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In the workplace, professionals enjoy having the liberty and flexibility to carry out their tasks. Nobody likes interference and too much interference can lead to negative experiences. This is why micromanagers don’t have a positive image in the business world. Read on to explore the meaning of micromanagement, its signs and examples.


  1. Understanding Micromanagement Definition

  2. Look Out For The Signs Of Micromanagement

  3. The Various Effects Of Micromanagement


Understanding Micromanagement Definition


Micromanagement is a style of management where managers closely observe and control the work of their team members or employees. The meaning of micromanagement has a negative connotation in the professional world because managers tend to get fully involved in their employees’ work, limiting their autonomy, creativity and input. This impacts employee engagement and job satisfaction, leading to higher attrition rates.

Nobody likes micromanagement because it creates adverse emotional and physiological reactions. From mental stress and anxiety to poor sleep cycles and eating habits, individuals are affected in various ways. One of the most immediate effects of micromanagement is that employees tend to feel restricted, which hampers their productivity and performance. This is why it’s essential for managers to keep a lookout for the signs of micromanagement and effectively overcome them.

Here are some examples of micromanagement that’ll give you a clear picture of what it stands for:

  • Unwillingness to give up control and being too involved every step of the way
  • Always looking out for perfection, so much so that even the smallest mistakes are jarring
  • Reluctance in trusting employees to do their job and constantly questioning their abilities

It’s clear from these examples of micromanagement that it has several negative effects and can create unnecessary tension within your team. If you’re a manager, let’s look at some telling signs of micromanagement that you should be aware of.


Look Out For The Signs Of Micromanagement


A micromanager doesn’t necessarily have unhealthy intentions but their behavior can impact their team’s abilities. You may have micromanaged to some extent without being aware of it, and your team was too afraid to talk about it with you. Consider the following signs of micromanagement to keep a check on your management style:

  • You have a difficult time delegating tasks because you’re afraid that your employees won’t be able to do it right. When you do delegate, you’re constantly looking over their shoulders to check if they’re headed in the right direction.
  • Instead of focusing on the progress made, you’re constantly looking for updates and whether you’ve been kept in the loop or not. You may even end up making reporting a mandatory task for your team members.
  • You aren’t open to receiving feedback as much as you’re open to giving it. Feedback is a two-way street, but you primarily focus on telling others what to do and how to do it.

Micromanagement definition is rooted in being overly involved, which can create disruption instead of boosting productivity. This further leads to several negative consequences.


The Various Effects Of Micromanagement


As we’ve already established, micromanagement is restricting and can lead to several negative effects for employees. These are:

  • Constantly paying attention to details makes it look like you don’t trust your team, which can make people feel insecure and unhappy about their roles
  • Micromanagement is exhausting; when there’s someone breathing down an employee’s neck all the time, it can lead to burnout
  • Micromanagement can be limiting for your team. They’re likely to move away from creative ideas or innovative thinking and may end up becoming yes people


While there are several unhealthy outcomes of micromanagement, you also need to consider the positive side of this management style:

  • It gives you greater control and makes it easier to bring inexperienced employees or new hires up to speed
  • As you closely observe your team, the delegation of responsibilities becomes easier because you’re doing the majority of the work
  • You end up communicating with your team to a great extent as you often direct them to carry out responsibilities


There are two sides to the meaning of micromanagement and it depends on you to what extent you want to be involved. There are various situations where micromanagement is necessary and can speed up processes in an organization.

Whether your style is that of a micromanager or not, at the heart of every management style lies the need to understand your team’s expectations and needs. Harappa’s Managing Teamwork course will teach you how to understand different members of your team and use emotional intelligence to navigate each relationship. You’ll collaborate with multiple team members through open dialogue and discussion. Choose Harappa to make your world of work easy. Start your free trial today!

Explore Harappa Diaries to learn more about topics such as What Are The Functions Of Management, Management Lessons, Levels Of Strategic Management and Evolution Of Management to build strong professional networks.

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