Learning & Development, Talent

The Disadvantages of Micromanagers and How to Retrain Them

Micromanagers feel they must constantly control their employees and the output of those employees. And they are constantly monitoring everything at work and consistently operate at high levels of stress, which, in turn, stresses out their subordinate employees and fractures workplace relationships.


Source: fizkes / iStock / Getty

These types of managers send a constant barrage of e-mails they must always be copied on, don’t delegate responsibilities very well or at all, don’t seek feedback or input from others, and so on.
In short, micromanagers are toxic to productive and positive workplace environments and can lead to much higher employee attrition and absenteeism rates.
Research even indicates that when employees with high-stress jobs are given less control over their responsibilities, or are micromanaged, they have a 15.4% increased chance of death. And other research indicates that less micromanaging and more employee autonomy are behind increased levels of workplace happiness and employee productivity.
Overall, micromanagers:
  • Lower employees’ productivity and happiness levels.
  • Stifle employees’ creativity and ability to innovate.
  • Make more mistakes and lead teams that aren’t knowledgeable.
  • Have high employee turnover and absenteeism rates.
  • Force your organization to forfeit important relationships and partnerships.
  • Cost your organization a lot of money.

Below are some things you can do to attempt to retrain your micromanagers.

Expose Them to Servant Leadership

Servant leaders focus on their employees’ needs and concerns and always seek feedback from their subordinates, as well as their direct input. They also know how to work with others and communicate with others so that they can stimulate work environments where everyone is respected and considered without ever berating or coercing others.
And, most importantly, servant leaders are self-aware and know their own limitations, so they tend to surround themselves with employees who are good at doing what they’re not good at doing, and they trust those employees to do assigned jobs and tasks well without much supervision.
(For more insight, read about the 10 qualities that servant leaders have here. And read “5 Real-Life Brands that Embody Servant Leadership” for some real-world examples.)

Enhance Their Emotional Intelligence and Communication Skills

Employees and managers with emotional intelligence skills actively work to reduce occurrences of workplace stress and consistently build positive rapport and relationships with others. So, they never micromanage others. Emotionally intelligent managers are much more self-aware and know how to communicate well with their employees without stressing them out.
Overall, they’ll know when they’re stressing out their employees because they’re micromanaging them, and they’ll actively circumvent this behavior so that their employees will remain productive and content.

Encourage Them to Focus on Results and Outcomes

Micromanagers tend to focus on the everyday minutiae so intently that they lose sight of the big picture—a big picture that should include productive employees that propel your organization’s mission and goals forward. When retraining your micromanagers, encourage them to focus on concrete results and outcomes of projects and tasks and concrete performance metrics instead of the tiny details of processes and procedures.
If you want to successfully retrain your organization’s micromanagers, do one or more of the things mentioned in this post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *