The 5 Pitfalls of Micromanagement

Leaders and managers are the backbone of any businesses staff. Many operate at a level of efficiency that can be admired, but there are the few that get way ahead of themselves. For some, this is merely an occasional outburst of ego and lack of trust. However, for others, it is the fuel for their fire, their utter sense of being to rule over others with an iron fist. Whatever the case may be, there are real consequences for being the over-the-should type of manager. Let’s look at some pitfalls of micromanagement and how they can be detrimental to your team’s work environment.

Loss of Creativity

One of the key roles as a leader on your team is to motivate the people that work for you. Different take on this challenge in different ways. Some may choose to go the “tough love” route, while others may be a bit more lenient. It is important to be careful with how much tough love you show to your team. You may mean well by watching their every move and checking up on all their task. However, there will come a day when you will be either too tired or incapable of doing those things. You will want some you can count on to make decisions and solve problems. You may also need them to come up with new ideas and plans for the future of the company. Imagine you have worked with this person for years and never once asked them their opinion. Could you actually be mad if they did not have one? The last thing you want on your team is someone who lack the inspiration to keep going. By micromanaging your protégée, you are creating that inevitable outcome.

Lack of Trust

There is nothing more uncomfortable than putting your fate in someone else’s hands, especially when you don’t really trust those hands. A manager that constantly breathes over their staff is obviously insecure. This could be due to a terrible experience or an obsessive compulsive disorder. Whatever the case may be, it creates turmoil and anger from your staff. The staff will be very defensive to prove their validity as if they are always on trial, because they are.

Increase Disengagement

If you run a staff and notice that some of your employees are not exactly on planet Earth, then you should look into the reasons why. For some, daydreaming is just a frivolous habit, but for others it is a chance to escape the daunting reality in front of them. When I was working in retail and couldn’t stand my boss, I used to take any excuse to leave the store. I would volunteer to take out trash, pickup lunch or take mail, really anything to get the heck out of the store. I was actively disengaging myself from the workplace because it was toxic. Even a couple of minutes away from the store made the world of a difference. This is not the mentality you want your employees to have at all. People who fall into this category are the same people that close 5 minutes before schedule or show up 30 minutes late after a lunch break consistently.

Hostile Environment

When the microaggressions aren’t so micro anymore. Micromanaging your employee will create hostility, mostly towards yourself, but also with others who may not even be the target. If you encourage your assistant managers to be heartless and cruel they will act upon it assuming they all want to keep their jobs. Always give a clear definition of the task to be executed and ask for feedback. Sometimes a simple gut check is all you need to get the message that something is wrong.

Lack of Empowerment

We all want to feel like we are in the driver’s seat at some point. It is actually a very rewarding feeling of independence. Don’t babysit your staff, if fact, do the opposite. Give them just enough rope to hang themselves, and always remind them that they will be held accountable for their performance. Over time, you will develop a staff strong enough to manage themselves without your presence.


Don’t get in the way of your staff, let them do their jobs. If your employees training them, treat that as an internal failure, not an external one.

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