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Are You a Control Freak? 6 Ways to Stop Micromanaging

Are You a Control Freak? 6 Ways to Stop Micromanaging
Credit: Nivens/Shutterstock

Working for a boss that watches over your every move and stifles your independence can make coming to the office every day quite challenging.

Overall, nearly 60 percent of employees work for a micromanager, the majority of whom said the constant scrutiny has had a negative impact on their work and psyche, according to a new study from Accountemps.

Of those who felt they'd been micromanaged, 68 percent said it decreased their morale, while 55 percent said it hurt their productivity.

"Bosses micromanage for many different reasons, but no matter how good their intentions, taking a heavy-handed approach typically hurts employee output, job satisfaction and, as a result, retention efforts," Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps, said in a statement. "Personally making sure every 't' is crossed might help avoid some mistakes, but the costs associated with failing to trust your team can have a longer-term impact."

Accountemps offers a six-step plan to help micromanagers loosen their grips.

  • Recognize that you may be the problem. Does the word delegate make you wince? Do you feel you have to do it all and keep a controlling hand on everything at all times? You might be a micromanager.
  • Let it go. Start practicing restraint by dropping the red pen. You don't need to put your personal stamp on every single item that passes your desk. Making changes to an employee's work simply for the sake of making changes is a habit worth breaking.
  • Keep the check-ins in check. Constantly inquiring about routine assignments rarely helps employees get them done any more efficiently. Provide clear directions upfront, check in once if need be, and then trust your team members to do their jobs.
  • Stop sweating the small stuff. When you allow yourself to get bogged down by the little things, you're taking away time and energy from bigger-picture organizational objectives that could have a far greater impact on the bottom line.
  • Get to the point (person). Identify a few tasks you currently handle that can be easily delegated to someone. Think about the time and skills needed for the job and then assign accordingly.
  • Empower your employees. When they're managing projects, give team members the freedom to make decisions, as well as make mistakes. You might encounter some initial hiccups, but in the long run, offering autonomy will help your employees build their problem-solving and leadership skills.

The study was based on surveys of 450 employees ages 18 and older who work in an office environment in the United States.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.