In short, yes. Micromanagers are those that assign a project, then follow up constantly on progress. And by interrupting an employee’s thought process and work flow, micromanagers can stifle productivity as well as morale—because an employee feels they are not being trusted to get the work done. Micromanagement can also lead to decreased sharing of ideas and innovation, not to mention turnover and negative bottom-line impact. For all of these reasons, if you are a micromanager, there are steps you can take to stop before it’s too late.

Hallmarks of micromanagement

Perhaps you’re not sure if you’re micromanaging your staff. To be sure, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I spend more time following up with my staff than completing assignments that may be a better use of my time?
  • Do I allow for differing viewpoints, or expect my workers to problem solve exactly the same way I do?

If you’ve answered yes to either or both of these questions, it may be time to take a step back and improve your management style.

Four steps for recovering micromanagers

All is not lost! If you think you may be a micromanager, take the following steps to turn things around:

  1. Conduct skip-level meetings. This means your employees will have a one-on-one meeting with your boss, removing you from the equation. They should be asked questions about their day-to-day work, and management behaviors that may be impeding their daily progress. Feedback from your staff gives you constructive criticism so you’ll know where you may need to ease up.
  2. Don’t completely unplug. Management shouldn’t be all or nothing. Your employees need your guidance, but there’s a fine line between too much and not enough. It’s your job to figure out where it is. It takes practice and hard work to get it right.
  3. Make replacements when you need to. During the process, it may become apparent that you’ve micromanaged workers who may not be as capable of completing tasks as they should be. In the long run, it will be worth it to get the right people in place, rather than draining your energy coaching the wrong ones.
  4. Know when you need to be involved. High-profile projects that directly impact the growth and success of your business may require more management just by nature. If a project has a lot of moving parts and tight deadlines, it may be good to keep more contact with your workers than you normally would.

Rome wasn’t built in a day

Great managers are born with natural talents, but must refine them over time. Keep this in mind as you work to improve your management technique and avoid the dangers of constant micromanaging.

Is it time for new workers?

McGrath Systems can help. If you find you need to make some staff replacements, or staff up during times of growth, reach out to our staffing industry experts. We’ll help you find administrative, light industrial, IT, engineering and human resources staff that mesh well with your organization. To learn more, contact McGrath Systems today.


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