To me, micromanagement is one of those organizational behaviors that its impacts are not well understood by people unless they have had a direct or indirect experience with a micromanager. Another tricky point about micromanagement is that the negative impact on the micromanager is not so obvious and people usually focus on the person being micromanaged.
Let me summarize it for you.
You should not micromanage because:
- It conveys a weakness of yours to your employees. People with strong influence who can get things done through others do not need to micromanage
- It instills doubt about your leadership (you might want to learn about transformational leadership). If you just want to be a ‘manager’, and not even a good one, then be my guest
- It suppresses your employees’ creativity and personal development, they literally become your agents
- It spreads the culture of ’not taking responsibility and offloading accountability’; why someone would feel responsible for a decision (almost) made by others?
- It gives you stress, if you could do the whole job yourself and make all the decisions, why you have 10 people reporting to you anyway?
- It is a potential cause for defective communication. You might start noticing you are either getting looped out of lots of communications or trying to keep up with the pile of reports of every details of what your employees do – depending on which one your employees think makes you bother them less!
- It impacts your personal relationship with your employees
In the end, you might lose a lot of talented people, reduce your organization’s productivity significantly, impact your personal life, or even end up losing your job.
Also, you should not be micromanaged because:
- You never reach your productivity peak. To make the boss happy, you try to shape things as she likes it – which is almost never for a micromanager. So you start spending insane amount of time on unimportant tasks
- You lose your ability to make decisions because you get used to being told what to do
- You are scared of making mistakes, so you stop taking (calculated) risks or voicing your opinion
- You start accumulating negative thoughts and feelings about yourself and your career, when apparently you can’t even get a format of a document right (really??), i.e. a significant drop in your confidence
- You get exposed to a great deal of stress as you are constantly expecting feedback on even very minimal matters of your daily routine
So, micromanagement can turn a dream job into ‘I wish I could just quit now and be done with it’.
The worst part about micromanagement is that it is contagious! That is, people who have been micromanaged are more likely to micromanage, even though they hated it (sorry, no scientific evidence here, just my personal experience).
Have a good day,