Are your team members slowly getting more and more disengaged? Chances are, there are things in the organization that caused this, and you may be one of those. Have you checked if you are a micromanager? Being one explains the decrease in employee engagement and trust in your team. And if you haven’t realized it yet, it’s causing a lot of damage you may not expect. Thus, you need to check on yourself if you are behaving like a micromanager.
What is a micromanager?
A micromanager is a manager who has too much involvement in the work of their team members. While their intentions are good for the company, this close supervision brings harm to team members. Micromanagers are definitely good at their job, but sometimes this can be too much for their members, who they micromanage. If left unacknowledged, the organization may see a significant drop in team engagement, productivity, and the general performance of employees.
Signs you’re a micromanager
You may not be aware, but to confirm if you have micromanagement tendencies, here are the signs you should check:
1. You have a hard time delegating tasks.
Are you having a hard time delegating tasks to team members? Chances are, you don’t have enough confidence in your members’ abilities. You may not admit this, but the difficulty to give them tasks says a lot about your trust in them.
You’d rather do things on your own than entrust things to others. And this is not what a good manager does. An excellent manager knows how to delegate tasks and fully gives them autonomy over said assignments.
2. You ask your members to update or report to you constantly.
A common habit of a micromanager is asking team members to submit reports or updates constantly. That is too much to ask. A regular update is fine, but if you like them to go to you and delve into details more, that’s more than enough. You need to lie low on this demand.
If you continue asking team members to report to you constantly, they’ll soon develop ill feelings towards you. After all, no one wants to be required to continually go out of their way just to inform you of a project’s progress.
3. You give emphasis on team members’ faults.
Faults are inevitable at the workplace. If you’re a good manager, you’ll let this go easily or properly provide feedback. But if you like pointing out mistakes because it makes you feel better about yourself, you are no good as a manager.
You focus on faults and point them out as evidence of your distrust in your team members’ abilities. In situations like this, you prove that you have no trust in their capabilities. As a manager, you must understand that mistakes are okay, and they can always be corrected in a civil way.
4. You demand team members for your permission over almost anything.
Some managers are obsessed with authority because they want everything to go through them first. If you are one of those managers, then you are a micromanager. You don’t like to give autonomy to others because you love your power way too much and don’t trust others to make the right decision. This is a very toxic behavior to have as a manager. In becoming a better manager, here’s a helpful online course to help you conquer this.
5. You don’t like sharing knowledge and expertise with others.
Don’t you like sharing your knowledge with your teammates? You probably have no interest in being a part of their professional development. Managers should be part of the learning journey of a team member. If you are reluctant to share what you know, how can you expect them to produce what you expect them to? Thus, it’s important that you serve as a mentor to them too.
If you find yourself constantly making excuses when team members seek your help on skill-sharing, you prove how terrible you are as a manager.
6. You don’t listen to feedback.
Just because you are a manager doesn’t make you less prone to feedback. You still need this. If you refuse to acknowledge input from members, you also refuse to improve on areas that need improvement. What will happen then? You’re just going to be the same micromanager who they hate secretly. Not listening to feedback makes you even more hateful, fostering a very toxic environment for your team members.
7. You think you know better than everyone else.
You don’t share knowledge, give autonomy, and listen to feedback because you think you’re above everyone. You love your authority so much, and you believe you are better than others. This is why you don’t trust your team members to do just as well.
With this tendency, sometimes you may even find yourself revising your direct reports’ works because you don’t get satisfied easily. That’s how confident you are about your capabilities yet fail to understand that you also need to allow members to grow at their own pace.
Why being a micromanage doesn’t work
There are several effects of micromanagement, and all of these are harmful to your reputation and the general efficiency of the team you’re handling. Here are some of them:
- The team members start to hate you.
- They begin to doubt their capabilities because you micromanage them.
- It lowers the morale of the team members.
- It increases employee turnover and attrition.
- Team members start to experience work burnout.
- It stifles team members’ creativity as you regulate them constantly.
- It fosters a work environment which is dependent.
- You accumulate more workload as you don’t trust them enough.
If you fail to acknowledge your micromanager tendencies, your team will succumb to these harmful effects. And before it even affects the team productivity and efficiency, you must start changing your managerial ways. To help you with that, you can take this comprehensive course to help you become a better manager for your team: Perform Management Guide for Managers.