involve issues with insecurity, difficulty in trusting due to previous traumas, and even obsession.

Organizational causes, on the other hand, may be the management model itself, internal policies, the company’s top down culture, and instabilities/uncertainties over the position.

The main problems that micromanagement can cause are:

Stressful work environment

Excessive demands, lack of motivation and, mainly, the lack of recognition of the results increase the employees’ stress and their productivity plummets.

Limited team

With all its steps being closely monitored by managers, the team stops innovating and remains in the comfort zone of delivering only what is requested.

The manager as a bad example (or non-example)

When the manager is a micromanager, they can make their team become like that too, or even not be respected by it, nullifying talent retention and development.

How to free the company from micromanagement

You may have realized that micromanagement is no joke, right? The good news, however, is that with some effort and by taking effective action regarding this type of management, it is possible to reverse the case:

  1. Provide training of modern management for your leaders;
  2. Recognize each progress made by the team, regardless of scale;
  3. Empathize and get to know your team better in order to help them with their specificities;
  4. Empower the team to do operational work and focus on management challenges;
  5. Always be transparent: your subordinates will be inspired by this and will do the same for you.

Results management

Trusting your team and making this very clear to them is essential to eliminating the issue of micromanagement once and for all. Let your employees focus on what they are good at and trust their talent.

In fact, you also need to trust management software that is capable of increasingly optimizing your work and bringing great results to the business. These are certainly great management strategies.