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Micromanagement is an ambivalent management style where employees are closely supervised, and their work is constantly monitored.

Most micromanagers tend to be overbearing and often interfere in their employees’ work. This can negatively affect both the employees and the company as a whole. However, there are ways to deal with micromanagement and even alternatives.

This article will discuss what micromanagement is, its effects on employees and companies, and ways to deal with it. It will also explore some alternatives.

micromanagement signs

What Is Micromanagement?

Micromanagement is a management technique that entails overseeing and directing employees in minute detail.

Micromanagers are often characterized as controlling, perfectionistic, and intolerant of mistakes.

It is a hands-on approach that involves paying extreme attention to each team member and giving them little or no room for independent decision-making.

Micromanagement is a common management style, but it is not without its critics.

Many experts believe that micromanagement is a counterproductive approach that can damage the morale and productivity of employees. They argue that it can stifle creativity and innovation and lead to employees who are less engaged and more stressed.

Despite these criticisms, there are some who defend micromanagement as an effective technique under certain circumstances. They argue that it can be beneficial in situations where employees are new or need close supervision. Micromanaging can also be effective in highly regulated industries where there is little room for error.

Ultimately, whether this way of management is helpful or harmful depends on the individual manager’s specific situation and management style.

What Does a Micromanager Do?

A micromanager usually has a clear picture of how they want things to be done, and they micromanage to ensure that this vision is carried out.

This can often result in the micromanager overstepping their boundaries and getting involved in a project that should be handled by other employees.

A micromanager may give excessive supervision and try to control every aspect of a project, from the big-picture elements down to the smallest details. This can be stifling for the team, who may feel like their creativity and autonomy are being stifled.

micromanagement alternatives

Pros and Cons of Micromanagement

Here is a comprehensive overview of the pros and cons of micromanagement so you can make an informed decision about whether this management style is right for you and your team.


  • Micromanagement can ensure that every project is completed efficiently and correctly. Team members may feel more pressure to meet deadlines and follow instructions closely if they know their manager is watching over them constantly.
  • This type of management can help new employees learn the ropes quickly. By providing specific instructions and feedback, a micromanager can ensure that workers are up to speed on company policies and procedures as soon as possible.
  • Micromanagement can improve communication within a team. When employees are in constant contact with their manager, they are less likely to misinterpret instructions or goals.
  • A micromanager can also increase motivation. Feeling watched over can motivate some employees to work harder and take greater pride in their work.
  • Another advantage of micromanaging is that it can minimize distractions. With fewer tasks to juggle, the team can focus on the work at hand.


  • Micromanagement can be time-consuming and distracting for team leaders. A manager who constantly oversees every task may not have enough time to concentrate on larger strategic goals.
  • This type of management can stifle creativity and innovation. When people are too focused on meeting deadlines and following instructions, they may not be able to think outside the box and come up with new ideas.
  • Micromanagement can breed resentment among workers. If employees feel that they are being controlled at every step, they may start to resent their manager and feel unmotivated in their work.
  • Micromanagement can also damage people’s health and lead to employee burnout and stress. Employees who are constantly under the microscope may feel like they can never make a mistake, leading to high levels of stress.
  • Finally, micromanagement can create a dependence on the manager. If a team member is used to having their manager do everything for them, they may not be able to work independently.

Signs of Micromanagement


If you’re wondering whether your boss is micromanaging you, look out for these signs:

1. Avoiding Delegation

A sign of micromanagement is when your boss avoids delegation. This means that they don’t trust their team to handle tasks and projects independently and instead want to be involved in every step of the process.

This can be highly frustrating for employees who feel like they can’t do anything without approval from the boss. It can also lead to a lot of wasted time and energy, as they constantly have to go back and forth with the boss on dozens of small details.

2. Being Overly Involved In The Employees’ Work

Another sign that your manager is a micromanager is when they are overly involved in your work. This can manifest itself in several ways – for example, your boss might constantly be asking for status reports, or they might be giving you a lot of feedback on every little thing you do.

Your boss might also be very quick to criticize and slow to give compliments. This can be really demoralizing and make it difficult to feel like you’re able to do your job effectively.

3. Expecting Unreasonable Deadlines

If your boss is always setting unreasonably tight deadlines, it’s a sign that they’re micromanaging you. This is because micromanagers often want to be in control of every step of the process, and they’re not willing to give the team the time they need to do a good job. This can lead to a lot of stress and pressure, and it can be difficult to meet the expectations that have been set.

