3 Reasons Why Micromanaging Doesn’t Work
And why it’s problematic for great employees
The Covid-19 pandemic sent hundreds of thousands of people home in March 2020 from their corporate careers. Many people who had worked their regular nine-to-fives were suddenly thrown into the work-from-home (WFH) lifestyle.
Today in November 2021, the pandemic is still in full swing but many people are finally going back to work. There was a massive shift in work/life balances with WFH for employees and upper management alike. So it makes sense that the switch back to “normal” would be just as difficult as the switch to going home.
Many people, particularly upper management workers, are struggling with figuring out how to handle short-staff days and keeping a business afloat. It often leads to a series of problems with employees and employers alike, including micromanaging.
Micromanagement is when a manager tries to be in complete and total control of everything happening in a company rather than allowing others to do their jobs. There can be a lot of negative outcomes from this, and not just for the manager.
The manager is spread too thin
A good manager is a good delegator. The best way to get shit done is to ask for help. I’m absolutely a control freak and prefer to have fewer hands in the pot, but then again, I’ve never been a manager.
When one person takes on too many different hats, things fall through the cracks. If one person is trying to be a manager, a trainer, an HR representative, a marketing director, and office administrator all at once it would be impossible to not have mistakes happen.
The manager is then unavailable, hard to get in contact with, and isn’t as trustworthy to employees. If I, as an employee, know that emailing my boss will never end with a response, then why would I bother trying? That’s a waste of my time as well as the managers.
It dissuades employees from working harder
It’s always going to fall flat anyway, so why bother trying? I’m not going to be able to move up in the ranks anyway because there’s literally no room for growth with the manager doing everything for me anyway, so why should I give any care to my work?
I do not want to work harder when I’m being micromanaged. In fact, I become indifferent and apathetic towards my work because there is little to no encouragement to try more.
When things don’t work, the only person to blame is the manager
Now, this might sound good in theory, but the issue is that the manager then gets very defensive when anything does go awry and everyone pays the price.
For example: Let’s say you’re an administrative worker in charge of scheduling. There’s a particular strategy that your place of work uses to schedule and you, being an awesome and loyal employee, are scheduling exactly how you were trained and instructed to do so.
But now, oh no! Something is wrong with the system because someone mixed up appointment times and dates and everything is wrong in the calendar. You can’t fix it because you have not been delegated that responsibility, but when you ask your manager about the issue, it gets brushed off out of embarrassment and frustration. The manager now has to go through and fix everything themselves without being able to request help or correct anyone’s actions because it was their fault.
Again, it all falls back on being spread too thin, wearing too many hats, whatever analogy you want to use in this case.
People don’t quit their jobs; they quit their managers. I have never left a job because of the job itself; I have always genuinely liked my line of work. I have nearly always quit a job because of the way the managers treat employees.