Utter the term “micromanagement,” and you’re sure to elicit negative feelings from anyone within earshot, as the term has a firmly entrenched negative connotation. But many managers, though understanding the aversion, may not truly understand why it’s bad to closely monitor and direct the work of subordinates.
There are several reasons micromanagement can be counterproductive in the workplace. Inefficient use of employee and manager time is a key example, but the negative impact on morale is also a significant issue within workplace cultures impacted by micromanagement.
In this post, we look at several specific ways micromanagement can hurt employee morale.
Staff Feel Incompetent
Employees who are micromanaged often feel like they are incompetent or that their manager perceives them as incompetent. Why else would someone dictate every detail of their work if they were capable of doing it on their own?
Staff Stress Over Minutia
When the boss seems to be particular about every detail of how work is done, staff have to worry about not only completing a task successfully but also completing each step of the process successfully.
Thus, employees will worry about getting all the specific steps right rather than focusing on the big picture, adding a lot of additional stress.
Staff Feel Less Productive Than They Could Be
We expect most people to genuinely want to do well at their jobs. But when someone is micromanaged and forced to do his or her job in a particular manner, the person ends up being less efficient than he or she would have been had he or she had more flexibility. This lost productivity not only is bad for the company but also leaves employees feeling they are performing poorly relative to their self-expectations.
Micromanagement is a “don’t do” in most professional circles. Understanding why it is such a toxic management style is essential for managers hoping to strike the proper balance between employee independence and process.