No one wants to be the dreaded micromanager – they can break down manager-employee relationships, lead to quiet quitting and more.
A survey conducted by Trinity Solutions found that 71% of respondents said micromanagement interfered with their job performance and 85% reported their morale was negatively impacted.
If you’re getting complaints of a micromanager, don’t let them damage your workplace. Here are four signs you’ve got a micromanager on your hands and how to help change their habits to promote employee growth.
They’re overly involved
No manager needs to be CC’d on every email.
If you have a manager who’s looming over their team instead of giving them autonomy to do their work independently, there’s a good chance they’re micromanaging their employees. Even with the best intentions, staying too involved in projects you’re not a part of can take away the chance for employees to find new and unique ways to solve problems.
Instead: Encourage the manager to take a step back and try seeing what happens when they stop hovering – chances are, the world won’t end, and they may even find that team members will flourish with their independence. Be very clear beforehand on what items you need to be updated on, and let them know why you need to be kept in the loop so they don’t feel watched for no reason.
They focus too much on details
Micromanagers, true to their name, tend to focus on the smaller steps rather than the bigger picture. It’s typical to want to monitor an employee’s progress on a task, but focusing on the smaller details of the work instead of the end goal can be the trademark of a micromanager.
However, chances are that it’s not as big of a deal as it feels. Brains work differently, and what works for one person may not work for another. Different does not mean wrong, and a different approach to the same task may be more efficient for the employee and keep productivity high.
Instead: Encourage managers to keep their hands off employees’ work and an open mind when faced with an employee doing a task in a different way. Try to get micromanagers to focus on objective standards, goal achievement and milestones instead of the smaller details. Remind the manager that as long as what the employee is doing gets you to the shared end goal, give employees as much autonomy as possible on the details.
They require constant updates and reports
It’s understandable – a manager assigns a task and wants to make sure it gets done. But oftentimes, daily check-ins for the same task can cause more harm than good. It may end up lowering productivity and causing unneeded stress for both the manager and the employee.
Instead: Set early boundaries with check-ins, such as a standing weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one to ensure progress is being made. Establish a clear expectation with your employee on the progress they should be making and other ways to help keep them accountable.
Their team is afraid to come to them for help
No one wants to be the unapproachable manager, but micromanagers can often create an environment where the team doesn’t want to ask for help because they’re afraid of failure or reprisal, which will break down manager-employee relationships and cause more problems.
Plus, micromanagers often chastise employees for making decisions independently, even if they’re the right decisions, which can make an employee feel like they don’t have autonomy over decisions.
Most often, micromanagers don’t realize they’re creating this culture, so the problem goes unaddressed and breaks down relationships and employee trust.
Instead: Encourage all managers to be proactive, not reactive, about creating a positive culture. They may want to stay aware of the way that they interact with their team via pulse surveys or quarterly check-ins, to make sure there are no issues that need to be addressed.