4. Making All The Decisions

If your manager makes all of the decisions without involving the team in the decision-making process, it can be a sign of a micromanager. This can make team members feel like their opinion doesn’t matter and that they’re not really a part of the team. It can also make it difficult to get work done effectively, as team members are not able to use their judgment to make decisions.

5. Constantly Asking For Updates

If your boss is always asking for updates and status reports on your work, it’s a sign that they’re micromanaging you. This is because they want to be kept in the loop on every little detail, and they don’t trust you to handle things on your own. This can be frustrating, and it can make it difficult to get work done on time.

6. Asking To Be CC’d On Every Email

Another sign that your boss is micromanaging you is if they ask to be CC’d on every email. This is because they want to be kept up-to-date on everything going on, and they don’t trust their employees to handle things without them. This can be really annoying, and it can bog down your inbox with unnecessary emails.

7. Being Hyper-Critical

If your boss is constantly criticizing your work, it’s a sign that they’re micromanaging you. This is because micromanagers often have high expectations, and they’re not willing to settle for anything less than perfection. This can be really demoralizing, and it can make it difficult to feel motivated to do your best work.

8. Hovering Over Employees’ Shoulders

Another sign of micromanagement is when your boss is constantly hovering over your shoulder, watching everything you do. This can be really intimidating, and it can make it difficult to concentrate on your work. It can also lead to a lot of wasted time, as the team is constantly having to explain what they’re doing to the boss.

9. Making Employees Feel Inadequate

If your team leader is always making you feel like you’re not good enough, it’s a sign that they’re micromanaging you. This is because micromanagers often have high standards and are unwilling to accept anything less than perfection. This can be really discouraging, and it can make it difficult to feel motivated to do your best work.

10. Never Being Satisfied

If your boss is never satisfied with your work, it’s a sign that they’re micromanaging you. This is because micromanagers are never happy with anything less than perfect results. This can be really frustrating, and it can make it difficult to feel motivated to do your best work.


How to Deal With a Micromanager

When it comes to the dreaded micromanager, one size does not fit all. What works for one person might not work for another, and what worked yesterday might not work today.

So, it’s important to tailor your approach to the specific situation and micromanager in question.

However, a few general tips can help you deal with any micromanaging boss.

1. Stay Calm and Professional

The first thing to remember is that it’s important to stay calm and professional. Yelling, arguing, or becoming emotional will only make the situation worse. Remember that you’re dealing with a boss – someone who likely has more power than you – so it’s important to maintain a respectful attitude at all times.

2. Communicate Directly and Often

One of the best ways to deal with a micromanager is to communicate directly and often. This means keeping your boss in the loop on everything you’re working on, including regular updates and progress reports.

It might seem like overkill, but it’s important to remember that micromanagers often feel insecure in their position and need constant reassurance. By communicating frequently, you can help ease their fears and build trust.

3. Be Proactive

Another helpful tip is to be proactive. This means taking the initiative and anticipating what your boss might need or want before they even have to ask for it.

For example, if you know your boss likes to be kept in the loop, send them regular updates even if they don’t ask for them. If you know they’re concerned about a project, offer to take on extra tasks or responsibilities to help lighten their load.

4. Stay Organized and Focused

One of the main challenges of dealing with a micromanager is staying organized and focused. This can be difficult when your boss is constantly looking over your shoulder and breathing down your neck.

The best way to combat this is to stay disciplined and focused on your work. Make a point of setting aside specific times to work on specific tasks and avoid getting sidetracked.

5. Don’t Take it Personally

Lastly, remember that the micromanager is not targeting you specifically – they likely treat everyone this way. So, don’t take it personally and don’t let it get to you.

Try to focus on the task at hand and not the individual giving you a hard time. Remember that this is just a temporary situation that you can get through with patience and professionalism.

Micromanagement Alternatives — How To Manage Without Micromanaging

micromanagement how to deal with

Team leaders can use several different alternatives to manage their team without micromanaging. Here are a few ways to manage your team without micromanaging them:

Setting Clear Expectations and Goals

Setting clear expectations and goals is one way to avoid micromanaging your team.

When members know what is expected of them and what the goals of the team are, they are less likely to need constant oversight from the business leader. This allows team leaders to focus on larger-scale issues and problems rather than getting bogged down in the details.

