Four Destructive Effects of Micro-Managing by Company Founders


If you own a small business that needs to hire employees or independent contractors, be careful about micro-managing. Many founders make this serious mistake. It involves telling people exactly how to complete each task. When the owner of a new business personally performs all of the work, there’s no reason why this person shouldn’t do it his or her way. However, it can become highly problematic if the founder insists on controlling staff members’ every action.

It’s certainly a difficult transition to make. If you started a business from scratch, you have probably invested a great deal of time and energy to personalize it with your values. Understandably, you may feel that employees and contractors should consistently uphold your vision. Perhaps you’d prefer to keep doing everything yourself, but the company has grown to the point that you no longer have enough time. Unfortunately, this mindset might cause you to interfere in workers’ jobs to the point that it ruins your business.

This often becomes a problem when founders hire marketing experts. Although you may recognize that you don’t have the time to promote your business, you might still feel a need to control the strategy. As a result, you’ll tell the marketer how and when to do everything. Sadly, this leads to a harmful cycle that raises expenses, wastes time and results in less income.

A business owner may start by informing new employees about his or her vision for the company. Perhaps you’ll go into detail about your expectations and standards while denying that you plan to interfere with their work. There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s a sign that micro-managing could soon emerge. Unfortunately, this behavior often indicates an unwillingness to accept another person’s ideas. You might reject a marketer’s plans and demand an assortment of changes.

Although you have hired an expert to enhance your company’s marketing efforts, you may force this professional to adopt your own techniques. Some founders don’t even realize they’re doing this. It results in uncreative promotional campaigns that you could’ve developed without paying someone to work for you. Staff members in the marketing department eventually learn to uphold this methodology at all times. It has four major negative consequences:

1. A company’s founder cannot bring about greater growth if he or she focuses on micro-managing employees. If you started a business, your public relations efforts are crucial to expanding the company. Micro-managing destroys these opportunities because it consumes all of the founder’s time. Some business owners devote countless hours to carefully monitoring staff behavior, scrutinizing their work and instructing personnel about ways to perform every action.

2. Many employees will quit if founders micro-manage them. Although money remains an important factor, relative freedom attracts many individuals to startups. If they find that a boss constantly scrutinizes their decisions and demands changes, this may result in dissatisfaction. As staff members defect to other firms, your company will need to spend more money on recruiting and training. You’ll waste time interviewing potential employees when you could be performing productive work.

3. Staff members will suppress their creativity and avoid using specialized skills or knowledge. Company founders frequently fail to recognize the impact of getting involved in every project. Nonetheless, their interference eventually has a tremendously negative impact. Employees and independent contractors learn to only complete tasks in ways that suit the founder’s highly restrictive requirements. They know that new ideas will only draw criticism, so business owners cannot fully benefit from their skills.

4. Micro-managing harms staff morale. Although it’s true that employees occasionally need corrective guidance, constant interference fosters a negative attitude. Staff members may feel that they lack the abilities needed to perform their jobs. Although you might only intend to do what’s best for your company, your efforts could obstruct creativity in a way that harms everyone. It’s important to realize that employees have the qualifications required to complete their work and need the freedom to do so.

The bottom line is that micro-managing wastes time and money. It prevents a company founder from spending time on the high-level objectives that will help his or her business remain successful. After you carefully select an employee or contractor, it’s vital to let this person complete tasks independently. Trust your staff to do what’s right, and recognize that no one can control everything in a company that has grown to a substantial size.