How to Manage Effectively Without Micromanaging

by | Jun 5, 2019

Micromanaging does more than irritate your employees. It also erodes morale, discourages open communication, and impacts productivity. Instead of dictating every detail of your team’s operation, it’s best to give them some autonomy and space to grow. Below, learn some simple ways you can reduce your micromanaging tendencies and improve your workplace environment.

What Is Micromanaging?

Leadership is a nuanced role. You have to balance your need to clearly articulate your organization’s goals and needs with your employees’ need for purposeful work and autonomy. Let’s be clear — you can be a good, hands-on manager without micromanaging your staff.

To understand the difference, let’s look at each type of manager’s key traits:

Hands-On Managers

  • Use strong communication skills to explain desired outcomes and expectations
  • Provide feedback and constructive criticism
  • Offer employees opportunities to correct their mistakes
  • Establish clear benchmarks and tollgates for projects and tasks
  • Delegate responsibility to their team members and expect them to lead these initiatives
  • Tailor their management style to each employees’ needs and experience level, giving more direction to rookies and underperforming employees


  • Dictate every aspect of a project
  • Fix problems and issues with a project themselves
  • Refuse to give experienced and trustworthy employees autonomy and independence in their daily operations
  • Constantly check-in on minutiae related to a project
  • Oversee every detail and refuse to delegate responsibility
  • Fail to prioritize tasks and treat all projects and activities with the same level of urgency
  • Discourage innovation and creativity within their staff and demand top-down leadership at all times

Micromanagers are wasting their most important asset: their employees. Hopefully, you’ve spent a lot of time building a talented team around you. Monitoring their every move disregards their abilities, communicates a lack of trust, and will lead to attrition.

How Can I Reduce or Eliminate an Overbearing Management Style?

Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step. If you don’t admit to yourself that you have a tendency to micromanage, you’ll never improve your management style. But the occasional mea culpa isn’t enough. You actually need to change your habits.

While it can be difficult, there are ways you can break your micromanaging tendencies.

Define Success and Communicate Your Priorities

When was the last time you completed a goal setting exercise with your team? If your organization doesn’t understand its mission and goals, they’ll struggle to meet your expectations. Rather than make your staff guess, articulate your goals clearly.

If you are the business owner and you don’t have your goals and mission clearly defined, it’s time to do the work. Getting your team aligned to the bigger picture and plan is what will get them all rowing in the same direction and allow for them to thrive and force your potentially micro managing style into the back seat. The clarity that building a mission and goals yields will empower your employees to step up to their roles and execute the plan. It is well worth the time to take a minute to communicate your priorities and define what success within the company and their roles looks like.

Prioritize Your Workload

Not every task deserves your close scrutiny. Rather than frustrate your team by micromanaging them during mundane tasks, identify the core issues that you need to monitor and oversee. Your time is valuable — don’t waste it on minutiae that won’t impact your final goals or deliverables. Instead, clearly communicate your goals and use project management systems to oversee the big picture.

Schedule Check-Ins and One-on-One Meetings With Your Team

Rather than checking every email and detail of a project, give your team members opportunities to update you on their work. This will give your team room to focus on their work and opportunities to grow and innovate. Most importantly, during your check-ins, offer meaningful feedback and direction.

Ask Questions and Voice Concerns Early On

If you’re concerned about a team member’s overall progress and performance, give them input early on — and then give them a chance to correct the behavior. When necessary, collaborate with the team member and create action plans that can help address the issue. However, give the employee a meaningful opportunity to improve before you take a corrective action.

Trust Your Team

You hired the best possible employees. When you’re tempted to intervene, take a step back. Is the task within their capabilities? Do they have the skills necessary to address the issue? If the answer is “yes,” don’t get involved.

When Should I Intervene in Daily Workplace Operations?

There are times when a good, hands-on manager has to take the reins. However, you should only become heavily involved in your team’s day-to-day work when:

  • It’s a high-stake project that is critical to your organization’s success
  • An employee’s performance merits closer scrutiny
  • A project has gone off the rails and your team needs help
  • You have a leadership and knowledge gap and you’re the only person who can help

If you notice that you’re frequently stepping in and correcting your team’s course, it’s probably a good idea to assess your current staff’s skills and consider adding talent or restructuring your organization. Your need to micromanage may be indicative of organizational issuesand a need for different employees or a new leadership model.

Contact Elite Entrepreneurs

If you need help creating a mission, setting clear goals, or building effective management style, contact us today. We offer business owners innovative and real life tools that can help them take their organizations to new levels of success and efficiency. These new levels yield great culture, a great team, and clarity that allows the business owner to get some rest at night. We can help!



Get a Free Copy of Stages Of Small Business

Get your FREE copy of our "Elite Business Growth Method"

Get our ebook to learn how to get rid of the chaos and gain clarity, distribute the weight of your business and get what you always wanted out of your business.