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How to Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanagement describes a management style where a manager observes employees’ actions and enacts excessive control. Micromanagers may believe that their team can only succeed if they are controlling it all, down to each operation.

By Emile Fakhoury
I believe that when a manager becomes too involved with their employee’s performance, it can do more harm than good.

You can notice several signs of micromanagement in your organisation:

  • Everything requires approval:

Managers require their employees to check with them on every single task before deciding the next steps. Employees become afraid and lose confidence and trust in their capabilities. The organisation may win in the short run. Still, consistency with the manager kills the employee’s ambition and growth, and the organisation become ‘hostage’ to the manager and loses its employees.

  • No Delegation:

Managers keep control and never any task or assignment to the team. Again, lack of confidence and trust becomes dominant among employees who lose interest in their leadership and organisation.

  • No flexibility:

With control of tasks and work, managers don’t allow any flexibility in work for their employees and continue the vicious circle of control and lack of trust with their employees.

  • Unhealthy mentorship:

Managers would not be able to mentor or develop new skills with their employees, and continue to control every task and action and review every milestone to ensure everything is under control.

There will be no succession plan or development to the new generation of employees.

The organisation is the main loser from these micromanagement habits that establish a toxic environment where growth and new initiatives cannot flourish.

I believe leaders who care about organisational growth and employee performance should empower their teams and develop a growth mindset with the individuals if they care about the organisation’s sustainable growth. Several tips can help leaders and employees to develop such patterns.

  • Set clear expectations and priorities:

It is essential to provide specific objectives and deadlines to the team before a project or task starts and give them the freedom to manage the outcome and be held responsible for it.

Trusting the team will boost morale and improve the environment at the workplace.

Define priorities and critical tasks so the team knows them and will discuss them with you.

  • Delegating:

Managers should plan to assign tasks that match the employee’s strengths and goals. Regarding the succession plan, managers should develop their team to the next level and assign tasks that make sense as much as possible. A sustainable growth mindset will help boost employee morale and increase retention at the workplace.

  • Hire and retain the right people:

Managers should consistently provide training and improve the skills of their employees. New joiners should be matched with a buddy or coach to help them navigate the organization rules and matrix.

The employee’s career path should be aligned with the organization growth plan and vision.

  • Get feedback:

Things can derail sometimes, but listening to employees and asking the right questions will definitely help to boost trust and morale by learning how employees prefer to be managed.

There is no single formula that works everywhere and with everyone.

Listening and accepting others’ ideas that may differ from typical management will support improve the environment and growth and competitiveness at the workplace.

Micromanagement in the workplace tends to hurt the team’s productivity and motivation. To avoid it in your team, make sure you don’t overact when things deviate from the plan, take a step back and decide a way to correct the situation if it’s truly necessary. Talk to your team regularly to set clear expectations and streamline your processes entrusting your team to deliver their best and let them do their jobs.

Follow these tips to avoid micromanaging: your team will enjoy working with you, your business will grow, and you'll have the capacity to take a bigger role and let your team and the organisation grow.

Emile Fakhoury
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