Why Micromanagement is Evil and Costly

Why micromanagement is so damaging and what can be done about it.

Micromanagement is like a black hole: it sucks the life out of everyone around you. It often happens when a person is really good at their job and get promoted to manage people, but are not trained or have the ability on how to lead.

Don’t micromanage. It is a sure-fire way to destroy a team and people. By micromanaging, you are showing you don’t trust your people, don’t respect them and demonstrate that you are incapable of teaching and leading them properly.

And these effects are expensive and damaging. The Harvard Business Review reports that Micromanagement leads to disengagement, where an employee clocks in his time but little else, with the apathy affecting other colleagues as well. Because a consistent pattern of micromanagement tells an employee you don’t trust his work or his judgement, it is a major factor in triggering disengagement.

According to the book 12: The Elements of Great Managing (Gallup Press, 2006), absenteeism caused by disengagement costs a typical 10,000-person company USD 600,000 a year in salary for days where no work was performed. Certain behaviours seen during micromanagement can also be classified as bullying, opening people up to disciplinary action and companies to legal action as well.

If you are a micromanager and lead a team, ask yourself: is this the right path for you? In some cases, people micromanage because they have a deep understanding of the subject-matter, yet have trouble trusting others have a similar level of knowledge. If that's you, ask yourself: should I even be a manager?

Most companies have a Technical path and a Management path, both are equally valid and fulfilling. There is no shame in being a subject-matter expert (SME)!

But that’s one opinion, what do you think? Have you ever been micromanaged? What did you do to manage it, or are you a micromanager yourself?

Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash



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K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Why Micromanagement is Evil and Costly
Why Micromanagement is Evil and Costly
Why micromanagement is so damaging and what can be done about it.
K Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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