Posted by Shivali Anand
March 30, 2022 | 2-minute read (371 words)
Many of us have experienced a boss who finds it impossible to delegate, asks to be copied on every email, demands elaborate reports and notices every mistake. If you believe doing something yourself is the only way to get anything right, then you yourself could be this boss, aka a micromanager.
Let’s face it; no one likes being micromanaged. It's depressing, infuriating and exhausting because it creates an environment of chronic uncertainty. It’s not good for micromanagers, either. They get so caught up in the minutiae of what employees are doing that they can lose perspective of the big picture.
Research confirms the consequences of micromanagement include:
• Poor employee morale.
• Higher turnover; micromanagement is one of the top three reasons employees resign.
• Lower productivity.
"Ultimately, micromanagement leads to decreased growth potential in a department," the study’s authors write. "Managers who put too much emphasis on daily operational details can miss the broader picture and fail to plan for departmental expansion.”
3 techniques to curb the urge to micromanage
1. Understand human nature:
A rising body of research on how humans make optimal decisions, perform at their best and collaborate successfully is emerging. Make the most of this information. Invest in the growth of individuals on your team, provide a sense of psychological safety in the workplace, understand how people’s brains respond to various stimuli and treat people as adults. The latter have all been shown to improve work outcomes.
2. Work on your soft skills:
To be a leader, you need to be comfortable in social situations. If it doesn’t come naturally for you, start by asking your employees questions like, "What can I do to help you succeed?" or "What can we do to improve?"
A frank discussion that assumes employees have valuable ideas to offer can boost your team's performance.
3. Don’t focus on metrics at the expense of mission:
It's easy to lose sight of your business’s greater purpose when concentrating on its minute-by-minute metrics. Let employees know the work they’re doing is important. The most powerful way to make sure employees do the right thing when you’re not watching is to connect them to the business’s mission.