5 Reasons Why Micromanagers Fail

Do you work for a micromanager? Why are you still there?

Posted Aug 09, 2018

Have you ever worked for a micromanager? I have, and it’s frustrating. In fact, it usually makes the job harder and less rewarding.

Simply put, micromanaging is a bad leadership strategy, and there are several reasons why:

  1. Hovering. Micromanagers constantly monitor the workers they supervise. Being constantly observed and evaluated can cause worker stress. It can slow down the work process, as the employee constantly fears that she or he will make a mistake and incur the dissatisfaction (or wrath) of the manager. From the leader’s perspective, micromanaging is a strategy of vigilance–policing workers to look for, and correct, behavior that deviates from the “accepted procedures.” This means the leader spends all of his or her time observing and correcting and has no time for other important leadership/management duties.
  2. Autonomy. A primary motivator for many workers is autonomy–being allowed to choose how and when to perform tasks, and having some decision-making authority about your job. Micromanaging quashes this and de-motivates workers.
  3. Stifling Creativity. Without allowing workers to develop their own ideas and work-related strategies because of the need to control everything, the micromanager is destined to stifle worker creativity and innovation. This hurts the organization’s ability to innovate and evolve.
  4. Stifling Employee Growth. The only way for workers to learn and develop in their jobs and increase their skill sets is to try new things, and learn on their own. Micromanaging keeps workers from becoming more skilled and valuable to the organization.
  5. Turnover. Most workers are turned off by micromanagers. The independent, creative, self-motivated employees are the first to go, and losing those star performers can be devastating to the organization’s success.