How To Not Micromanage Your Employees


Micromanaging employees is one of the biggest time-wasters for managers. It can be tempting to micromanage your staff, but this is not only childish; it’s also counterproductive and will eventually hurt your business.

The Trouble with Micro-Management

Micromanagement is the term used to describe a management style that involves constant oversight of every detail, particularly details that don’t matter. It is driven by fear and a desire to control, and it’s based on an attitude that everyone is always capable of doing more than they’re capable of doing right now.

Micromanagement has several negative effects:

  • Micromanagement sets the employees up for failure –  They are not trusted to do what they need to do, are hesitant to take risks, and are more likely to make mistakes. These mistakes might cost the company money or products or services that should have been delivered on time. 
  • Micromanagement covers real failure – Micromanagers often try to hide their failures from higher management, but if one of their projects goes wrong, it won’t be long before someone notices.
  • Micromanagement is a waste of time – Most micromanagers spend more time managing than doing, so they are not as fully committed to their own projects as they could be.
  • Micromanagement creates an environment of distrust – Employees don’t like being treated like children, and it’s difficult to have a trusting relationship with someone who doesn’t think you’re capable of making your own decisions and doing your own job.
  • Micromanagement creates poor morale – People work harder when they’re trusted and respected, improving their work quality. When employees know they might be monitored at every turn, they will feel less inclined to work hard and may even start looking for other jobs.

The Benefits of Managing Your Workers Instead of Micro-Managing Them

Most managers who are new to the job of managing people are immediately overwhelmed. This can be a source of resentment, frustration, and doubt – and that doubt can turn into micromanaging.

There is, however, an even better way than micromanaging your staff. The better way involves treating them with the same respect you would show to an employee you’ve had for years – a long time, in fact – and expecting them to do the same for you in return. This results in higher morale, better work, and fewer missed deadlines. You will also be able to communicate more freely with your employees without fear of judgment.

Morale is hugely important in business. Just think about all those famous tech companies with huge festivals for their employees. Some go to great lengths, like hiring a motivational speaker, creating branded merchandise, and facilitating staff socialization events and even vacations in some instances. 

While bigger companies can afford to send the employees off on work vacations, smaller ones may not – but that’s not a problem. You can foster positive workplace culture with small, everyday methods, such as allowing workers to chat and socialize at work, providing good break room facilities, organizing the occasional employee event or night out, and offering seasonal bonuses.

These techniques all make the corporate culture one of camaraderie and support, which is extremely important to employees who take pride in their work. Of course, all of the above means nothing if you still continue to micromanage everyone; staff members will resent their jobs, and no matter what events you’ve arranged and provisions you’ve offered, they will lose their effect if managers keep on micromanaging.

How to Manage Your Employees Better

Below are some quick suggestions for how to manage your employees without micromanaging them:

  • Let them know you appreciate their input. 
  • Don’t oversell your product or service. 
  • Respect the time they spend on your projects. 
  • Respect their relationships with other departments within the company, vendors, suppliers, and customers.

And last but not least, trust your employees. That trust is at the base of beating your micromanagement urges for good. Grant your employees your confidence, and your teams – and their productivity and job satisfaction – will soar.