You call it high standards. You tell yourself you’re just a perfectionist. You say you’re the only one who can get the job done right. But there’s another word for what you’re practicing: micromanagement.
Yes, it may seem like your input into all project aspects leads to the best possible outcome. But this obsession with details comes at a cost. It slows completion of major projects and alienates your workers. It cuts into morale and can eventually force your most talented employees to look elsewhere for other opportunities, setting out in search of positions in which they can participate more fully.
Meanwhile, micromanagement sucks all your time. You’re constantly bogged down by minor tasks and never have time for long-term initiatives, which ultimately stymies growth instead of supporting it.
Here are five signs you have crossed from high standards into nitpicking.
Sweating the Small Stuff Too Much
Sure, success is about the details. But if you spend too much time perfecting every nuance, big projects can’t move forward. Sometimes, you have to declare “good enough” and move on.
If you get bogged down on relatively minor details, you risk halting meaningful progress. Rate the relative importance of every step in a project, and commit time and resources accordingly.
You Nitpick the Process as Well as the Result
The journey to success can take many routes. Checking over results is fine, but if you find yourself unnecessarily second guessing your team’s process, it can create a pointless provocation. The phrase “that’s not how I would have done it” has little value if doing things your way wouldn’t have changed the outcome.
Everything Goes Through You
Imagine a city’s traffic pattern. Now imagine all those cars, buses, motorcycles and pedestrians passing through one intersection. The result? Chaos. Delays. Lots of honking and cursing.
That’s exactly what happens when you force every activity to pass through you. If you have to check everything, approve every step, and sign off on every decision, your dwindling time becomes the main bottleneck to finishing the project. It creates a metaphorical traffic jam that can halt everything.
No One Else Talks at Meetings
You call everyone together. You honestly want alternative opinions, but no one ever speaks up. You end up giving instructions and dismissing everyone, shaking your head on the way out while muttering about how you have to do everything.
When you create a culture of micromanagement, employees will automatically defer to you. They will start to see voicing their opinions as wasted time. They will feel powerless and suffer sapped morale, while you lose out on potential important feedback.
Make a conscious effort to cultivate an inclusive environment. It may seem more chaotic in the moment, but the outcome will eventually benefit the company and its employees.
You Don't Delegate Enough
You work hard to hire the best employees. You carefully cull resumes, craft insightful interview questions, take time reviewing references and researching candidates—all to ensure you are surrounded by creative, competent people.
Meanwhile, once hired, you turn them into minor functionaries. You have them running errands and completing grunt work. It’s a waste of resources. By empowering your talented employees, you get better results, and tap into imaginative solutions you wouldn’t have thought of on your own.
Loosening the reigns can be difficult, but it’s easier when you trust your coworkers. Building a competent, creative team represents the first step in limiting your micromanaging instincts.
How do you build such a team? Team with a strong recruiting partner, like United Personnel. Their helpful and friendly staff can get you started on a process to maximize your resources.
Contact United Personnel today to find out more.