Nothing feels worse than having a boss who watches everything you do like a hawk. It’s like being a child again, and speaks of nothing more than a complete lack of trust.
And the thing with trust is that once it’s broken, it’s almost impossible to get it back. This is especially lethal if the person you can’t trust has actual power of you, like a parent. Or your boss.
The impact of employees who don’t feel like they can trust their bosses can’t be overstated.
It affects everything. Productivity, happiness, effectiveness, it all goes downhill. Feeling like you have no control over your work can even cause people to retreat into themselves and basically become unproductive drones, spending all their energy on making it through the day, and only doing the bare minimum of work to get through.
The unfortunate truth is that too many managers are like this, and they may even be supported by the company they work for.
This is because, from the outside at least, a manager who’s constantly scurrying around and trying to take control of everything looksincredibly efficient and effective. It might even be an effective method for short term results, until it poisons the attitude of your employees.
It was Steve Jobs that said ‘It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people, then tell them what to do. You should hire smart people so they can tell youwhat to do.’
The 5 debilitating effects of micromanagement
Micromanagement has two negative effects on productivity. First off, if you know that someone’s staring over your shoulder at everything you do, you’re far more likely to work slowly and precisely to make sure there’s nothing to criticise.
Second, because management will step in and demand changes, or that things are done differently, causes work to take longer than it otherwise would.
A micromanaging boss is far less receptive of ideas than they might otherwise be, and knowing that your suggestions aren’t going to be taken seriously leads to people refusing to take initiate.
After all, if you know that any suggestions to do things differently are only going to get stepped on, why bother ever making them?
One truism for any person is wanting to feel like they have some level of control over their lives.
If you’re trapped in a job where you have no autonomy, and your boss is constantly telling you how to do everything, even down to the most minor things, then you’ll feel constrained, with absolutely no autonomy.
At first, you might fight, and try all the harder to get yourself recognised, but eventually even the most stubborn amongst us would realise that it’s pointless and grow despondent.
Related to the above, when people aren’t happy and don’t feel like they’re in control, they get miserable, and unhappy employees leave.
This goes doubly true for the truly skilled and effective employees, who might already have other options available. They’re far more likely to get up and start making moves, which means you’ll lose all the true talent fast.
Trust works both ways, and whilst you might want to trust your boss, knowing that they can’t trust you enough to step back and let you do your job will eat away at relationships.
As a manager, you’re there to guide your staff, and give them support and advise when it’s required. If your employees are happy and working effectively, then leave them to it.
When you hire someone, you are effectively putting a stamp on them saying ‘I trust you enough to do this job.’ And trust is the single thing that ties teams together in a cohesive manner and makes them work far more effectively together.
But micromanagement destroys this trust, and disempowers your staff. It destroys initiative and creativity, and breeds a passive, unhappy workforce.
The single biggest advantage you can have over your competitors lies in your personnel. By keeping them happy, empowering them to do their jobs to the best of their ability, and only stepping in when necessary, you will be able to build a competent and motivated team.
It starts with hiring the right people for the right role. Then training them up to be able to do the job. Once that’s done, as hard as it can be, stand back and watch your employees flourish.