Micromanagers look for any mistakes, even tiny ones, and insist on very strict policies that are intended to motivate employees and use time wisely. Instead, that overly controlling and difficult-to-work-with approach can make work miserable and maybe even lower employee self-confidence and productivity. Micromanagers may self-proclaim themselves to be "control freaks" or "perfectionists," not realizing that they are out of bounds in the way they manage the workplace.

Micromanaging leaders are highly likely to be very stressed themselves. But if this sounds like you, thankfully there are ways to help yourself and your team. Here are some things to look out for as well as what you can do to reset and boost morale. 

You do everything yourself and don't delegate work to anyone else. 

If this is the case, ask for help. Let your team show you what they can do. They were hired for a reason and there is strength when everyone can contribute.

You require strict time measuring applications to ensure they are present and working. 

Keep in mind that an employee might not work like you. Some people work in spurts that keeps them busy all day while others prefer to get as much done in the morning, avoiding breaks. Yes, it's important to manage productivity, but it's also important to acknowledge that everyone works differently. 

You ask for detailed reports and updates on their work often. 

Before you assign the project, give directions. Ask them to repeat what you've said to clarify that you've come to an agreement. Then, let them get to work while you focus on other tasks. Don't go overboard, trying to get updates from them. Instead, trust their abilities and strengths. Focus on the end result instead of picking at little details along the way.

You assign projects, only to take them away and complete it yourself. 

Ask yourself why you're taking the project away. Did a client give feedback that warrants you to take over or is it something else? If there is genuine feedback, let your employee know so they can learn from it and fix it. However, if it's just your perception of the work, realize that you're not letting them do their job.

Employees are not inspired and morale is low. 

Employees might feel that there is no point in doing the work when you're just going to redo it. It's important to encourage them. Give them your trust to bring workplace morale up. 

It also could be that you're not understanding all the effort that goes into their work. Try to understand and consider all of your team's work. Give praise more often.

You often have the most work on your desk but won't ask for help or won't accept feedback kindly.

If this is you, let go of some of that work and encourage feedback, even if it's given anonymously. Share your knowledge and experience with them. It's also a great way to build relationships and trust.

Work never seems to actually get done. 

Giving out the work and setting deadlines without asking for reports and constant updates can help employees focus on the big tasks rather than reporting on the minor things.

In addition, try analyzing employees's strengths to determine where their talents can be put to the best use. Building trust and a positive relationship with employees can help you better understand the roles they are best suited for. Instead of being critical, offer examples of strategies you would take and encourage them to share ideas that they may have.

Before beginning assignments, work out the role that you will play and what you anticipate from them. Don't let the little details take over though. Stick to the bigger picture and focus on what really matters. 

Published on: Mar 9, 2020
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.