How to Stop Micro Managing

June 10, 2022


Micro management is a killer when it comes to creating a healthy team culture. Micro managing negatively impacts employee engagement, job satisfaction, and team morale. If you are a micro-manager or have micro-manager tendencies, we want to share some tips that will help you improve your management skills so you can be a successful leader in the workplace.

Let’s start by defining exactly what a micro-manager is— 

Micro management is a pattern of manager behavior, or management style, defined by excessive supervision and control over employees’ work. Micromanagers have trouble delegating responsibilities. They are not comfortable giving decision-making power to their employees. They have a compulsive need to be looped in on every communication surrounding meetings, projects, or tasks. 

Micro management is a leading cause of high turnover rates within organizations. Current studies show that micromanagement is among one of the top 3 reasons employees resign from their jobs. Micro management kills creativity, and collaboration, and demoralizes teams. If you want to avoid these negative outcomes, read on to learn a few tips that will help you become a better leader. 

Avoiding Micro-Manager Pitfalls For A Healthy Team Culture 

Micromanagers create a working environment that breeds mistrust. Not a single employee wants to work for a manager that doesn’t trust their abilities or devalues their input. If you want to create a work culture where your employees thrive and your team brings results, start by implementing these 3 important tips.

  1. Set Clear Expectations

Strong communication skills are a hallmark of a good manager. If you want to set a solid foundation for your team, start by clearly defining your expectations. When your team understands their roles, they can embrace those roles as they relate to the common goal. Your team will perform optimally when they have clear responsibilities, objectives, and timelines. An effective manager communicates a clear expectation of what they want to achieve and is open to input. A micro manager communicates how they want the employees to achieve it, no questions asked. 

  1. Practice Delegating

Delegating, as it relates to the workplace, is defined as “entrusting a task or responsibility to another person, typically one who is less senior than oneself.” Simply put: delegating is synonymous with trust. Trust builds a strong team culture. A critical part of delegating responsibility is letting go of control. That can be a big obstacle for a micro-manager. It helps if you can gain more insight into your team by spending one-on-one time with them. Then you can assign tasks that play to their strengths. In time, as trust is established, you can start to give them more opportunities to explore their potential even further. Make sure to provide proper training and adequate resources so your employee feels equipped. Studies show that empowering your team to share in decision-making, will boost morale and employee engagement significantly. 

  1. Invite and Embrace Initiative

Micromanagers don’t leave space for creativity or collaboration, two of the most important elements of a healthy learning culture in the workplace. If you don’t trust your employees and their abilities, it will show through your micro-management. Remember, there is more than one way to perform a task or complete a project. Be open to your team's ideas. They were hired because they are qualified for the job and have potential to drive business growth. Empower your employees to share their ideas and consider different approaches to getting the job done.

Psychology Of Micromanagers 

The psychology of micromanagers points to individuals who are insecure or feel incompetent in their leadership roles. Sometimes this is the case. Other times it could be more control-centered. Either way, you’d be hard-pressed to find an employee who enjoys working under a micro-manager. They create hostile work environments. They stunt their employees' professional growth and bridle their potential. A manager who is always looking over your shoulder, inspecting and criticizing, will quickly make an employee feel frustrated and undervalued. This type of management behavior leads to retention issues. You can stop micromanaging by being a better communicator, practicing delegation, and promoting and prioritizing employee initiative.

Join the Conversation

Welcome to the ASAP Circle, a community platform for peer-to-peer conversation on trending topics, professional challenges, and shared experiences. We even have designated spaces for weekly Tuesday Coffee Breaks.

Start Connecting Today!

American Society of Administrative Professionals

Producer of

APC  EA Ignite