According to one survey, 51% of employees say they have worked for a micromanager.
And 55% said that the micromanaging decreased their productivity with only 8% saying it increased productivity.
68% said it decreased morale and only 6% said it increased morale.
Most of us know the downfalls of micromanaging, but it’s easy to fall into the micromanaging trap.
Why do more than half of managers and entrepreneurs micromanage?
Well, it’s cliche, but the old saying goes that if you want something done right you better do it yourself.
But if you read that saying a different way you’ll see the sarcasm. You can see perhaps an employee saying it to their boss with some sarcasm. They’re thinking, “Hey, if you don’t trust me then nothing I do will ever be correct.”
Perhaps the biggest detriment to micromanaging is that is holds back growth. Employees aren’t allowed to grow and the business isn’t allowed to grow.
One person can only take on so much. If we try to do everything we’ll put a cap on the business. For a business to grow, the energies of many need to be used.
Signs Of Micromanaging
If you’re like many other entrepreneurs and managers then you’re probably deeply invested in your company. You’re putting everything you have into it and that can lead to a bit of tunnel vision.
You might not even realize that you’re micromanaging your team, both employees and vendors.
And another thing is that you’ve worked to build a company. You have likely had success. And you want the onus to be on you when it comes to success and failure.
You probably know a lot of things, but no one knows everything. That’s why we hire employees and vendors.
A potential sign that you’re micromanaging is to observe your actions and to see if you’re using more statements or asking more questions.
When you’re working with an employee you’re obviously going to be teaching them things. You’re teaching processes, but ultimately you want the employee to become the master of their job.
The master. That means that when you interact with them that you’ll want to be asking questions instead of giving instructions.
Instead of saying, Do this…
You’re asking, What can we do to improve?
You can work together to potentially solve problems, but ultimately you want to trust the person you hired to perform the job.
If you bring in a vendor to help with something you want to explain what your challenge has been and ask how they can help. You don’t really want to bring in vendor and tell them exactly what you want them to do.
Other signs that you’re micromanaging include how involved you are with the team. Are you doing more than just watching performance indicators? Are you checking in every day rather than every month or quarter?
Another sign could be productivity and morale. As we saw in the survey above, if you’re team is feeling unproductive and down then it could be a sign that you’re micromanaging.
What Could You Do Differently?
Let’s say something isn’t working in your business.
Sales aren’t where you think they should be.
Website traffic is stagnant.
Customer service feedback has been lagging.
Whatever it is there is something that’s not working.
A micromanager often approaches the situation looking for someone to blame. Remember, the micromanager believes that if something is going to be done right that they’re the ones that will need to get it done. So if something is wrong it can’t be their fault.
But often times it’s not that the employees or vendors aren’t competent. Sometimes, sure, it can be the case, but often there is something else going on.
The best managers that I’ve been around almost always approach challenging situations looking at what they can do to improve the situation or they look at the business process to figure out if the structure is amiss.
This manager looks at the sales process and sees if maybe the sales team doesn’t have the right tools. Maybe they don’t have the right incentives. Maybe they’re being directed to approach the wrong target customer.
Hire People That Fit
Core values are important for any business. You want to, need to hire people that fit with the core of your business.
Let’s say that promptness is important to your company. It’s what you care about. It’s what your core employees care about.
You can’t hire someone that is smart, but that doesn’t have the same respect for being on time. They might deliver great work, but if they’re late with the delivery it will drive you crazy. It will cause issues with the team dynamic.
And it will probably make you more likely to micromanage.
If you suspect that you have the wrong people on the team then go back to your core values and make sure you’re hiring people that fit with your culture.
But…there’s a big item to note here and that’s how you don’t want to simply hire people that will do what you want them to do. Obviously you do have expertise. You do need to train. But you want the person you hire or the vendor you hire to be The Master at what they’re going to be doing.
Let them bring or learn the expertise. You’re their to ask questions, analyze results and make sure things are moving toward your business goals.
Micromanaging is a big deal in the business world. It happens both with employees and with vendors.
But I get it. I get the challenge entrepreneurs and managers have. It’s hard to find people that are as invested emotionally as you are in the company. It’s hard to give up control and trust others with the success and failure of your company.
But that trust is what’s necessary for a business to grow. You can only take it so far with your own effort and energy.
If you suspect that you’re a micromanager then hopefully the items above can help you analyze the situation and figure out a way to structure your company so it’s primed for success and growth.