Genesis Martinez
By Genesis Martinez on October 24, 2022

Micromanagement: what is it and how to avoid it?

Leaders often forget to manage workloads and go overboard assigning and reviewing their team's tasks. This way of working or managing work can have consequences on the employees with poor performance or development of their work. 

A leader as such must have the ability to develop his employees without putting pressure on them, and bring out the best in the team and get the best results.

Table of contents

  1. What is micromanagement?
  2. How does a micromanager work?
  3. Why does micromanagement arise in a company?
  4. Micromanager characteristics
  5. Why is micromanagement negative?
  6. How to avoid micromanagement?

What is micromanagement?

According to EUCIM Business School, micromanagement is a form of excessive leadership over team members, exerting too much pressure and excessive attention to detail.

It consists of putting pressure on the way employees work or directly on the workers. It is an annoying practice and triggers tension in the work environment. 

How does a "micromanager" boss work?

The micromanager boss questions every decision of his team, he may stand right behind his employee just to closely supervise every detail and above all he is a type of boss who likes to tell workers how to do their job.

It is a type of person who worries about everything too much and can become an undesirable leader and a nightmare for his team. 

We must say that they are not a bad person and they are not always undesirable people, they are bosses who are looking for perfection in their work and to be able to perhaps show others their learning and new ways of working, the bad thing about this? the way of working is not the right one. 

Why does micromanagement arise in a company?

As mentioned above, a micromanaging leader is not always a bad leader, it is just that the way of working is not the best. Generally, micromanagement usually comes from a confused leader, who does not know 100% how to manage the work. As a consequence, he or she leads the team astray and does not get the desired results. 

Many other times, the micromanager leader does know where he wants to go and what he wants to get from his team, but simply gets obsessed with irrelevant details that hinder the development or achievement of results. 

Micromanager characteristics

  • He questions all decisions of his team. 
  • Make decisions without consulting them.
  • Obsesses over details.
  • May sit next to the employee to supervise their work. 
  • Does not entrust responsibility to other employees. 
  • Distrustful of new employees. 
  • Does not give feedback to the team.
  • Does not recognize the attributes or talents of others. 

All this comes hand in hand with a totally irritable and distrustful person, a controlling personality and highly demanding of all employees.

Why is micromanagement so negative?

It is not a bad thing to supervise the work of the team, but when a leader goes beyond this supervision and monitors everything, it can have negative consequences for the company. 

Job Insecurity: when all the details of the employees are monitored, it can generate distrust in themselves and they may be too insecure about their virtues and talents and even fail to show them.

Lack of communication: when there is mistrust in a work team, communication does not flow and therefore there is no communication between the leader and his employees. 

Work Enviorenment: the feeling of always being supervised can cause tension in the team, which can lead to arguments and altercations that make daily tasks difficult. 

Difficulty in retaining staff: employees who are self-confident and know what they want may leave the company, seeing that the pressure is so great and their talent is not recognised. This can create problems for the HR department to keep those good profiles and to obtain new ones. 

How to avoid micromanagement?

Some tips that can help to improve micromanagement or avoid it:

  • Monthly meetings with the whole team to explain the tasks to be carried out, objectives and purposes. 
  • Set SMART objectives for workers and let them know the results of these.
  • Listen to the team, ask for opinions and ideas and keep them aware of any difficulties in accomplishing a task.
  • Always give respectful feedback to team members and avoid making them feel criticized.
  • Delegate tasks to obtain results, employees will feel confident and communication will improve. 

In short, we must say that a correct management of teams and follow-up of their activities is essential to achieve good results, but trust in them and a good working environment is also very important. 

A leader with a great team must be able to delegate functions and/or activities, encourage communication and a good atmosphere in a healthy environment.