Small business owners are naturally concerned with the quality of work done at their companies, down to the small details. However, business leaders must learn how to balance the small stuff with attention to the larger picture. When managers cannot find this balance, they run the risk of becoming micromanagers. Micromanagement can do great harm to morale, as it sends the message that employees are not trusted members of the company, and harping on the smallest details makes employees feel like they can never please the boss. As a result, employees may stop trying altogether.
The key to curbing micromanagement habits lies in communication. In general, email is a poor form of communication, since it can quickly result in miscommunication. Managers who tend to micromanage should meet with employees face-to-face to explain expectations and field questions. When email is necessary, managers should ask employees to acknowledge the request and provide a time frame for response.
Micromanagers are often triggered when employees make changes to a plan without consulting them. By keeping lines of communication open and being receptive to suggestions, managers can encourage conversation about the best approach. When managers are not open to suggestions, they run the risk of irritating employees and pushing them to make last-minute changes without consultation.