The dangers of “micromanagement” and how to recognize a micro-manager

Have you ever felt anxiety at work? You know, that anxiety that makes you doubt your every move, that keeps you from voicing your opinions, or that keeps you from taking on a task without being formally assigned? If this is the case, you may be working under an employer who is described as a micromanager. Let’s take a look.
Micromanagement is a common phenomenon in professional environments where managers are restrictive about their employees’ work. In fact, micro-management consists in controlling very closely, even spying on the work of employees, creating a demoralizing and unmotivating work climate. Although it may seem surprising, so-called “micro-managers” are often unaware that they are harming their team.
So what is it that causes a manager to become a micromanager?

First of all, it is important to know that micro-managers are often young professionals who have been given a management position within a company or organization. They have little experience and are accountable to their manager, president, administrative committee and many others. It is this pressure to meet demands in addition to a lack of trust that drives managers to micro-manage.
Here are some common traits that characterize micro-managers. It is not impossible that you may recognize a former boss, perhaps…
  • The vast majority of micro-managers have great difficulty delegating. It is very difficult for these bosses to give tasks to others since they do not trust their employees and prefer to do everything themselves. Everyone knows the expression “if you want something done, do it yourself”, however it is impossible for managers to be successful and meet the demands if they end up doing everything themselves.
  • Micromanagers demand to know everything, all the time. They regularly ask you for reports and set up one-on-one meetings far too often. It’s their way of keeping tabs on everything that’s being done, said and shared in their team.
  • Micromanagers often seek to filter information and communication within the team. In fact, they ask to be copied on all your emails, require a copy of your exchanges and prefer to talk to clients and other stakeholders themselves, even if it is part of your duties. They think they are the only ones with the truth and they tend to silence your voice.
  • You know as well as I do that it’s the little things that make the difference, but when you work for bosses who spend their time scrutinizing all your deliverables, motivation quickly wanes. It’s this constant need to analyze and modify everything that drives many employees to stop taking initiative. Too bad, isn’t it?
  • In the end, all of these traits ultimately lead to an unattractive employee retention rate. When managers use micro-management to guide their team, there is a significant turnover. Many will prefer to jump ship rather than endure a harmful and demoralizing work environment.
So, have you ever worked or do you currently work for a micro-manager? If so, stay tuned to the Tutoiemoi blog for an upcoming article on how to deal with this type of situation.