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Micromanaging At Work


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If you have ever worked at a job before then chances are that you or someone else that you know has probably been micromanaged before.

What do I mean by ‘micromanaging'? Micromanaging comes in all different types of forms, but the most common example can be seen in a boss who is constantly looking over your shoulder or who seems to be unnecessarily checking up on you. In plenty of instances, micromanaging has actually lead to the dissolution of companies because of employees who have become frustrated and/or quit or with employees who are so unhappy and feel that they cannot please their bosses that their work ultimately suffers (which can also lead to the downfall of a company).

If you are a new employee, you can only expect to be checked up on ever so often from your boss, supervisor or another employee who has been designated as your sort of ‘mentor’. However, when the “checking up” seems a bit excessive or if it starts to interfere with the amount and quality of work that you are actually able to get done, then you may be in a micromanaging situation. To an employee who is being micromanaged, it almost feels as if your boss does not trust you. This lack of trust inherently leads to a feeling of low self esteem or lack of self worth as you begin to feel like you are not a valued employee of the company you work for or as if your work is sub par, thereby requiring someone to constantly look over your shoulder.

In the past few years, studies have been conducted on the effects of micromanaging and have found time and again that the happier an employee is in their job, the better quality work he or she produces. In most of these instances where the employees were happy, they were also in jobs where they had total freedom from supervision or the supervision was minimal. Think about it. Even if your boss is well intentioned, if he or she keeps popping in your office to “check up on you” or see how you are doing, it breaks your focus for however long while they are there. Then when he or she leaves, it takes more time to regain your focus on where it should be. In the end, micromanaging has the opposite of the intended effect that employers want: it slows down production, decreases overall company morale and makes the employee feel less valued as they begin to question their own self worth and role in the growth of the company.

If you feel that you are being micromanaged and your job actually means something to you (in other words- something that you wouldn't just want to walk away from), then it may be a good idea to approach your supervisor and let him or her know how you are feeling. Perhaps, in the end, you will find that you are interpreting their intrusions the wrong way or that there was a miscommunication. Regardless, you should make it a point to nip the problem in the bud before it gets out of control and you find yourself looking for another job.

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