Three Reasons Why Your Managers Micromanage

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Three Reasons Why Your Managers Micromanage

April 27, 2015

Are your micromanagers driving your talent away?If your company has a high staff turnover, your management team could be to blame. One of the challenges of being an effective manager is finding a balance between micromanagement and an abdication of responsibility.

Is your management team obsessed with operational detail or are they focused on the long-term strategic goals of their department? If they’re micromanaging their teams, not only are they driving high performing team members away in search of a new job, they will also stop your company from reaching it’s business goals.

Why do some managers micromanage?

We can’t solve the problem of micromanaging unless we understand the cause. Managers become micromanagers for multiple reasons but here’s a few familiar ones and some potential solutions:

1. Fear of becoming disconnected

As managers advance in their careers they often become concerned that they’ve lost touch with the actual day-to-day work that keeps the company running. They begin to feel isolated so overcompensate by involving themselves in the minutiae of daily tasks.


Managers can establish regular project and task check points with their teams to maintain a consistent level of engagement without falling into the trap of micromanagement. This will allow them to anticipate business risks and coach their teams through the challenges.

It’s not the manager’s responsibility to deliver the results by themselves, but it is their role to ensure that the team has a clear set of expectations.

2. Fear of letting go of their old jobs

Managers are frequently promoted based on their ability to achieve operation goals and successfully deliver projects, and when they are promoted they feel they have to continue doing the same job in order to remain successful, instead of taking on new responsibilities and empowering their team to manage the day-to-day and project tasks.


Managers need to trust that their teams can manage the day-to-day. This is easier said than done for some Managers, but streamlined project and management tracking tools help to provide that visibility and level of confidence team leaders need to ensure the job is still getting done, even when they’ve moved onto their broader responsibilities.

3. Fear of Failure

Pressure from senior management to deliver results with unclear expectations can drive managers to micromanage their teams. Executives are not always clear about what they expect from new managers especially if they’ve been promoted from within the organisation. So it’s the managers responsibility to clarify expectations rather than micromanaging their team into delivering undefined results.


It’s not the manager’s responsibility to deliver the results by themselves, but it is their role to ensure that the team has a clear set of expectations.

Managers need to collaborate closely with their senior management team to ensure they’re aligned on business objectives. Once defined, these can be converted into tasks and projects for the team to deliver.

Centralised task and project tracking will not only help the team manage their deliverables and timelines, but also provides a valuable tool for providing an executive summary of progress to senior management.

There is no “I” in TEAM

It takes a team with a sense of joint ownership to deliver against business goals.

When managers begin to acknowledge that they cannot deliver results by themselves, they will stop micromanaging and start leading a team with a shared feeling of accountability.

This shift in management style not only ensures the team’s objectives can be met, but is also a powerful method for retaining talent.

Our contributing author is Jay Artale, a Global Operations Project Lead and Corporate Management Consultant. Her business expertise is Change Management, Performance KPIs, Team Collaboration and Employee Engagement.

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