Right here Is What Micromanagement Appears Like

Almost no one would admit to being a micromanager. They are just “detail-oriented” or geared towards making things “perfect”. While these sentences sound a lot better than “I like not choosing my employees’ work!” Your employees see through.

Leadership trainer and spokesperson Sarah Noll Wilson tweeted the following:

Tell me that you worked for a micromanager without telling me that you worked for a micromanager.

– Sarah Noll Wilson (@sarahnollwilson) January 4, 2021

And she got great responses giving an insight into exactly what micromanagers do.

Sorry, I forgot to tell you I went to the bathroom

– Adam Karpiak (@Adam_Karpiak) January 4, 2021

We talked about the 1 missing period in the 40 slide deck for over an hour.

– Katrina Kibben (@KatrinaKibben) January 5, 2021

“Before your meetings with managers, schedule a meeting with me to discuss what your meetings with managers are about. Then let’s do a debriefing after the meetings with the managers so that I’m not surprised.”

Two weeks later: “Why is your calendar always full?”

– Robert Merrill (@AskRobMerrill) January 5, 2021

My favorite is when I get an email full of typos / grammar errors to give me feedback on my writing style …

– Wendy “Wear A Mask” Dailey (@ wyndall93) January 5, 2021

* Stand with boss over your shoulder and watch data entry *

Boss: “Not like that, add the () to the area code of the phone number.”

Me: “But it does it automatically when you hit save.”

– Micole Garatti, MBA (@socialmicole) January 4, 2021

These examples can make you giggle unless you’ve been through it. If you recognize yourself in any of these examples, here are some ideas to help you step back and end micromanaging.

Do a set training period.

When you hire someone, set a period of time for training, spend resources and time training the new employee, and then step back. Let your coworker come to you if they have any questions.

Do you feel out of control?

I’ve been blessed with very few micromanagers in my career – but I’ve worked with one. She wasn’t my boss, but she reported directly to the chief human resources officer and nothing came to him without her consent. I had to send him a monthly report, and so it went every month.

Here is a list of 40 cosmetic changes to this Excel file which is only shown internally. They did exactly as I told you last month after making 40 cosmetic changes in the last month. Now I have 40 new cosmetic changes.

– Suzanne Lucas (@RealEvilHRLady) January 5, 2021

It took her longer to write the detailed email about what to do than she would have done herself. It wasn’t about the report – the CHRO couldn’t have cared less about the number of pixels in the row in the grid – it was about enforcing control. She wanted to remind everyone that no one came to him without her consent, and that was the way to do it.

When you feel out of control or your job is in jeopardy, micromanaging people is not a quick fix. Sit down with your boss (or yourself) and set goals for the coming year. Find out how to best use your time.

If you’re doing this and you are still feeling out of control and stressed out about what others are doing (and they are doing a good job), it is time to speak to a therapist. Your employee benefit program can help you with the referral – most companies have one.

Evaluate based on the results, not the sitting time.

Many employers have problems with people who work from home during the pandemic – because they cannot “see” if someone is working.

“Do you work? Slack says you are not online.”
“I’m right here. I just finished a call.”
“Is it easy open?”
“In the background. I was on a ca–“
“It has to be in the foreground all the time so that I know you’re online.”
“— Ah okay.”
* Sets the Slack setting to always appear online *

– Robert Merrill (@AskRobMerrill) January 5, 2021

You need to look at the results, not when someone is available on Slack. Is the employee doing his or her job? Are his customers happy? If so, resign. If the employee isn’t doing their job, by all means talk about what needs to be changed! But find out with the results, not the Facetime.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

Comments are closed.