Constant micromanagement is demeaning and dwindles morale. It communicates that you do not trust your team, which takes a toll on their confidence. Most employees, if not all, want to feel they are trusted, giving them the freedom to unleash their creativity.
When employees are constantly monitored, they are less likely to:
- Share their ideas
- Think outside of the box
- Suggest calculated risks
#2 Micromanagement Stifles Creativity
The most important ingredient for the creativity that breeds innovation, is creating a safe space for ideas to flourish. By micromanaging, your team isn’t only underutilized, they are stifled and constrained. When employees feel pressure to keep their noses to the grindstone, they invest most of their time looking over their shoulders instead of thinking big.
Instead of micromanaging, articulate the objectives, guidelines, and timeline. Then, step back and provide the space required for healthy innovation. Group brainstorming sessions, check-ins, and communication are still part of the process, but there is a vital difference between healthy communication and hovering.
#3 Loss of Trust
Trust is the foundation of every relationship, whether professional or personal. Micromanagement degrades trust. Once trust is lost, it’s extremely difficult to restore. Employees who feel they can’t trust their manager don’t feel safe. Instead of increasing innovation and efficiency, they spend their day in survival mode. They are also more likely to second-guess their work as it begins to feel like nothing is ever “good enough”.
Even if the micromanagement is only in one department, it creates a toxic environment.
- Essential questions don’t get asked or answered.
- More mistakes are made, not less.
- Fewer lessons are learned from mistakes and failures.
- Employees never rise to their full potential.
- Once high-performing teams begin to underperform.
On the flip side, empowered employees feel valued and confident. This builds the trust required to go above and beyond and deliver on your innovation objectives.
#4 Physical and Mental Health
Some would argue that micromanagement is a form of bullying. Statistically, both bullying and micromanagement increases the rate of:
- Daily fatigue
- Lack of motivation
- Decreased self-esteem
- Fear of retaliation
When just one team member is experiencing any of the stressors above, it can hinder innovation. If the majority of the team is feeling the stressors above, innovation is far from the only issue as they aren’t a healthy or sustainable way to live—or operate an organization.