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One of the most frustrating traits in a boss is one that can’t stop micromanaging.

You know the type. These managers make their employees feel anxious and on edge. They hover over their team members and make them feel like they’re walking on eggshells.

And while there are many different approaches to management, the one thing you don’t want to be is the dreaded micromanager.

Today, we’re here to discuss how to strike the right balance of giving your employees the autonomy they deserve while still providing oversight and support.

What is Micromanagement?

Micromanagers want to control every aspect of how a team member completes their job. This can include monitoring how they’re spending their time, asking for daily updates, and wanting to be involved in every single decision.

At its core, micromanagement reflects a trust issue. Managers who micromanage are communicating that they don’t trust their employees’ skills and judgment.

Micromanagers often have a hard time letting go of control. They choose to focus on how the job is done, rather than if the end result is achieved.


The Effects of Micromanaging

It should come as no surprise that micromanagement – and a lack of trust in the workplace – can have a negative impact on employees. In fact, research has shown that micromanagement contributes to a decrease in morale and productivity.

Micromanagement is consistently ranked as one of the biggest gripes employees have with their managers, and it’s one of the top three reasons an employee will leave their current position.

So before you ask to be cc’d on that email, let’s take a moment to consider how micromanagement can show up in the workplace.


Signs You are Micromanaging

Some managers micromanage without even realizing it. This can be especially true for new managers. That’s why it’s important to honestly assess your own management style and consider the impact it may have on your employees.

Signs you are micromanaging include:

  • You schedule daily scrums to check up on your teams’ progress
  • Your team ccs you on every email, regardless of whether it pertains to you or not
  • You nit-pick your team’s work
  • You find yourself saying, ‘That’s not how I would have done it’ or ‘Why did you do it this way?’
  • You look for perfection
  • You constantly check your team’s online status
  • You expect to be included in every decision, big or small
  • Your team members are nervous or worried about making mistakes in front of you
  • Your employees try to solve problems on their own instead of coming to you

How to Stop Micromanaging

Thankfully, it is possible to stop micromanaging. Learning to be an effective manager takes time and practice.

Getting rid of micromanaging tendencies actually starts with trusting yourself. Then you can learn to trust others as well.

Remind yourself that you hired your team members for a reason.

You saw something in them that indicated they’re capable of handling the challenges of the job.

Trust in your own ability to hire the right people, and trust that those people can carry out the duties of their job. It’s through this process that you can create an environment that empowers your employees and helps them succeed.


Establish Trust and Communicate Expectations Clearly

The unintentional side effect of being a micromanager is that you stifle your team’s creativity. The focus on doing things the ‘right’ way means your team members are discouraged from thinking outside of the box.

Instead of being a stickler about the process, set clear expectations when it comes to:

  1. The objectives and desired outcome of a project
  2. The benchmarks of success
  3. The timeline

When it comes to work, what matters most is usually the end result. By setting clear expectations, you are trusting your team members to do the job you’ve hired them to do and letting them do things their own way.

Stop Looking for Perfection!

The truth is, there is no “perfect” way to complete a task or project. The sooner you let go of that idea, the easier it will be to stop micromanaging. Aiming for perfection only ends in disappointment.

Your team members will make mistakes. They will mess up. That much is inevitable. Shifting your mindset away from perfectionism will help you take those mistakes and turn them into opportunities for growth.

Allowing space for your team members to experiment and try new things can lead to positive outcomes.

There will be times that things don’t go exactly your way, and that’s okay. Trust in yourself and your team members to handle mishaps and grow from them.

Team members

Learn to Delegate

There’s no point in having team members if you feel the need to be involved in everything they do. It takes up your time to check up on employees, and it takes up your employee’s time to provide updates.

The solution is delegating. Delegation is one of the most powerful tools you can use as a manager. It frees up your time to do more important tasks, and it shows your team members that you trust them.

Team members who feel that their boss trusts them are more productive and have higher morale.

How to Stop Micromanaging

Set People Up for Success

Another tip to stop micromanaging is to set your employees up for success. This can mean recognizing and appreciating your team members’ unique strengths.

Giving your team members tasks and projects that align with their strengths can help you feel more comfortable giving up control. It also encourages them to do their best work. It’s a win-win.

Other ways to set your employees up for success include:

  • Making yourself easily accessible
  • Providing positive and constructive feedback
  • Hiring the right people
  • Investing in training

Well Clinic is here to help

Next Steps

Learning to trust your employees is key when trying to stop micromanaging. If you’re a micromanager, chances are, you struggle with giving up control and perfectionism.

Therapy can help you overcome these challenges. Contact us for a free consultation today.


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