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Anyone who has worked in an organization has at some point in their career either been a micromanager or has been micromanaged. It is not a pleasant feeling to be constantly closely monitored and controlled by your boss.

A micromanager will hover over the employee and look at tiny details and offer comments and criticism, rather than instructing the employee on how to do the job and providing them with a deadline to accomplish it.

In most cases, micromanagement is not considered the best form of management as it can be demoralizing for an employee. Despite all the negative connotations regarding micromanagement, it’s not totally bad.

There are certain situations/instances where micromanaging is necessary.

  1. When you have a rookie on your team. Inducting new employees to a team involves a lot of elements, from seeing how they fit in with existing workers to ensuring they understand their role.
  2. When implementing new processes. Implementing new processes within a company can be difficult enough, but it can be made worse if the person in charge of them doesn’t help staff acclimatize to the alterations. It isn’t enough to simply explain the processes and let people get on with it, as this can lead to mistakes or some people failing to change their way of working.
  3. When there is a drop in the performance of a subordinate. If a staff member is consistently not performing to the best of their ability, leaving work unfinished or behaving in a way that is unprofessional or offensive, micromanaging them could help to curtail this. In this instance, micromanaging can ensure they understand that they have not been delivering what is expected of them and could stop negative behavior from continuing.

Where does a manager draw the line?

As explored above, micromanaging has its good points, but it could also kill motivation and lead to employee disengagement in the workplace. Therefore, line managers must learn to draw the boundary in order to foster professional development for employees.

Line managers must learn how to:

  1. Delegate effectively.
  2. Delegate without continuous/close monitoring.
  3. Delegate with trust. A Manager must believe in and trust in the competencies, capabilities, and potentials of their subordinates when delegating.
  4. Delegate with respect.
  5. Delegate, giving all the necessary details.