What is Micromanaging?
Micromanaging can be defined as a style of supervision that sees executives very closely observing how their staff are working and trying to control every aspect of it. Some people think this approach works, but this isn’t the case.
Not only is it demoralizing, but it also destroys the ability of a team to work together. It damages the levels of trust between you and your staff, too, and this can have long-term ill effects on your workplace as a whole.
If you think your management style may be veering towards the micromanage definition described above, then you are surely a micromanaging boss. In such a situation, consider the following:
1. Are You CC’d on All Emails?
If you want your employees to copy you in on all their work emails, even if you’re not being directly addressed in the conversation, this could be a sign that you’ve crossed the line.
The best practice is giving those around you a little breathing room. Doing this lets the people under you know that you trust them and will build their motivation.
2. Does Everyone Avoid You?
People who work for bosses who micro manage will start steering clear of them because of the stress that being under constant scrutiny brings.
No matter what size your team is, can you imagine what being watched over all the time and judged constantly feels like? It’s totally understandable that your workers are getting irritated by your presence and beginning to lose their trust in you! So, ultimately your subordinates see you as a micromanaging boss who totally sucks at his job!
3. Does Your Team Work the Longest?
People who micro manage think that putting in the most hours ensures their workers are getting the best benefit in terms of learning new skills and implementing them. The truth is, this is a major reason why people are getting burnt out, and manifesting serious mental health issues.
It’s vital that you instill and respect boundaries when you’re putting extra hours into a project. Do some research, and you’ll find that it’s not always the team that works the longest that ends up being the most productive.
Let me reiterate what is micromanaging? If you’re obsessively counting how many hours are being spent on a work task, and how much time is being spent on breaks, you’re definitely micromanaging. If you’re telling your workers to cut into their lunch breaks to get back to work, you’re not just stressing them out. You’re ensuring they brush up their resumes and start searching for a new job!
4. Do You Consider Others’ Ideas?
One of the most basic elements that every employee has a right to is a sense of being included and respected. Many supervisors go the extra mile by taking the time to listen to what their staff have to say, and acting on these conversations. Ignoring yours will make them feel undervalued.
Ask yourself if you think that your team members’ opinions are valuable or not. If you don’t think they are, it’s time to reevaluate the way you run things.
5. Do You Have to Monitor Everything?
Certain managers end up monitoring every move their teams make without even realizing what they’re doing. You may think that you’re staying on top of your progress. But what you’re actually doing is telling the people that work for you that you don’t trust that they’re going to get the job done.
If you experience irresistible urges to ask your employees what they’re busy with and force updates from them all the time, you’re micromanaging. Start exploring other avenues to help them stay on track and ease your anxiety.
This could take the form of setting up a system of goals, adding key results measuring tools, keeping track of their progress with these, and then evaluating their performance when a project is complete
6. Do You Make All the Final Decisions?
If you’re the only person making decisions and are the primary problem-solver for your workers, you’re creating a monster. This style of micromanagement means you’ll end up with totally dependent employees that are unable to solve problems on their own or make any kind of decision without your input. Their ability to think creatively and innovatively will plummet, and your business will feel the impact.
7. Do Your Employees Frustrate You?
Do you frequently have to battle feelings of annoyance because you would have done tasks differently? This is a very good sign that you’ve crossed the line into Micromanagement Land.
It’s important that your employees have space to perform tasks in their own way. If they’re getting the job done and meeting the milestones and deliverables you’ve set, then take a step back. If you see room for improvement, by all means, have a conversation with them, but understand that your way isn’t the only way to do things.
8. Is Your Team’s Productivity Lacking?
While it may seem like a good way to up productivity, increasing employees’ work pace can lead to exhaustion, people getting stuck in a rut, and them disengaging. If you’re constantly overseeing things and criticizing the way they’re getting done, your workers are going to be battling burnout.
You need to keep your eye on the bigger picture and ensure that the people working for you have the stamina they need to keep going until a project is completed properly.
9. Is Everyone Underperforming?
If you are convinced that everyone around you is performing less well than expected, it’s likely a sign that you’re micromanaging.
You may be very good at what you do, which is probably why you’ve been appointed into a senior position in the first place, but people are different. We all have different learning speeds, individual ideas about how to implement new strategies, and our own opinions about which process is the best for executing our ideas.
You can’t expect everyone around you to deliver results as quickly as you can.
The Way Forward
If you’ve answered yes to even one of these questions, it’s time to take a step back and reevaluate your behavior at work.
There are far better ways to keep track of your employees’ progress than micromanagement, including goal setting software and performance management tools and techniques that help you help them.
By re-evaluating your behavior, changing your management style, and implementing new systems, you can reach the right goals without constantly breathing down their necks.