• 3,000 firms
  • Independent
  • Trusted
Save up to 70% on staff

Home » Articles » 10 signs of a micromanager at work and how to handle them

10 signs of a micromanager at work and how to handle them

10 signs of a micromanager at work and how to handle them

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.

Get 3 free quotes 2,300+ BPO SUPPLIERS

Micromanagement can be identified when you find yourself being the only person constantly observed and supervised by your managers.

Take a moment to reflect on your work situation and determine if any of the following signs resonate with your staff’s experiences.

Are you being micromanaged
Are you being micromanaged

Creativity drain

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.

When managers create an environment where autonomy and trust are lacking, employees may feel overwhelmed by constant oversight, leading to decreased motivation and innovative thinking.

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.

Being micromanaged can have a significant impact on productivity and professional development within a work setting.

Get the complete toolkit, free

Decreased productivity

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.

High turnover

More employees nowadays are more assertive and contribute to improving employee management, especially Gen Z workers.

Moreover, excessive micromanagement has been linked to high employee turnover rates as individuals may feel frustrated, undervalued, and unappreciated in their work environment.

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.

Lack of delegation

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.

In a leadership position, micromanagers may struggle to delegate tasks effectively, causing delays and disempowering the team members.

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.

Micromanagers often exhibit traits of closely monitoring and controlling every aspect of an employee’s work, leading to a lack of trust and stifling creativity.

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.

Communicate openly

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.

Here's how you can deal with a micromanager
Here’s how you can deal with a micromanager

Establish boundaries

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.

Encourage delegation

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.

Get Inside Outsourcing

An insider's view on why remote and offshore staffing is radically changing the future of work.

Order now

Start your
journey today

  • Independent
  • Secure
  • Transparent

About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 450+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,900+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

“Excellent service for outsourcing advice and expertise for my business.”

Learn more
Banner Image
Get 3 Free Quotes Verified Outsourcing Suppliers
3,000 firms.Just 2 minutes to complete.
Learn more

Connect with over 3,000 outsourcing services providers.

Banner Image

Transform your business with skilled offshore talent.

  • 3,000 firms
  • Simple
  • Transparent
Banner Image