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Overcome micromanagement! If not you will spoil the culture of your company.

Updated: Mar 28, 2021

My first job out of college was in a growing funded startup company. The founders were well educated and well experienced. Since the company was building very fast, all of the managers on our team were former individual contributors who became managers because the company was growing so fast. Yesterday’s associates became today’s managers as a fresh batch of college graduates took their place. Some people were great at their new management role, but many others were not!

In our careers, we have had bad managers. They were really bad.😊😁I have seen the following types of bad bosses in my career.

1) They know everything on the earth.

2) Never delegate anything.

3) Always pat their back🤦‍♀️

4) Micromanage everything


Micromanaging bosses

They know everything and they know how to do it! They have tons of experience and if you do the work, man you will fail!

You have to do the work and do it exactly how they would have done it themselves. They micromanage you every step of the way but still aren’t satisfied with the results. And you shouldn’t be working towards their expectations anyways. You should aim to find a solution to the problem at hand.


If this is the story of your organization, then you are in trouble. Bad managers not only harm the good staff but also spoil the entire culture of the organization.

Micromanagement is the main reason to make your best employees quit.


“Authority—when abused through micromanagement, intimidation, or verbal or nonverbal threats—makes people shut down & productivity ceases.”

John Stoker,

What is micromanagement?

'Control with excessive attention to minor details'


Every day you read a lot of stories about bad management. A company that seems to have everything together on the outside is hell for its employees – resulting in high turnover, not to mention the bad press. High attrition costs employers 33% of a worker’s annual salary to hire a replacement if someone leaves.

In many organizations, employees are not allowed to work as per their freedom and not allowed to fail. Yes. Unless employees fail in their tasks, they will not learn.

You have to retain the best talent. Otherwise, you will become a training company for your competitors! This is more about 'how to not micromanage'.

If you do not want your employees to leave and stay back in their job, giving employees autonomy and flexibility over where, when, and how they work, valuing work-life balance, knowing how to coach employees to solve problems, and creating an environment of psychological safety is pretty important.

Working in startup companies, I had to learn how to work with the best talent without peeking into their personal space and allowing them to make a lot of mistakes. Working in startup companies allowed me to work without office and n believing and trusting my employees.

Working in startup companies for MNCs, I learned the following lessons.

Stop micromanaging. Allow the employees to their own, take up responsibilities, make some mistakes.

You have to follow steps to stop micromanagement in your company.

1) Allow employees to work where they work best.

2) Allow employees to plan their work.

3) Trust them.

4) Encourage employees.

5) Guide them with your suggestions.

6) Do not discourage employees.

7) Monitor but do not over the monitor.

8) Create trust and belief and use the words carefully.

The points which I am making may not be suited for every business out there and request the reader to apply the thoughts mentioned here based on your context.

Allow employees to work where they work best

In 2011, I started working with a start-up company up years later, we’ve built our company and its systems around working from anywhere. It was totally remote work and we trusted each other and built the company from scratch.

Now, in 2020, because of COVID19, many of the companies realized that employees can deliver even from their homes.

Read a great article on Zoho which has started village offices wherein employees are working at their best near their home towns.,years%20ago%2C%20many%20people%20frowned.


Allow your employees work when they’re most productive

Working from Monday to Friday at fixed hours is totally outdated concept and people get sick, people get bored.

It is OK to allow the employees to have mugs of Coffee in between the office hours and let them take a nap if they want. Employees who enjoy both physical and mental health will enjoy the work and will be efficient.

Focus on the outcome, not on the output

No meaning in chasing the hours and the clock of the employees. It is not the number of hours which matter, rather focus on the outcome and results.

Prioritize your work and slow down. It is OK for your employees as well.

Identify your priorities and I am sure that you can reduce your workload and delegate as well. Plan, plan, and plan.

Many of us in the corporate world do not plan the work properly and end up in less prioritized work. A lot of time and resources spent on non-productive work and we always feel that we do not get time.

You can slow down and stop and asking all the work to the employees. Stop that urgency thing from your culture.


Trust your employees

The entire business runs on trust. The customer trusts you and it is the responsibility to trust the employees. No need to check and again and again at what stage they are in.

If you’re always supervising them, they’re more concerned with making sure it looks like they’re working rather than doing the things that work best.

Once you’ve hired the right person, you have to trust them from the get-go. Ideally, we can get to the same point that Laszlo Bock outlined in his book Work Rules!:

When someone joins the team, show you trust them on day 1. Give them access to all of the accounts that they will need, don’t make them earn that ability. Let them show you how capable they are. Your company isn’t a frat, and this isn’t a hazing ritual.

Hire the right fit for your organization

It’s impossible to trust people if you don’t hire the right teammates from the beginning.

When it comes to hiring the best employees for remote work, there are five critical questions you have to ask yourself.

  1. Whether a candidate has experience in remote working?: If your candidate had a successful prior remote work experience, it’s a signal that they can do it again.

2. Whether a candidate takes initiation?: Look for qualities that indicate that the candidate takes initiative on their own. Check, apart from his office orders, whether he has done anything.

Example- If the candidate is into content, check whether he has his own Youtube video! Check the posts on Linkedin and you can easily assess the personality.

3. Freelance or side-hustle: If the candidate has worked as a freelancer or has a side-hustle beyond their full-time job, they’re likely already good at self-management.

4.Intrapreneurship or startup experience: Intrapreneurship is similar to entrepreneurship within a larger company. Does the candidate have experience starting projects or initiatives to grow the business? Startup experience can make people hustle a lot and they can gain a lot of experience.


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About the author

Resa is Co-Founder of Resadigital, a Bangalore based digital marketing agency working in content marketing, digital marketing, and SEO.

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