It seems that the management thinking these days is that managers should empower their employees to make decisions and implement the actions behind these decisions. This works great when you have a team and management that has mutual trust with a mutual goal. However, when the manager does not trust the members of the team, or thinks that they have to be the one to make every decision or have input into every task, the empowerment disappears.

Managers that don’t trust those they manage end up micromanaging everything that their employees do. While this approach may work with unskilled and unexperienced workers, it is a major demotivation factor for the skilled and experienced workforce. I know of one team where an experienced member of the team has shown he can make informed decisions about solutions to issues. However, any decision that this team member or any other member of the team makes has their manager going back through the entire decision-making process with the team. As a result, this team member now refuses to make any decisions when asked by junior members of the team, instead routing them directly to the micromanaging manager for the decision. Unfortunately for the manager, it makes them think that they are even more necessary to allow the team to function on a basic level, reinforcing their micromanaging ways.

If you are an unfortunate soul that finds yourself in a work environment with a micromanaging manager that never seeks to change their ways, immediately look for another position because not every manager micromanages their team. I dare say, the most productive teams have managers that empower members of the team instead of micromanaging them.