No one wants to be micromanaged.  Micromanaging hurts morale, performance, and productivity.  It’s inefficient and stops employees from growing.  If 2 people are trying to do the exact same job, you have 1 too many.  It won’t change truly bad employees.  It sends good employees out the door.  It ends all innovation.  It is a powerful demotivator.

Supervisors have to stop and ask, “Why I am doing this?”  If they don’t, you need to ask them as the leader.  Abrashoff (2002) notes that dysfunctional behaviors of leaders result from their own problems such as ego, fear, and insecurity.

If the employee cannot reach mediocrity without it, then you have the wrong employee.  If you have the right employee, ask yourself, “What do I need to provide to get the right performance?”

If the supervisor was promoted for technical knowledge but not taught to lead, then train and mentor the supervisor.  If the supervisor is immune to leadership training and always engages in the behavior due to character defects (e.g. control, fear, ego), then get a new supervisor.

Give the goal, supply support, remove obstacles, and within guardrails, allow the freedom and flexibility to do the job (Abrashoff, 2022).  They generally know more about the job so listen to them.  They may innovate coming up with better ways to do the job.  This makes work more rewarding and satisfying.  Morale aids in productivity.  People like to be trusted.  This grows good employees into great employees and retains them too.

As Drucker (1999) notes, today’s knowledge workers must be effectively led for organizational and individual success.  Although once embraced by some theorists in the industrial age over a century ago, micromanagement was always a bad idea.  It belongs in the dustbin of history in the 21st century.