Leadership Styles: Why Micromanaging Fails


Micromanaging is a management style where the leader watches and critiques every minute task an employee performs, and is a very controlling method of leading. While leaders that follow this style of leadership think it improves productivity and ensures every task is done perfectly, it’s likely causing more harm than doing any good.


It creates distrust

Employees will feel like their leaders don’t trust them to do their jobs, and that resentment creates distrust for management in return. Micromanaged employees start to see their managers as people trying to tear them down, crushing their morale, and incapable of seeing them as people.


It creates dependence

If employees aren’t allowed to make mistakes and learn, they will continue to depend on management to do their jobs for them via micromanagement. Mistakes are part of improving as an employee and being able to make decisions and execute projects that fall under set guidelines independently. Dependence is a foe to productivity, as the manager becomes the “bottleneck” as they try to complete and approve everything an employee has done before moving forward.




Everyone gets burned out

Watching every move, approving every action, completing every step for employees is just as exhausting as being on the receiving end of all of those nuisances. Anyone that gets burned out from micromanaging or being micromanaged is going to be unhappy with their job and potentially create a less-than-pleasant work environment for other employees.


High turnover

This isn’t surprising. Burn out, distrust, and a poor company environment will lead to high turnover rate. Having to constantly train new employees means the company isn’t running as productively as it could be, and costs are higher. You’re also in danger of losing key employees that have a lot to contribute.


Productivity dies

Not only will employees have a smaller desire to do the work they were hired to do if you’re micromanaging them, but they’re also not going to go the extra mile and do a better job. Employees already feel unappreciated, so why work any harder than they have to?


It’s condescending

Your employees aren’t children (hopefully) and they shouldn’t be treated as such. As an adult, being treated as an incompetent child creates feelings of resentment, anger, and annoyance. If you were treated the same way, would you be happy about it? Trust that your employees are the mature adults that you hired and let them do their jobs!


Of all management styles, micromanagement is my least favorite. I worked at one company that micromanaged its employees right out the door. As adults, we were treated like children, and employee morale took a dive. Turnover was high, even I only managed to keep myself there for 8 months, and everybody seemed to hate everybody else in the office! Tensions were high, productivity was low, and nobody was willing to do anything extra for our management team.


Ultimately, micromanagement seems to be the least effective method for most companies.

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