How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Employees

An entrepreneur has to be an effective leader but should stay away from transforming into a controlling and dominating micromanager. Employees feel...

  • How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Employees
    Lethabo Moodley Image Lethabo Moodley

    How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Employees

    • Updated: Tuesday 6th of October 2020
    • Strategy

    An entrepreneur has to be an effective leader but should stay away from transforming into a controlling and dominating micromanager. Employees feel stifled in the presence of a boss who is breathing down their necks while they are trying to perform. It can make them nervous, inefficient and demoralised as they may feel that they are not being trusted by their leader. Thus budding entrepreneurs looking for a business for sale in South Africa must avoid heckling their employees after every few minutes to get an update.

    Staying away from micromanagement supports the creation of a healthy and congenial work environment. It extends creative and operational freedom that helps the workers to thrive. If you are the kind of a person who likes to hover, then you need to take a step back so that the workforce doesn’t feel that they are always being studied under a microscopic lens. Here is how you can steer clear of micromanaging your employees and retain them for a longer period.

    1. Recruit Talented and Experienced People

    One of the primary reasons for micromanagement is lack of trust. Leaders tend to micromanage when they are not sure about the abilities of their employees. Thus it is essential to hire people who are capable and have the potential to learn and succeed. You must find the right candidates and train them efficiently, which will help you to put them in the desired spots. They must be given deadlines and then assessed on the deliverables rather than handholding them through the tasks.

    You can help them if they are stuck and ask for your support by providing the required feedback instead of staying on top of things. Set key performance indicators (KPIs) to analyse their productivity and efficiency at the end of the project. A systematic approach will allow you to keep your distance.

    2. Improve Communication

    As a leader, you must be aware of the projects being handled by your team and the managers. You can conduct weekly meetings to assess their progress and understand how soon they can accomplish the results. It will help you to avoid sending emails every other day or checking with them on chat or personally dropping by their desks. Stay connected, but do not keep hanging around. Make a schedule on the correct way of accessing details about the work.

    You can ask for a weekly report or meetings every Friday to stay in the loop. If you are not happy with something or with the way things are proceeding, then you can provide your feedback instantly. It will help the employees to learn from their mistakes and make improvements. It is also imperative to brainstorm at the beginning of the project to share ideas and views related to the best way of handling the project. Do not go overboard with opening the communication channels. Maintain your distance and learn from your observations.

    3. Stop Passing Down Your Ideals

    A lot of leaders believe that only they know the best way to achieve the desired results. However, you need to change this behavioural aspect of your personality as there are several right ways of accomplishing the same output. Don’t try to be a perfectionist and go into every tiny detail. Allow your employees to experiment and be ready to accept mistakes which are part and parcel of the game. Do not demotivate your workers if they are unable to meet deadlines or fall short of expectations.

    Boost them up with positive words and enthusiasm, which helps them to grow and improve their confidence. Do not force your ideas and principles on them and reward them when they excel to build a great management team. It will motivate them to innovate and improvise and think-out-of-the-box. Provide your teams with the right tools and inspiration to succeed.

    4. Provide Support When Needed

    Offering autonomy does not mean that you can take a complete back seat as it can also lead to stagnation and decline in productivity. To avoid such a situation, you must know how to manage your employees by being aware of their limitations. If you are dealing with a rookie, then you need to make your presence felt to avoid major blunders and shoddy work. If an employee lacks confidence and is not sure about taking up a project, then you must be ready to offer assistance.

    Also, if one of the teams is working on a highly important project which needs to be delivered urgently, then you need to keep track of things. You must inform your employees about the level of engagement that will be required for the project and give them a heads up about your involvement so that they are prepared and do not feel intruded or interfered.

    5. Know The Expectations of Your Employees

    You can cut back on your meddling ways by asking your employees upfront about the level of intervention that they consider healthy and need regularly. An able leader should be open to get the opinion of the workforce on how often they need to assess the targets and performances. They can even chalk out a program to maintain accountability through a mutual understanding. It helps in building trust and improving the rapport between the employer and the employees. It will also help you to understand what different employees want and how you need to manage them. You can ask them to fill out a feedback form on the same to get their opinions.

    6. Create Transparency To Stay Informed

    Some leaders tend to become micromanagers because they are unable to see a clear picture or get the correct information from their employees. Thus you must develop an environment of accountability and transparency in your organisation. You can adopt project management software that allows all the people involved to get real-time updates on the status of the work. It will help the owner to keep a tab on the development without being nosy and prying. It will also make the employees more responsible as they will know that their performance is being monitored and will make them work to the best of their ability.

    7. Create Leaders Within Teams

    It may seem like a big responsibility to pass on in the beginning, but you need to delegate your work since you cannot be omnipresent. You need to be present for all the client meetings, administration round-up, creating business development roadmap, scoring funding from lenders, acquiring stock and finding the best ways of investment.

    There is a lot on your plate already, and thus, you have to make the most of your time. Creating leaders in every team will allow you to empower your employees and make them accountable. When they will be assessing performances and passing on the information to the management, you will no longer have to snoop around to keep a check on their productivity. The mission of this step is to increase the capabilities and yield of each department.


    When you are the owner, you are bound to feel responsible for every aspect of functioning. However, you must not let the emotions go in overdrive and lead you to the path of micromanagement. Thus if you are planning to purchase a business for sale in South Africa, then make sure you follow the tips mentioned above to avoid an overbearing interference in the work of your employees.

  • Author Info Lethabo Moodley

    A business expert, Lethabo Moodley is a management consultant who has been working across domains since 2005. His rich experience includes a Masters degree in business administration from the prestigious Gordon Institute of Business Science and Doctor of Business Leadership degree from Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership. He has been actively working as a consultant with the biggest firms in South Africa and his contribution in the growth of these organisations is considered invaluable. He has saved a lot of small businesses from going bankrupt and has renewed the lost success streak of the big fish in the market. Business2Sell is delighted to have him onboard for his insightful blogs.