Why it’s bad to micromanage

Why it’s bad to micromanage

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Micromanaging is something I find a lot of managers like to do. Rather than think of the big picture, they’re impatient and like to nitpick on how someone does something. Their impression is that it causes employees to move faster and get jobs done quicker. Anything from listening to headphones to coming in 5 minutes late to how one types on a keyboard to how one blows ones nose is included.

For the Employee

This is terrible for the employee in that he feels that he’s being watched and is more worried about that rather than getting work done. That can be demoralizing and actually would make him less productive.

Some personal examples of micromanaging that I’ve experienced were:

  • Not being allowed to send a YouTube video to coworkers because it’s 6 minutes times 10 people equals an hour of productivity lost.
  • Being criticized for working on someone’s computer since the boss is losing double. He’s paying you for work and paying for the person not working on his computer. Better to utilize the person for something else.
  • One can’t take a break since it costs manhours.

For the Employer

This is terrible for the employer in that he focuses on the individual rather than the big picture with each project. That suggests one of two things:

  • It shows how shortsighted and ineffective he is as a manager, or
  • It reflects the direction with which the company is headed. If there’s no important work to do, the manager may have nothing better than to bully his underlings.

Realize that getting the job done in many cases is more important than HOW the job gets done. Which is more important, focusing on time lost or to focus on quality time/productivity? Google for example demonstrates how personal time can work by having volleyball tournaments on campus, bringing pets in the office and giving each employee one hour a day to do a project they feel like doing. And, give the employees a break. They’re not robots!