If you constantly feel like someone is breathing down your neck at work or there’s a lack of autonomy from your supervisor, you might be dealing with a micromanager.
Micromanagers are bosses who excessively control and oversee every aspect of their employees’ work. Constant micromanagement often gives employees feelings of suffocation and decreased job satisfaction.
Find out the ten common signs of a micromanager and the practical strategies to cope with their management style in this article.
Are you being micromanaged?
Micromanagers exhibit specific behaviors that can negatively impact their work environment. Its impact can reflect on your team members through physical, mental, and emotional degradation.
A recent survey by Trinity Solutions revealed that 79% of employees experienced micromanaging at work. In addition, it showed the following effects of this management style.
- 71% said that micromanagement negatively affected their job performance.
- 85% stated that this style degraded their employee morale.
- While 69% contemplated changing jobs or careers due to micromanagement, around 36% changed careers.
Some believe micromanagement is a form of bullying since it deals more with control over their teams.
Take a moment to reflect on your work situation and determine if any of the following signs resonate with your staff’s experiences.
Given micromanagers focus more on success-driven and traditional ways, they “box” their employees with this vision. This can either limit their creativity or drain them.
Loss of confidence
Micromanagers tend to ignore their staff’s suggestions and insist on their ways. Not to mention the time they spend monitoring their work closely.
This lessens their employees’ confidence in return, as they are afraid to go “beyond the line” with their managers and lose their jobs.
Some say micromanagers bully their employees to increase their productivity. However, this has a diverse effect on their teams, gradually decreasing their productivity and burning them out.
More employees nowadays are more assertive and contribute to improving employee management, especially Gen Z workers.
This means having a micromanager at work puts a company at risk of high turnover due to this conflict.
10 signs of a micromanager at work
Nowadays, you can easily sense if a team is being micromanaged, especially in the age of hybrid work.
The following are the glaring signs of a micromanager to watch out for:
1. Excessive check-ins
One of the most apparent signs of a micromanager is their constant need to check in with employees. They might send frequent emails, make numerous phone calls, or even drop by your desk unexpectedly to inquire about your progress.
In a remote setting, micromanagers feel the need to chat with their employees or schedule virtual meetings more often.
This behavior can create a sense of unease and disrupt your workflow.2. Detailed task instructions
Micromanagers tend to provide overly detailed instructions for even the simplest tasks. They might provide step-by-step guides, leaving little room for you to use your creativity or problem-solving skills.
3. Lack of delegation
Micromanagers often struggle to delegate tasks to their team effectively. They prefer to keep important responsibilities for themselves, believing their staff does not have the standards to accomplish them well.
This lack of workload distribution causes workflow bottlenecks and hampers employee growth.
4. Resisting employee input
If your boss consistently dismisses your suggestions or ideas, it could be a sign of micromanagement. Micromanagers are typically resistant to input from their team and prefer to maintain control.
5. Unnecessary changes
A micromanager may frequently request changes to your work without a clear rationale. This can be frustrating and demoralizing, suggesting a lack of trust in your abilities.
6. Intrusive presence
Micromanagers habitually hover over their employees, making them feel under constant surveillance. They overuse employee monitoring tools to see if their employees are working.
Worse, they could use communications such as Slack or Zoom to “spy” on their employees to make sure they are on their screens.
This intrusive presence can stifle creativity and productivity.
7. Ignoring employee expertise
Despite hiring skilled and knowledgeable employees, micromanagers may disregard their expertise. They often make decisions based on their limited perspective.
8. Overemphasis on process
Processes are essential. However, micromanagers often focus excessively on adhering to them rather than valuing the outcomes and results.9. Excessive control of time management
Micromanagers may insist on managing every minute of their employees’ workdays. This results in a lack of flexibility and work-life balance.
10. Overlooking employee well-being
Micromanagers are typically preoccupied with tasks that overlook their employees’ well-being. One example is that they discourage employees from clocking out on time and waiting for the manager to finish work.
In a remote setting, this is shown through constant emails, calls, or messages on work-related concerns, even on vacation or after shift.
This leads to potential burnout and disengagement.
Here’s how you can deal with a micromanager
Given these signs of a micromanager, some might feel intimidated or afraid to confront or air their concerns and risk their roles.
One good thing to address this is to talk to your teammates about their feelings about the situation. From there, you can plot out the following ways to deal with micromanagement at work.
Initiate a candid conversation with your boss to discuss your concerns about their management style. Share specific instances that have made you and your coworkers feel micromanaged and suggest alternative approaches for collaboration.
Set clear boundaries regarding the level of involvement you require from them. Communicate your preference for autonomy while assuring them that you will deliver results responsibly.
If appropriate, encourage your boss to delegate tasks to other team members. Offer your support and show that you trust your colleagues to handle responsibilities effectively.
Focus on results
Emphasize the importance of achieving desired outcomes rather than merely following rigid processes. Show your boss that you are results-driven and can be trusted to make informed decisions.
Document your progress
Record your achievements to demonstrate your competence and reduce the need for constant oversight. You can encourage your peers to do the same and share your best practices.
Consider your options
If the micromanagement persists and negatively affects your well-being, it may be worth considering other job opportunities where you can thrive in a healthier work environment.