6 Major Signs You're a Micromanager and How to Avoid Being One

Managing people, especially for newbies, can be quite tricky. Give your team too much autonomy and things could go out of hand. Be too strict and you risk becoming the most hated manager in the world. Ideally, you need to be able to find a balance between giving your team the freedom to be creative but be keen on issues that really need your attention.


So which manager are you? Here are 6 signs you're a micromanager and know how you can avoid them! 

Sign #1: Everything goes through you

One of the tell-tale signs you're a micromanager is that no task goes through without your knowledge. You require your staff regular updates on every task and ask to be cc’d in all emails. Updates may be a good sign of communication, however, too much of it does not give your staff the autonomy they need to grow. In addition, not only are you adding workload to your staff but you also needlessly spend your day monitoring your staff’s progress.


How to avoid: Learn how to step back. Work with your team to set boundaries on when and where you can be involved. A weekly update on each team member’s tasks is enough to know what your team’s goals are for the week.

Sign #2: Every task needs your approval

Since tasks go through you, so do approvals. Employees wait for your approval before they move onto the next step of a process. At the same time, you don’t like it when an employee makes a decision without consulting you. As a result, you will unknowingly become a bottleneck in the project. Worst case scenario is that projects will take too long to finish and can result in a waste of time, and cost.


How to avoid: Remember that your role as a manager is to lead your team, to be the decision maker in major involvements, and to be the coach helping your staff to grow. You have your team to make the small decisions for you so you can focus on the bigger ones.

Sign #3: Meetings, meetings, meetings...

While meetings are good to align your staff, this may, however, cost your staff wasted time when done often. The time they spend on meeting could have been time spent working on their tasks. In addition, going to every meeting with your staff does not fully allow them to get involved and to input their own value into the project. Unfortunately, you are also training your staff to be needlessly dependent on you.


How to avoid: Only hold a meeting when necessary. If you can just talk to a point person about an issue, you don’t have to call your whole team and sit through a meeting discussing things they are not concerned with. At the same time, if it’s not worth meeting about, you can just let your team know important matters via email instead.

Sign #4: Difficulty in delegating work

Managers need to learn how to delegate work to those who can do tasks better than them. Micromanagers, however, when they delegate a task, they oversee every step of the progress. Not only will you overwork your staff, but you will also overwork yourself. This mistrust can also affect your working relationship with your team and can become a hindrance to team improvement and unity in the long run.


How to avoid: Learn to trust your staff and delegate work according to each team member’s strengths. If they make a mistake, it is your role to correct them and make sure they do not commit the same mistake again.

Sign #5: Doing overwork and overtime

One of the major signs you're a micromanager is trying to do a lot of tedious work which means having more workload and working for more hours. Realize that being engaged at work does not necessarily equate to progress. Sometimes, it is a sign of an unhealthy and unoptimised work process. It is also a waste of resources as more time is spent on tasks.


How to avoid: Streamline your workflow to avoid wasting time on unnecessary tedious tasks such as constant updates and monitoring, among others. Figure out how to do a simple and more efficient process without losing quality in the results.

Sign #6: High turnover rate

It is quite alarming to see people come and go in a company, especially in just a short span of time. If you don’t see any internal factor that could affect your team such as low salary rate, low benefits, and the likes, then it is best to look at your management style. If your management style is causing people to leave, then it is a big issue that you need to address immediately.


How to avoid: Support your team by investing in their growth, not on their work. Look at your team as valued resources rather than a liability and help them work in line with their career goals. This will create trust between you and your team and will improve overall teamwork.



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