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As a leader or business owner, it is natural to ensure you’re working with productive employees who are doing the best job they can. However, it often leads to walking the harmful path of micromanagement. It’s important to note that there is a fine line between supporting your employees and micromanaging every little thing. Nothing is more frustrating and demotivating than a boss who tries to take control of every little step of your day.

The term micromanagement is assumed to be a dirty word in today’s workplace and has a negative connotation. As a matter of fact, micromanaging can be highly toxic to any business. Some of the multiple negative effects of micromanagement are increased turnover, reduced productivity, decreased creativity, and heightened stress. Therefore, every leader or manager needs to understand how bad it really is. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the negative effects of micromanagement that can kill your business. We’ll look at what micromanagement looks like and how you can fix it. Let’s dive right into the details!

Table of Contents

What is Micromanagement? 

Micromanagement is the managerial act characterized by managers or leaders who closely supervise their subordinates and team members. It is a management style where every aspect of the work is managed, including what employees do from start to finish. This approach limits the workforce’s creativity and adversely affects the overall company’s success.

Micromanagers are unnecessarily obsessed with the smallest details and feel the need to do everything themselves. It means being entirely involved in employees’ roles, adding your own input, and regularly changing the final output. In short, this term is all about excessive control, resulting in a lack of creativity and freedom in the workplace.

How Does Micromanagement Look Like? 

Let’s take a look at the signs of micromanagement in the workplace. As a leader, if you notice any of the following signs in your business and behaviors in yourself, you probably micromanage your employees.

    • Constantly checks in with employees about what they are doing at their computers and wants to know every tiny detail of their work.

    • Being nit-picky and always watching and monitoring every move of employees. 

    • Hesitant to trust in the abilities of team members to do their tasks well. 

    • Always looking out for perfection in everything.

    • Focusing more on correcting and criticizing what others are doing wrong.

    • Micromanagers struggle to delegate tasks and keep assigning projects to others because they do not trust the workers.

    • Getting less input and opinions from employees.

These are the signs that show how does micromanagement look like. These issues can have cascading effects on employees and businesses, which we’ll discuss in the following section.

12 Negative effects of Micromanagement

Here is a list of 12 negative effects of micromanagement that are dreadful for the business industry.

1. Employees lose confidence and develop self-doubt

When your boss shows up repeatedly, it indicates how little you’re trusted, so it’s hard to have confidence in this situation. The feeling of giving every smallest detail and justifying a single decision drains the employees’ confidence. Due to it, they start doubting their own abilities. Micromanagement makes the team feel like they’re supervised at every time. Hence, they think they’re not capable enough.

Read Also: What Makes A Good Team? Here Are 8 Significant Qualities

2. It damages employee’s trust

One of the negative effects of micromanagement is that it destroys trust. Fostering trust within a company’s culture is valuable and takes longer to build. But when employees are constantly micromanaged, the sense of trust breaks. It shows them that the manager does not trust them to complete the task. Hence, employees become resentful without trust and no longer feel a sense of loyalty to the company.

3. It decreases productivity

Another harmful effect of micromanagement is that it decreases productivity. When you’re continuously scrutinized and provided with excessive input and tweaking, it naturally decreases productivity. Micromanagers want to provide feedback in the work process, which dissuades employees from making sound decisions. Also, they become dependent on managers to guide them in completing the task.

4. It affects employee morale

Micromanagement means managers don’t trust their team and have no faith in their abilities which highly affects team morale. Employees lose confidence in their workplace, and this is counterproductive. Workplace morale is linked with productivity and job performance, so when morale suffers, so does overall work.

5. It affects employee’s motivation

When employees are being supervised at every step, they lose interest. This management style creates a vicious cycle and suffocates employees. Even the most engaged and talented employees lose motivation due to it. Employees who lose motivation are less likely to work to their maximum potential. Hence, unproductivity starts compounding, and the company’s profit starts decreasing. 

