If you have to micromanage, then you did not hire the right person for the job!

I have heard a significant number of stories about micromanagers who flip out when things are not done their way, and this shocks me. Micromanagers are ego-driven people who want to be at the centre of every decision, to take credit but then again divert blame. Apparently, some managers even insist that their team members CC them on every single email, and have their team members run everything by them first. How tiresome! I can only imagine how micromanaging can make you doubt yourself. I would find it stifling to be micromanaged.

I cannot help but wonder why do you need to hire smart people and have them work in restricting environments? It is a useless time sponge that reflects management’s lack of leadership, lack of respect for their team members and the root cause of decreased productivity. Like Steve Jobs said somehow between the lines that we should hire smart talent to tell us what to do and not the other way around.

I guess micromanagement comes down to an issue of trust. Some of the lack of trust stems from heavy control issues, and a lack of training or communication. Do you trust your employees to get the job done right? Would you rather coach your employee than micromanage them? Leading them or coaching them will not only give them the tools to do the job but also the confidence that you trust and appreciate them. Micromanagement does the exact opposite.

Delegate the right job to the right person. My take on how to avoid micromanaging is to hire the ones you see potential for growth who will eventually “get on with it” after you have trained and coached them. It is important to realise that there is no way to scale if you are micromanaging — you will limit the amount of work that gets done. They learn very little by being micromanaged and will eventually become disillusioned and will never grow into the role you have employed them for. Which defeats the point of hiring capable employees!

My recipe is to hire the best talent and give them freedom to do their jobs. Give your employees the training, the resources, environment to succeed and contribute and then support to get the tasks done. Keep coaching them to grow, so they are informed on how to do better next time. You will see that over time; the results are outstanding!

A good leader knows instinctively who can be given the autonomy to run with their priorities and who needs support. Even people new to a role or new to a skill area do not need micromanaging, they need a balance of support and room to try, and learn from mistakes. I emphasise support because I have, in my previous jobs, lead people who others thought were bad performers but with further training and mentoring they have become very successful.

My question to those bosses who keep their employees on a tight leash is: how long do you think it will be until your people leave to find a job where they’re appreciated? It costs companies when great, but unhappy, employees leave because of micromanagement. You are mired in a bad culture, so you need to be brave and get out of there before it starts effecting your physical and emotional health and your life outside of your job. Because it will.