Are You a Micromanager? The Do's and Don’ts of Employee Management

April 10, 2023


An admin pro being micromanaged by their boss as he sits at the computer and their boss hovers over top.
Do you refuse to delegate actions or assignments?

There is nothing more detrimental to the successful flow of a workplace than a micromanager. Micromanagement consists of overbearing and excessive oversight of your employee’s work and processes. It also includes a failure to delegate tasks and limiting your employee’s ability to make decisions in the workplace. 

If you are working towards mitigating your own micromanagement, or think you may have a micromanager in your business, this article is for you. Let’s explore the signs of micromanagement and how to work towards empowering your employees rather than stifling them. 

The Signs of Micromanagement 

It’s natural and normal to want your team to excel at their jobs and exceed their goals. Any good team leader or manager will strive for this. However, there is a fine line between being supportive and being overbearing. 

Here are some tell-tale signs of micromanagement you should be aware of: 

  • Refusing to delegate actions, taking on a portion of each assignment themselves

  • Hovering over your employees throughout the work day, rather than allowing them to work uninterrupted

  • Calling constant meetings and requesting updates, without much time in between for actual work and progress to take place

  • Requiring employees to account for every single minute of their workday

  • Insisting employees get your approval or signature on every step of a project, versus reviewing a project at the final stages

  • Over-communicating with your employees, stifling their opportunity to chime in with ideas and input

  • Positioning yourself as the point of contact for each project, rather than assigning a team lead or a project manager

If you see yourself in any of the above examples, you may be stifling your employees more than you are supporting them. You may be a micromanager. However, shifting from a micromanager to an empowering leader can be done! Continue reading to see how. 

Micromanagement: Why It Happens

Team leaders and managers micromanage for a variety of reasons. Micromanagement can occur due to a fear of failure or inadequacy, a need for control, inexperience, or an overbearing ego. Additionally, micromanagement can happen under the guise that your team members are unskilled. 

In many cases, an overcompensation and micromanagement routine arises due to an unrelated problem or a feeling of inadequacy in another area of life. 

Regardless of why someone is micromanaging, it is important to know that it gives the impression to employees that they are inadequate or untrusted. Even if your intentions are good, micromanagement makes your employees feel as though they are not respected or trusted to do their jobs well. It harms workplace morale and production. 

Overcoming Your Micromanaging Style 

If you think you have been micromanaging, or even if you want to just improve your management style and skills, here are some helpful tips. 

  • Maximize your own time. Rather than focusing on the small details of every project under you, focus your energy and time on the bigger picture. Focus on project completions and deadlines, not each rudimentary step along the way. 

  • Let go. Even if there is a routine you have been doing for years, let it go if it’s not harming everyday operations. This will show your employees you are able to delegate. Plus, it will be rewarding and likely stress-relieving for you in the long run. 

  • Build trust. Get to know your employees, understand their workstyles and strengths, and work on building more trust with them. Once you recognize and value the intricacies and strengths of your employees, you will be more likely to delegate tasks with ease. 

Turn to ASAP for Help 

Here at ASAP, we understand that the day-to-day toll of administrative work can be stressful. We know it often seems easier to do it all by yourself, instead of trusting others to chip in and help. 

For more help in improving your management skills, check out our free training resources: webinars, articles, and more to strengthen your administrative leadership capabilities. 

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