How NOT To Micromanage

MSME Managers must understand that running a small business involves so many different tasks and skills that as the business grows bigger, some sort of assistance and division of labour becomes necessary for the business to succeed. Yet a major factor to the success of every enterprise, big or small is how to harness the quality of employees at disposal for business growth.

Micromanaging can be a stab in the back for most employees who want to give their best to the success of their organization. When you micromanage, you are telling your employee or subordinate that you do not trust their judgement, skills & expertise.

The following statistics are staggering:

When you consider these side effects of micromanaging, you see the bigger problem: employee turnover. According to Lewer Benefits, most MSMEs experience an average 15% – 25% employee turnover rate and Work Institute reported that replacing a good employee costs an organization 33% of the worker’s annual salary. Now picture the effect of that when the costs add up.

So, how can managers and business owners NOT micromanage? Delegate! Yes, delegate effectively. The proper delegation will help eradicate even unintentional micromanagement. So, we expect you to ask; how do you delegate effectively? Let’s look at the following 9 tips recommended by Lauren Landry, an Associate Director at Harvard Business School:

  1. Know what to delegate.
  2. Play to your employees’ strengths and goals.
  3. Define the desired outcome of tasks assigned.
  4. Establish an effective communication channel.
  5. Provide the right resources and reporting level of authority.
  6. Give room for failure to encourage empowerment and a better approach to work.
  7. Be patient.
  8. Give feedback on work done be it constructive or positive. Feedback should however not be demeaning.
  9. Give credit where it’s due.

While we could have elaborated more on the tips above but for the want of space and your precious time, we leave you with this thought from Brigette Hyacinth, a leading HR Influencer:

Micromanagement is a complete waste of everybody’s time. It sucks the life out of employees, fosters anxiety and creates a high-stress work environment. Select (i.e Hire) the right people and give them room to get on with the job.


The material contained in this publication is provided for general information purposes only and does not contain a comprehensive analysis of each item described. Before taking (or not taking) any action, readers should seek professional advice specific to their situation. No liability is accepted for acts or omissions taken in reliance upon the contents of this alert.

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