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5 Ways that Micromanagement Can Hurt Your Company

Micromanagement is derived from (micro + management), micro means small, tiny, and insignificant and management is supervision of something, as in business activities. Putting both words together you get the true picture of micromanagement. When someone tells you that you are involved in micromanagement, it means that you exert excessive control of insignificant activities in your company. Trying to do everything by yourself or excessive supervision of employees’ activities such as a salesperson’s lunch expense while on the road on company business is not a sign of good leadership.

Effective leaders trust their employees and encourage innovation. They also empower employees to perform their duties. Peter F. Drucker said that, “An effective president or [CEO] has to say no to the temptation to micromanage but make sure operations are being taken care of.” Best Buy and Intuit understand that the key to increase workers productivity is not to micromanage them but rather to enable workers at the front lines to make good judgment calls and assert their knowledge in their duties.

My recommendation to you is to resist micromanagement because it is not worth the trouble or your time. Look how micromanagement can hurt your company:

1. Undermines Opportunity

It takes you away from performing effective leadership activities. The opportunities to analyze and synthesize the major challenges facing your organization disappear under the radar, leaving their solutions undiscovered. It takes away employees incentive to contribute to your company’s goals and vision. Equally important is that you miss the opportunity to nurture future leaders in your company because you deprive them an opportunity to learn from their mistake or display their true potential.

2.  Increase your cost of doing business

The time that you spend micromanaging is costly because your time, as a leader, is very valuable. Chances are that you are spending time to save less, specifically when you have to repeatedly check expense accounts. It is not cost effective for you to assign a duty to your employees and you end up double checking it over, and over again. Worst of all you end up redoing the same assignment because you think that no employee has the capacity to carry out the duty like you.

3. Lose Key Salesperson To Your Competitors

Your best salesperson could resign and join your competitor and take your customers with him or her. Lack of trust is an issue with micromanagement. Your key employees will leave your company because no one wants to feel untrusted and unappreciated by their leader.

4. High Employee Turnover

You could end up with high turnover of employees and find yourself continually training new employees. Training new employees to take over the slot for the departed employees is costly because of mistakes and decreased output associated with training a new employee.


5. Inferior Work

Your key employees could simply turn out inferior work because they know that you will double-check it over and over again––in other words, you take away their incentive to produce quality work by not instilling in them the trust that is required for them to be proud of their work.

My Final Recommendation to reverse the negative effects of micromanagement

You can stop micromanaging and start to lead by encouraging your employees to do their best and by acknowledging them with your words and actions. Simply saying “thank you” or “I know that you can do it” goes a long way with employees who are working hard to help your company succeed and with those employees who are unsure that they are appreciated by you.

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About John Alizor

John O. Alizor, Ph.D., currently runs workshops and seminars on leadership as the founder and president of John Alizor, Ph.D., Leadership Forensics Business Consulting, Inc. He has an extensive background in education administration and business leadership roles including making his first million dollars as the head of a manufacturing company. He is sharing his leadership…