The Hidden Dangers of Micromanagement: Are You Destroying Your Employees?

BlogHR Advice Posted: Tuesday 31st October 2017 by

The dictionary defines micromanagement as ‘the control of a business or project with excessive attention to minor details.’

 Attention to detail is, of course, a necessary business practice to ensure that the company and its employees are carrying out daily tasks and business processes with accuracy and forethought.

However, there is a difference between ensuring your employees are performing well and holding a microscope up to every single detail. The latter not only damages your employee’s confidence but causes a host of problems that can potentially cripple your business from the inside.

Here are some of the common dangers of micromanagement:

Micromanagement kills creativity

Companies go to a great deal of time, effort and expense to hire the very best; those rare gems of innovation; employees who will go above and beyond and whose creativity knows no bounds. Put one of those new hires in a situation where their creativity is stifled or their freedom of thought is pushed aside by a process-driven manager because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’ and suddenly that employee not only feels undervalued but starts looking towards the door for a sharp exit.

Micromanagers have their place, often managing teams where meticulous precision is the life and death of a business, but in a modern day working environment where employee engagement and retention of core talent is paramount, it’s vital that micromanagers are kept in check so as not to hinder innovation and growth.

Micromanagement prevents learning opportunities

Most micromanagers have every good intention of treating their teams well and helping them to thrive in a supported environment. However, being supportive can mean many things to many people. Often, micromanagers may think they are helping their staff by tackling the challenging tasks themselves and leaving their teams to carry on with the daily grunt work.

Managers who never challenge or stimulate their teams or those that insist on approving every action and decision will find that they are creating a limbo environment, where little gets achieved without their presence or say so.

This not only causes roadblocks within the business but prevents critical opportunities for employees to learn and grow within their roles.

Micromanagement creates leadership incompetence

With the best will in the world, business leaders tend to promote people into senior positions that have excellent academic credentials and are often subject matter experts in a particular field. Promoting from within is always a great idea as it enables you to ‘grow’ your own talent pool and help your people to move their careers forward.

What happens, however, when you promote someone that is exceptional at their job but has limited leadership experience, is that they will mostly always focus on what they know best… their job. Being great at their job is how they were promoted in the first place. However, the danger of promoting without introducing any leadership training is that these managers then become obsessed with doing the job so well that they forget they now have a team behind them and all the responsibility of leadership that goes with it. This causes leadership incompetence which is then almost impossible to breed out of a business.

Human Results offer leadership development, talent management and executive coaching solutions to help your business to achieve its goals. Get in touch with our team, in confidence.

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