In order to set clear expectations and goals, team leaders should:

  • Clearly communicate the team’s purpose and goals
  • Define what is expected of team members in terms of results and behavior
  • Establish timelines for meeting goals
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page

When the workforce understands what is expected of them, they are more likely to meet goals and objectives. This can lead to a more productive, organized team that is less reliant on the team leader.

Giving Feedback

Giving feedback on an employee’s work is a team leadership strategy that is used as an alternative to micromanagement.

Feedback is a communication tool that team leaders can use to provide input on team member performance and to offer suggestions for improvement.

When a manager gives feedback, they should make sure that they are providing positive reinforcement as well as constructive criticism about the team’s work.

Positive reinforcement helps team members feel appreciated and motivated, while constructive criticism helps team members identify areas in which they need to improve.

OKR Management

OKR (Objectives and Key Results) Management is a performance system that provides a framework for setting measurable goals and tracking progress.

With OKR Management, employees are given more autonomy to come up with their own ways of achieving their objectives. This system also encourages creativity and innovation, as employees are free to come up with their own ideas on how to achieve their goals.

Another advantage of using OKR Management is that it helps to track progress and identify areas for improvement. Employees can use the data collected from tracking their progress to set new objectives and improve their performance.

Delegating Tasks

Delegating tasks is a great way to avoid being a micromanager. When you delegate tasks, you give someone else the authority to complete a task. This can be a great way to free up your time and allow you to focus on other things.

Delegating also allows someone else to develop new skills and grow their experience.

There are a few things to keep in mind when delegating tasks:

  • Make sure the employee you’re delegating to is capable of completing the task.
  • Set clear expectations for the task and make sure the person understands what is expected of them.
  • Make sure the individual has all the information they need to complete the task.
  • Check in with the person periodically to ensure they are on track.

Delegating tasks can be a great way to get things done. Just make sure you do it thoughtfully and carefully.

Training and Coaching

Many organizations are turning to training and coaching as an alternative to micromanagement.

Coaching is a process that helps employees develop their skills and reach their full potential, while training focuses on teaching employees the specific skills they need to do their jobs.

Both training and coaching can also help reduce staff turnover and improve morale. Coaching can help team members feel more supported and appreciated, while training can help workers feel more confident in their abilities.

These are just a few of the micromanagement alternatives that team leaders can use in order to manage their team without micromanaging.

Each HR manager will have their own preferences and may find that some methods work better than others. The important thing is to experiment with different methods and find what works best for you and your team.


Workplace Culture and Why It’s Important

Workplace culture is the set of values, beliefs, and norms that guide the behavior of employees in a workplace. It is an important part of any organization, and it can have a major impact on employee productivity and satisfaction.

There are a few things that contribute to healthy workplace culture:

  • Mutual respect among employees
  • A clear vision and mission statement
  • Values and beliefs that everyone in the organization agrees with
  • A sense of shared purpose

When these things are in place, employees will feel valued and appreciated, and they are more likely to be productive and satisfied. Strong workplace culture can also help reduce staff turnover and improve morale.

There are a few things you can do to help strengthen your workplace culture:

  • Communicate your values and beliefs to employees. Let them know what is important to you and the organization.
  • Encourage workers to participate in the decision-making process. Give them a voice and let them have a say in how the organization works.
  • Celebrate successes. Recognize employees for their contributions and celebrate successes as a team.
  • Promote a sense of teamwork. Help employees see themselves as part of a team and encourage them to work together for the common good.

Creating a strong workplace culture can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. So if you’re looking for ways to improve your organization, start with your workplace culture.

Replace Micromanagement by Workstream Management!

Many people view micromanagement as a necessary evil. It’s often seen as the only way to ensure that tasks are done correctly and on time – especially in remote teamwork.

However, there are a number of alternatives to micromanagement that can be just as effective, if not more so. One such alternative is yowork.io for teams.

If you’re looking for a way to improve your organization, micromanagement is not the answer — yowork.io might be. At least it helped us so much in our organization, that we decided to create a full scale business out of it.

Wrapping it up

It is important to remember that managing people in a way where they feel overburdened and lack autonomy can lead to high turnover rates. In order to retain employees and create a healthy work environment, it is important to avoid micromanagement. By following the tips above, you can create a workplace culture that is productive and satisfying for your workforce.

all images Pixabay

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