Read Also: 9 Tips How To Ask For Help At Work

6. It leads to employee burnout

One of the most negative effects of micromanagement is that employees get burnout due to it. Micromanagement creates a toxic work environment that burns the employees out. Being micromanaged is frustrating and demeaning. As a result, employees start hating their job and maybe end up quitting. 

7. It impacts the mental well-being of employees

Job satisfaction plays a significant role in excellent mental health. If it becomes stressful to do the job, people may fall sick and suffer from poor mental health. Micromanagement is very stressful that affects mental well-being, and working in micromanaged culture causes poor mental health. When one employee’s mental health is negatively impacted, it eventually impacts the business atmosphere and profits. 

8. It results in poor work performance

When employees are micromanaged, they doubt every action and feel they can’t do anything right. These negative feelings significantly impact work performance as they kill the ability of the team to do great work. Also, employees become stressed out and may not care how well they complete the project.

9. It stifles creativity and teamwork

Businesses thrive on creativity and teamwork to solve problems and get ahead of the competition. Unfortunately, micromanagement can not let thrive such an entrepreneurial culture. It doesn’t allow the employees to think outside of the box, and their ideas are not encouraged.

Besides, micromanagers are so involved in every task or project of the employee that the individual doesn’t feel like working with other colleagues and discussing it. Hence, it stifles creativity and teamwork, which is neither good for the individual work performance nor the company.

10. It results in an increased employee turnover rate

Another negative effect of micromanagement is that it increases staff turnover. When employees are monitored all the time, they get frustrated and feel unappreciated, as if their place doesn’t matter in the company. That’s why chronic micromanagement can adversely impact turnover because employees will leave the job for the other position where they feel valued.

11. Managers miss the big picture.

Micromanagers focus too much on individual day-to-day tasks and smaller details which drives them away from the bigger picture. Thus, everyone gets busy getting these minor things right, and no long-term business plans exist. This is potentially harmful to the overall business.

12.  It harms the company in the long run.

Last but not least, micromanagement has long-term negative effects on the business. If even one employee is not working to their full potential, it’ll cost business. Micromanagement creates a monotonous environment that causes stress, burnout, and less productivity. This management style ends up harming the company in the long run.

How to Fix Micromanagement

The first step in fixing micromanagement is understanding its negative effects on the workplace. After knowing the negative effects of micromanagement, managers at all levels should fix it and stop micromanaging their teams.

 First and foremost, trust your team members, believe in their abilities, and create a strong workplace environment. As a manager or leader, you should have faith in your team as you’ve hired this team for your business.

Secondly, give your team objectives and let them achieve them independently. Then, track their performance, not themselves. Besides, set some boundaries and maintain distance from your team. It isn’t good to be constantly present around them to see what they’re doing. 

Trust your employees, give them space and let them prove their worth. Also, communication is key. Be a good listener, ask your team what they need, and hear their needs. Lastly, support and help them when they need and ask for them instead of dictating and stifling them.

Read Also: 7 Best Leadership Blogs To Make You A Better Leader

Final Thoughts

Micromanagement is when a leader tries to monitor every smallest detail in the team or workplace. It’s the exact opposite of having confidence in team members, giving them freedom, and having faith in their skills and abilities. It isn’t surprising that its impact is harsh on anyone in the business. Therefore, it’s time you should stop micromanaging your employees and let them breathe freely.

Managers should encourage their employees to perform their tasks independently for what they’re hired for and need to exercise control. This approach will teach employers to be confident, capable, and independent. As a result, there’ll be an increase in productivity, creativity, morale, and job satisfaction. So, don’t let the negative effects of micromanagement create a toxic company environment. Lastly, if you’re struggling with your habit of micromanaging or dealing with micromanagement, it is helpful to seek out an executive coach. An Executive Coach can provide you with guidance to handle such a situation in a workplace and can support you when things get tough. 

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Picture of Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero - Elite Transformation and Executive Coach
Vivien Roggero, an Elite Transformation and Executive Coach, specializes in high-performance coaching and personal transformation, guiding professionals to peak success and fulfillment. With decades of experience, Vivien empowers high achievers, executives, and entrepreneurs through mindset shifts and strategic development.
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