How Micromanagement Inhibits Growth, Creativity and Productivity

Updated: 1 day ago

Steve Jobs once said, "It does not make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do." This advice says it all about micromanagement and how it inhibits growth, creativity and productivity.

It is possible to micromanage the process, but not the people. According to LinkedIn, talented employees' confidence drops when they feel like someone is constantly watching over them and judging their every move. They try to avoid taking risks, which in turn inhibits growth and creativity.

Employees need to have the freedom to do things their way, and that's what diversity is all about. Diversity is the key to greater productivity. If a manager only wants to do things his or her way, why hire a group of talented and diverse employees with different thinking styles?

"It does not make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do." Steve Jobs

Micromanagers are frustrating and annoying to employees. They prove by their behavior that they do not trust their employees to do things right by constantly overruling them, nagging at them, and criticizing their every move.

How do you recognize a micromanager?

Research has shown that there are certain signs that you are micromanaging your team.

  • Do you allow your team to make their own decisions, or do you want everything approved by you first?

  • Do you not trust your team enough to complete a task, and take the task away from them when they make a small mistake and complete it yourself?

  • Do you constantly criticize your subordinates without giving them room to make mistakes?

  • Do you appreciate your employees when they have good ideas, or do you only criticize them when they do something wrong?

  • Do you trust your employees to work from home and get annoyed by small delays?

These are signs of a micromanager who kills employee creativity and innovation by constantly breathing down their necks and expecting them to be productive.

How micromanagement negatively impacts your business.

Unfortunately, the negative effects of micromanagement overshadow the positive ones. According to Forbes magazine, constantly criticizing employees leads to self-doubt, and employees will begin to question their abilities, resulting in low self-confidence. Your employees will start to hate you because you do not allow them to use their skills to the fullest.

Also, it's outrageous to do all the work yourself and not trust others enough to delegate the work. Micromanagers are not productive because they are too busy doing the work of others and do not have time to do their own work. Some of the biggest disadvantages of micromanagement are:

Increase in frustration and stress.

Micromanagement leads to increased stress and frustration for both the manager and the employees. Employees feel constant pressure to report on what they are doing instead of completing their assigned task. Managers feel stressed because they cannot trust their employees and feel pressure that they may have to do the work all by themselves.

Low productivity levels.

According to Business Insider, micromanagement can destroy your business and lead to poor results because employees are unhappy, turnover increases, and there is a lack of creativity and freedom. An example of a failed micromanagement strategy is Steve Jobs' early days of Apple. He micromanaged everything and without trusting the professionals and delegating the work, tried to do everything himself and failed.

When he departed from Apple and started Pixar, he changed his management style. He gave managers the freedom to be creative and innovative, and the result was a great success as employee productivity increased. Steve Jobs learned from his experiences at Pixar and returned to Apple as a better manager. He delegated most of his work to the talented employees in the inner circle. The result was that Apple became the most valuable company in the world.

Poor mental health.

Research on micromanagement shows that it is the leading cause of poor employee mental health, stress, anxiety and depression. This management style is often practiced by managers who are driven by their ego, low IQ, inexperience and insecurity. According to LinkedIn, behaviors like disrespectful and judgmental bosses can affect an employee's mental health. They need to find daily distractions to stay healthy.

Impairing growth potential through lack of creativity.

According to, employees who are treated like lab rats and constantly scrutinized get tired of doing the same thing day in and day out. Employees avoid giving feedback or making suggestions because they are afraid of their supervisor's toxic reaction. Employees need the freedom to develop ideas and adopt innovative practices. This is not possible when a micromanager hinders creativity and growth potential in the company.

Morale dies, and so does innovation.

According to a study on the negative effects of micromanagement, the impact on morale is at the top of the list. The two management styles lead from a position of empowerment, the other being micromanagement.

Of these two styles, managers who lead from a position of empowerment always achieve positive results in terms of performance, commitment, and overall employee satisfaction. The micromanagement style, on the other hand, leads to a lack of confidence, stress, and an inability to take creative risks. As a result, employee morale immediately plummets, which can be disastrous for the organization.

It is critical for your mental health and well-being that you recognize the micromanager and develop strategies to divert your attention. Micromanagers are obsessed with seeing every detail in their business and do not like to delegate work. Employees are often yelled at, belittled and not allowed to make mistakes. This micromanagement style stifles employees' productivity, creativity, and creative abilities, and does irreplaceable damage to their self-esteem and self-confidence.


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