Micromanagers destroy emloyee morale & affect organisation bottom line


[Micromanaging is very bad.  In fact, very detrimental to an organisation and in my opinion such managers need to be weeded out. I have written some articles about this topic in the past for #Uganda and most can be found on my blog.  Micromanaging may seem right for Uganda but if you look at the impact on the employees, you will step back and evaluate your strategy of employee retention.  You notice I keep talking about employee retention because a happy employee leads to more customers.  By the way, you should subscribe to Harvard Business Review.  Below is an article by a specialist.]

Micromanaging diminishes your self-worth. When someone is micromanaging you it spells to you that:-

  1. They don’t trust you
  2. They are probably putting you down, and attempting to lower your self-esteem, and boost theirs instead.
  3. As by their actions of micromanaging and showing their lack of trust, it generates fear in you because you’re thinking goes to imagining that you are going to get the sack, be transferred or given less hours; you freeze and go into protection mode.

Because of the actions of your boss and being frozen with fear, your cognitive abilities go out the window, you make silly errors you wouldn’t normally do, and the boss calmy and smugly congratulates himself – as this is his proof that you needed micromanaging. It also increases his busyness and looking important to his seniors.

Avoid micromanaging at all costs.

There is something basically wrong in the organisation if there are insufficient systems to protect the company without the need of micromanaging.

Micromanaging is a brilliant way to destroy a great culture in an incredibly short space of time.

Micromanaging destroys trust! Trust can take years to build and 30 seconds to destroy.

It also destroys discretionary effort and turns the team into little zombies who are afraid of everything.

So where do these micromanagers come from? Usually the temptation is to employ people like yourself. If one of the directors who is in charge of hiring is a micromanager watch out!

Of course we get influenced by the media and the dear old governments around the world. The media and governments love to spread fear, and want us all to live in little micromanaged bubbles.

The cartoon of Leunig’s above captures it well.

So is there ever a time for micromanaging? Sure. When someone is learning they need to be micromanaged until they have learnt the process, system or procedure. But how you do that has to be on a curve that leads them to self-empowerment.

You also need to micromanage when there is the suspicion of gross misconduct such as suspected fraud or other serious issues going on.

So why do some bosses persistently micromanage? Often it is because they are filled with fear themselves. Full of what if’s.

They are also worried and fearful about what others think. What other people think of course is none of your business!

Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher wrote, ‘Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.’

The Micromanager is not happy. Impossible to be happy, as they are racked by fear. They are spreading fear. The best place for them is away from people and dealing with figures which have to be deadly accurate. Then when they have micromanaged their way through these figures, tell them that they are a 100% correct, and if you are lucky you may get a smile and they will definitely tell you that they knew that.

Would you like some help with dealing with micromanaging issues?

I fix that, along with a lot of other things in businesses around the world.

By John Flett

Executive Business Coach

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