Getting Real With Roses

Micromanagement Leads to Loss of Trust and High Turnover

Ask anyone if they like being micromanaged and youíll get an emphatic answer. No! No one likes being micromanaged, ever. Yet many managers still see it as a valid method to maintain control. But control is an illusion and trying to maintain it does more harm than good.

Micromanaging removes a critical layer of trust and replaces it with anxiety and stress triggered by second guessing and analysis paralysis. Under the tyranny of micromanagement employees must weigh the potential outcome of every decision. In no time, the strain of ambiguity drains employees of motivation and energy, becoming a drag on time and resources.

Loss of Trust
Being micromanaged creates a mindset of anticipation and fear of when the next shoe will drop. Is this the email or project that sends the manager into a tailspin or will it be something else? Even successes become tainted with doubt when trying to get inside the mind of someone who manages through fear and control.

With repeated incidents, an employee loses trust in their own decision-making skills. They move into survival mode, choosing the option with the least stress. Soon, this downshift effectively shutters all creativity and innovation. Under such conditions, why take the chance of expressing anything new?

Creates High Turnover
If youíre a regular user of Linkedin, perhaps you may have seen the Steve Jobs quote, ďIt doesn't make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.Ē

Valid point, but it doesnít consider that people being micromanaged donít feel safe speaking up. Voicing a different opinion carries a threat of belittlement and repercussions. If it was easy to do, more people would rebel against micromanagement.

Instead of speaking up, the easiest solution becomes the path of least resistance. When employees feel they canít win, they leave. High turnover is a very clear message that things are not right. People donít leave an employer; they leave a manager. When upper management is not willing to recognize this, turnover will continue. Past employees share their micromanaged horror stories and others know to steer clear of working for that manager or company.

Trust Builds Confidence
Hiring should be an affirmation that someone already has the skills to thrive. Post-hire, no employee wants to feel their skills are no longer worthy. Everyone wants to feel productive and useful. When a manager demonstrates trust, it sends a powerful message. It builds confidence and empowers subordinates to use their strengths and skills. Control and strict observation shut it down. Donít let micromanagers push your top-performers out of the company and to potential competitors. Instead, empower them to bring their best each day.