We understand the reasoning and need for micromanagement of certain aspects in a business; sometimes, there are specific scenarios that require careful attention to detail at each step of the way because the firm can’t afford to make a single mistake. For example, any startup that catches its lucky break with an angel investor or group of potential business partners must meet the expectancies from its new stakeholders because the future of their operations rides on the success of a single project.
However, when micromanagement is implemented across all departments and business processes of a firm, this tends to achieve exactness at the cost of sustainability, meaning that you’re slowly eating away at your company’s potential by choice. As mentioned before, outliers can exist, but if micromanagement starts to resemble your startup’s core values, then you will start running into more problems and challenges along the way than you would’ve bargained for in the end.
Employees Need Space To Work And Opportunity To Grow
You see, while your employees may represent the firm’s human resources, we must never forget that they are still people, and people need space to work and the opportunity to grow if you want them to realize their true potential. Sure, a new hire will require one-on-one training, but if their job responsibilities are about following your every last word to a tee alone, don’t expect them to become anything more than just a robot that tracks orders and does what it’s told to do.
- Teams Grow Overdependent And Become Stagnant: Evidently, any employee or team that is constantly micromanaged by a supervisor will soon grow overdependent and become stagnant in their performance. As a result, they will make a habit of waiting on your command and never taking the initiative because they’ve grown used to just following whatever you say. And while that may seem like it has its positives, it will prove disadvantageous in the long term because they won’t learn anything.
- Unable To Perform During High-Stress Workloads: Apart from overdependence and stagnance in performance, too much micromanagement tends to create employees who are unable to perform during high-stress workloads. Teams that have become acclimated to following orders are incapable of autonomous work, and because high-stress workloads mean supervisors are also held up with deadlines, they will become extremely inefficient. Of course, some teams can rise up to the cause and still perform, but the chance of that happening is dangerously low.
Promote Employee Engagement And Boost Motivation
Given the clear disadvantages of micromanagement, we strongly recommend promoting employee engagement and boosting motivation instead because this creates the same ripple effect but leans more toward independence and self-sufficiency. Therefore, you get to reap the benefits of quality work without having your supervisors and team managers constantly overlook the progress on a project-by-project basis.
- Encourage Work-Life Balance: Firstly, in order to promote employee engagement and enable self-determination with their work responsibilities, it is necessary that you encourage work-life balance. At the end of the day, your employees can only put out work as much as the rest they receive to rejuvenate all that energy expensed. So, be sure to reward good performance, celebrate results, implement rest guidelines, and maybe even consult a business culture coach.
- Be Present And Report Updates On Progress: In addition to work-life balance, you must also be present with your teams and update them with the progress of their assigned tasks. Just like anyone else in this world, honesty and solidarity uphold consistency, so you don’t want to keep your employees left in the dark. Plus, when they are aware of certain shortfalls or gaps, they might just be capable of formulating the best solution possible.
- Set Standards For Employee Autonomy: Last but not least, if you want your employees to evolve and grow into bigger and better responsibilities, then you must set standards for employee autonomy. Of course, we don’t mean to say that the most significant business decisions will be made at their level, but they should have some control over their designated activities. In doing so, they will have the freedom to be creative problem-solvers and might present an opportunity that didn’t exist before.
But Is Micromanaging ALWAYS Bad?
No, micromanaging isn’t always bad and does have its moments. For example, onboarding new hires and leaving them to fend for themselves is quite possibly one of the worst things you can do when we’re already dealing with worker shortage issues. People will need some direct guidance to start, but not all the way until the end. It’s all about balance and harmony, not overdoing both ends.
Trust Your Employees!
Overall, we just want to remind business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs that you must trust your employees and have faith in their skills. Remember, the strength of a startup comes from the cumulative contributions of each member, and you can’t go above and beyond if you constantly doubt everybody’s abilities to a fault.