Micromanaging: How it damages employees' Work quality

Are You a Micromanager?

Are you the boss that’s secretly being dreaded by your subordinates? Do you feel the need to keep checking their progress on a certain task? Do you have this mindset, “If it’s not my way, then it’s not good.”? It’s okay to keep checking that employee who’s under performing. That makes total sense. But if you do this with your rockstar employees, giving you no reason to constantly keep checking on them. That’s where the problem lies.

Well my dear, you’re a micromanager. You might not be an extreme one but at least to a certain degree though. Don’t worry, Steve Jobs was once a micromanager when he started managing Apple. But as he go along with his journey, he said this, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people to tell them what to do, we hire smart people to tell us what to do.” So there’s still hope for you.

Why Micromanaging Makes the Best People Quit?

You see, the thing with rockstar employees is that they don’t need to be micromanaged. If you share them the vision that you want for your company, they’ll go out of their way to do great tasks. Maybe even exceeding your expectations with the results that they deliver.

These people crave autonomy in the workplace as they think outside the box for innovative solutions to bring to the table. If you need to micromanage your employees, chances are, they’re not the A players on your team. A players don’t need to be micromanaged. They self manage. That’s the test.

Let me share you my story back then. I’ve been an intern at a company before (I’m sure you did too) and I had my superiors there, obviously. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t like the way they managed me. They constantly update what I’m doing. They didn’t trust me with the work that they delegated. I always have this anxiety to perform well (perform well out of fear not out of passion) because I feel like they’re watching even though they aren’t.

I questioned myself internally, “Why did they hired interns in the first place? When they don’t trust us to this job superbly?” For the result, I kept my mouth shut for the rest of the internship. I didn’t suggested anything that could improve their system. Happily ready to head home after the clock strikes 6, completely unmotivated to go to work the next day.

You don’t want to have employees like this. You want creative people, bringing innovative solutions for the problem to be solved, motivated, and passionate people working for you.

Managers are not bad (you’re not evil), they just drive people crazy. So I know, I get you. You just want the outcome to be good and be well delivered. I have my fair share of perfectionistic tendencies as well. We’re all not perfect after all. But can I at least write you 5 reasons why this is damaging your business and your employees (especially your top performing ones):

1. The Recipe to Kill the Creativity of Your Employees? Micromanage them.

Doing this won’t give them the confidence with their ideas; making them not voice out their thoughts out of fear that you might criticize or just dismiss their solutions. It’s killing their confidence and your company’s missing out on great ideas.

2. Lack of Autonomy in the Workplace.

When I started my second internship, I already accepted that micromanagement is prevalent in most of the company culture out there. But one day, the CEO of CollarFinder e-mailed us (the team) questioning us, “What’s your plans on how to improve our IT team? I want to hear your plans, strategies, and suggestions.”

I was so shocked because from the moment he sent that e-mail, I knew that I was working for a good boss. He created this sense of autonomy in the workplace that allows space for suggestions. And that’s superb! You see, managers give answers, leaders ask questions.

3. Lack of Trust From Your Employees.

Trust is a two way street. If your employees feel that you don’t trust them to do the job, then they won’t perform well.

4. Kills the Drive of Your Employees.

It is said that, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” If you kill the burning passion that your employees has inside, average results are the outcome.

5. You Make Them Want to Leave Your Company and Search For Other Opportunities Out There.

Let’s face it. You aren’t the only company that can offer shiny perks and benefits. War of talent is prevalent in our society today. So if you happen to have A players on your team. Don’t micromanage. As the saying said, “People don’t quit jobs, they quit managers.”


If there’s one thing I want you to takeaway from this article. It’s what Chieh Huang said, “There’s only one solution to micromanagement, and that’s to trust.”