In the world of human resources, it is not uncommon for employees to clash with a micromanaging boss. Micromanagement is a nuisance for employees, but an even bigger problem for employers. Micromanagement manifests itself in a number of ways, and always has devastating impacts.

Seeing the Signs

There are numerous styles of leadership and management practiced in the workplace. Some leaders seek to empower their employees while others simply bark orders. A micromanager can often go unnoticed from an HR standpoint until employees raise complaints.

A few tell-tale signs of a micromanaging boss are:

  • Strong focus on small details
  • Control over how employees complete tasks
  • Unnecessary meetings
  • Abundance of required check-ins and updates
  • Discourages independent decision-making

These signs can lead to many issues that HR professionals regularly facilitate, including employee morale and turnover.

The Damaging Effects

Leadership in the workplace should bring recognition to employees for doing a good job, encourage independent decision making, and, in general, guide their team to be successful. Any manner of micromanaging leadership can tear a workplace down, and reduce both productivity and employee morale.

Evidence of this can be seen in company culture. Employees who were once productive can quickly lose their motivation. A survey showed that 69% of employees consider changing jobs because of interactions with a micromanaging boss. When an employee believes they are being micromanaged, it can lead to increased stress, health issues, emotional strain, and lack of productivity. Micromanagement can interfere with employee morale and result in a company losing talented employees.

How to Step In

When encountering a micromanager in the workplace, HR professionals can minimize the damage caused by utilizing a few basic tools. First and foremost, HR must implement a managerial training program. HR can create and lead trainings that will help managers improve their leadership skills and ability to effectively run a team. Required training will guide micromanagers to recognize signs and symptoms while also providing tips on how to move forward.

Mentor programs are also a great solution for micromanaging bosses. Being a manager encompasses an incredible amount of responsibility and having a mentor to turn to can alleviate some of that pressure. Mentors can encourage management to lead employees in a productive manner, avoiding the pitfalls of a micromanaging management style.

Lastly, employee feedback surveys are a great way for HR professionals to identify where employee concerns reside and provide the foundation for making improvements in the workplace. Anonymous surveys help HR professionals discover problems before they escalate, such that solutions can be implemented quickly.

Micromanagement is a problem that HR professionals must tackle in order to create and maintain a positive work environment for employees in the office. If you’ve come across this problem in your workplace, what action steps have you taken to solve it?